The American Academy of Dermatology recommends sunscreens that are broad-spectrum, waterproof, and have an SPF of 30 or higher.
Summer days are coming and many Americans are spending a lot of time outdoors soaking up the sun.
While most people understand the importance of applying sunscreen daily before going outside, one VERIFIED viewer wanted to know how effective a spray sunscreen was compared to a lotion sunscreen.
Are spray sunscreens as effective as lotion sunscreens?
Yes, spray sunscreens are just as effective as lotion sunscreens, but board-certified dermatologists say both must be used correctly to work properly. best.
WHAT WE FIND
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), applying sunscreen is an important tool in the fight against skin cancer, including the deadliest form, melanoma.
“Research shows that daily use of sunscreen – when used correctly – can significantly reduce the incidence of melanoma. This is why dermatologists advise their patients that the best sunscreen is the one they will wear,” the AAD says on its website.
When it comes to the effectiveness of spray sunscreens versus lotion sunscreens, Dr. Danilo Del Campo, medical director at the Chicago Skin Clinic, says VERIFY that they’re equivalent.
Dr Del Campo said: “Anything from sunscreen or sunscreen is strictly regulated by the FDA, so on a molecular and scientific level, yes – between lotions with SPF 30 and spray with SPF 30, they are equivalent,” said Dr. Del Campo. .
Meanwhile, Dr Rajani Katta, clinical professor of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine, said that “both lotion sunscreens and spray sunscreens are effective as long as they are used correctly.” .
“When you spray, you have to make sure you are fully covered,” says Dr. Katta. “Usually, that means you want to make sure you’re in close enough contact with your skin and spray for a long enough time.”
Dr. Del Campo and Dr. Katta both say that after applying a spray sunscreen, it’s important to make sure it sparkles on the skin before applying evenly for an even coverage.
“I know some products that say they’re just ‘spray and use’, but that’s not what I recommend,” says Dr Katta. “I recommend spraying and then making sure you scrub thoroughly so you don’t miss any.”
According to the AAD, it’s important to make sure you reapply sunscreen every two hours when outdoors or immediately after swimming or sweating no matter what type of sunscreen you’re using.
“There are some sunscreens that will be a little more water resistant, but regardless, I think it’s really important that you reapply it every two hours. If you’re in the water and you’re out, you should probably go ahead and reapply as well. Dr. Katta said.
Dr. Del Campo says you should also apply a spray sunscreen about 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure and before engaging in any water activities.
“All of those sprays have a certain amount of alcohol, so it takes a while for the alcohol to evaporate and for the chemistry to really stick together,” says Dr. Del Campo. Dr. Del Campo said.
As for applying sunscreen to the face, Dr. Katta said she does not recommend spraying sunscreen directly on the face, especially children’s faces. Instead, she says people should spray sunscreen on their hands first and then rub it in before applying. She also says that people can use a separate sunscreen for their face to avoid inhaling the spray.
“You have to be extra careful with your face to get the right coverage,” says Dr. “I do not recommend it for children’s faces. I think the body is fine, as long as their head is turned away.”
To safely and fully use spray sunscreen, the AAD recommends the following tips:
- Hold the nozzle close to your skin and spray generously. Most adults need at least an ounce of sunscreen – enough to fill a glass – to cover the entire body. Since it can be difficult to determine how much sunscreen is enough, a good rule of thumb is to spray until your skin is shiny. It’s important to remember that a typical 6-ounce bottle of spray sunscreen has six applications.
- Rub carefully. To make sure you don’t miss any spots and have an even coverage, apply sunscreen after spraying.
- Avoid inhaling spray sunscreen. Current U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations do not involve spray sunscreens, although the agency continues to evaluate these products to ensure safety and effectiveness. Do not inhale spray sunscreen and never spray sunscreen around or near your face or mouth. Instead, spray sunscreen on your hands first and then apply it to your face.
- Avoid using spray sunscreen on windy days. These conditions make it harder to apply sunscreen and easier to accidentally inhale it.
- Never apply spray sunscreen near heat sources or open flames, or while smoking. While sunscreen is not usually flammable, it can burn when used in aerosol form. Never spray it with a grill, candle, or other source of fire, and make sure it is scrubbed and dry before approaching any open flame.
The AAD also recommends looking for sunscreens that are broad-spectrum, waterproof, and have an SPF of 30 or higher. They also say that people should use other prevention methods, along with sunscreen, to protect themselves from the sun’s rays when outside.
“Broad spectrum means sunscreen will protect against both types of harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer – not just those that cause sunburn,” says the AAD. “Since no sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, it’s important to seek shade and wear protective clothing whenever possible, including long shirts. sleeves, long pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection.”
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