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Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
- Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
- Best for sensitive skin: EltaMD UV Aero Broad Spectrum 45 Full-Body Sunscreen
- Best for babies and toddlers: Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen Spray SPF 30
- Best for dark skin tones: UncompliKated SPF Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray SPF 50
- Best reef-safe spray: Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Sunscreen SPF 30
- Best anti-aging spray: Supergoop PLAY Antioxidant Body Mist with Vitamin C SPF 50
- Best for athletes: KINeSYS Performance Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Sunscreens are not just for blazing hot summer months. Any time you’re outdoors, it’s a good idea to protect yourself from head to toe.
It’s hard to beat the convenience of spray-on sunscreens, whether you’re aiming for a hard-to-reach spot or wrestling a wiggly toddler who’s making a dash for the splash zone. Here are our top picks for year-round sunscreen sprays in six important categories.
In compiling the list below, we considered:
- opinions from health professionals about the qualities that matter in each category
- customer reviews to gauge for overall performance
- key ingredients
- broad spectrum coverage and water resistance
- $ = under $25
- $$ = over $25
In January 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a
More studies need to be done to evaluate the safety of sunscreen sprays, which may be inhaled in addition to being absorbed through the skin.
Experts are also concerned about whether fine mists provide enough coverage to be really effective against the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends taking these steps to apply sprays safely:
- Don’t spray sunscreens directly onto your face or neck.
- Make four sweeps over each area to be sure you’re completely covered.
- Rub in the sunscreen to be sure you’re covered evenly.
- Don’t use sprays on windy days.
- Don’t spray near open flames or heat sources.
Best sunscreen spray for sensitive skin
- Price: $$
This is our top choice for people with skin that breaks out easily, people with skin conditions, like rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema, and people who have allergic reactions to chemicals in sunscreens.
Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, this spray gets top scores from dermatologists. It feels light, rubs in easily, and goes on white, so you can see the zones you’ve missed.
Best sunscreen spray for babies and toddlers
- Price: $
For older babies, toddlers, and young children, this mom-created mist is made with 100 percent non-nano zinc oxide. It sprays on clear, not white, and protects your baby for 80 minutes — even in the water.
Best sunscreen spray for dark skin tones
- Price: $$
This spray offers great sun protection and absorbs quickly and completely, without leaving a ghostly white or purple haze on your skin.
The non-nano mist is slim enough to slip in your bag, so you can give yourself a quick spritz before you head outdoors. Bonus: It’s also a makeup setting spray, so it protects your skin while it keeps your face fresh.
Best reef-safe sunscreen spray
- Price: $
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) confirms that chemicals in many sunscreens are damaging and destroying vital off-shore coral reefs. These are the chemical culprits you should avoid: Oxybenzone, Benzophenone-1, Benzophenone-8, OD-PABA, 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor, 3-Benzylidene camphor, nano-Titanium dioxide, and nano-Zinc oxide.
This award-winning spray is vegan, non-nano, 100 percent mineral, and doesn’t contain any of those chemicals known to damage aquatic life.
Reviewers say it’s ideal for sensitive skin — just remember to shake the canister before you apply.
What does non-nano mean?
Sunscreen manufacturers can change the size of the zinc oxide or titanium dioxide particles in their physical sunscreens. The smaller the particle, the more transparent it is on your skin. Here’s the rub: Larger particles give you more sun protection.
There’s no evidence that nanoparticles in sunscreen could hurt you if they sink into your skin — but they could have adverse effects on marine life. The Environmental Working Group explains more about the research into nanoparticles here.
Best anti-aging sunscreen spray
- Price: $
Taking good care of your skin means protecting against today’s sun exposure while helping skin recover from the damage you’ve already experienced. This formula is rich in antioxidants and moisturizers, in addition to the sun protection it provides.
With acai and green tea extracts to counteract damaging free radicals and a stabilized form of vitamin C, this sunscreen aims to protect and help correct sun-damaged mature-looking skin.