why spray sunscreen doesn't provide adequate sun protection

Don’t you LOVE it when things are made easier for you?

Like, having takeout dinner delivered right to your door. Getting prepaid return bags with your online order. Being able to pay for the bus with Apple Pay.

You could argue that convenience is making us lazy. I don’t care. If it makes my life easier, I’m all for it. Always.

Well, almost always. Every rule has an exception, hasn’t it? Mine is spray sunscreen. Here’s why:

Can Spray Sunscreen Provide Adequate Sun Protection?

Let’s be clear here: spray sunscreens do have what it takes to provide broad spectrum protection. They use the same UV filters as all other sunscreens.

Yet, they still fail at the job. The formula’s good, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

Here’s the deal: if you want to get the level of SPF stated on the bottle, you need to apply sunscreen generously. The recommended amount is 1/4 of a teaspoon for the face and a small glass shot for the body.

How the heck can you do that if you can’t see the sunscreen?!

That’s the issue here. Creams sunscreens may be thick and greasy, but at least you can see them. You know exactly where you apply them.

Spray sunscreens have lightweight textures that make them a pleasure to use. But they’re transparent. It’s hard to spray the recommended amount of sunscreen you need BUT easy to miss a spot or two.

Guess what happens to those spots? Sun damage. Ugh.

P.S. And don’t get me started on the spray sunscreen that has landed on your towel or your neighbour. Yep, not all the sunscreen you spray on your skin actually ends up on your skin. What a waste!

Related: How Much Sunscreen Do You Really Need?


How effective is your sunscreen? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the โ€œSunscreen Auditโ€ Worksheet and find out if your sunscreen is really up to the job:


But You Can Still Use Spray Sunscreen To Top Up Your Sunscreen During The Day

You get it. I’m not a fan of spray sunscreen. But I can’t redo my makeup every time I need to reapply my sunscreen either.

That’s where spray sunscreen comes in. If you’re in need of a sunscreen touch-up, they do the job without messing up your makeup.

It doesn’t give you the same protection but hey, it’s way way way better than not reapplying your sunscreen at all cos you don’t want to ruin your makeup.

Just be sure not to rely on spray sunscreen alone. Spray sunscreen should NEVER be your first – or only – line of defense against the sun.

Related: How I Reapply Sunscreen While Wearing Makeup

The bottom line

Spray sunscreens are convenient, but tricky to apply right. Miss a spot and you may end up with a sunburn. Don’t risk it!

What are your thoughts on spray sunscreens? Share them in the comments below.