Is Spray Sunscreen as Effective as Lotion?

The feeling of the sun on your body as you're hiking, running, or even just relaxing outdoors can feel great on your skin... until it isn't

Nobody likes burned red skin. Wearing sunscreen to protect yourself from getting damaged by the sun's rays should be an essential part of your skincare routine if you're spending large amounts of time outdoors.

But what if you don't know which sunscreen you should use as you go on your outdoor adventures? Keep reading this guide to find out all there is to know about using spray and lotion sunscreen, why sunscreen is so important for your skin and health, and which one is best for you and your active lifestyle! 

How Does Sunscreen Work?

Whether you are using spray or lotion sunscreen, you are choosing between a traditional or mineral sunscreen.  Mineral sunscreens contain ingredients that sit on top of your skin that prevent UV rays from infiltrating your skin. Traditional sunscreens are absorbed into your skin and fight UV rays by breaking them down and then releasing them as heat. 

Since both traditional and mineral sunscreens are effective, it's up to you to decide which you prefer for your lifestyle. Traditional sunscreens require being used 30 minutes before sun exposure in order to soak in, and they aren't recommended for sensitive skin. However, these sunscreens might protect you for a longer period of time compared to mineral sunscreens. 

Also, be on the lookout for sunblock that says broad spectrum, which means it protects you from both UVA rays and UVB rays, which are rays that cause skin cancer and sunburns.

The SPF of a sunscreen, which stands for Sun Protection Factor, should also be taken into account, since it tells you how long the sun's UVB rays would take to redden your skin if you apply the sunscreen as directed compared to if you didn't put on any sunscreen at all. 

The Benefits of Lotion Sunscreen 

Lotion sunscreens are a gel, cream, or lotion that are typically easy to spread on your body to prevent damage from the sun. It can do a great job of moisturizing and absorbing into your skin while also fighting off harsh UV rays, which makes it great for dry and dehydrated skin types.

For outdoor adventurers who prefer a more traditional sunscreen, we created a non-mineral based sunblock without any of the damaging chemicals found in other sunscreens. Our sunscreen glides on like a moisturizer, leaves no white cast, and offers a sun protection factor of 50! Clean ingredients for your body and for the planet

The benefits of using a lotion sunscreen are that it is ideal for everyday use, you are less likely to miss parts of your body like you would with spraying it on, and lotions with SPF 30 or above give you a longer period of sun protection.

The amount of lotion needed to cover a person's body is also an insignificant amount, only about one ounce. This makes lotion sunscreen last a lot longer. 

Lotion sunscreen is also thought to be the better choice for sunscreen for children since spray sunscreens are more likely to be inhaled or get in contact with the eyes, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

While lotion sunscreen can take more time to put on due to rubbing it all over your body, it is worth the effort since it does a great job of soaking into your skin. 

The Benefits of Spray Sunscreen 

Sunscreen spray is quick and easy. There's no need to rub in the spray as much as you would a lotion, and spraying on sunscreen makes it easier to reach places like your back, shoulders, and ears. 

The same great TANRI sunscreen you love, now in spray form! Bottled in a 5 oz recycled aluminum container, TANRI sunblock spray is our traditional formulation offering easy and quick application. Check out the optional compact and lightweight 1 oz refillable container that's perfect to take along for any adventure!

A sunscreen mist is lightweight, and it usually absorbs quickly into your skin, leaving no greasiness. If you have oily skin, then good news! Sunscreen spray is perfect for that skin type. 

Sunscreen spray, like lotion, is formulated with UV-protecting components, as well as ingredients that can moisturize your skin. While liquid-based, sunscreen spray can still have the same SPF levels as lotion sunscreens, which are emulsion-based. This means that spray sunscreens can offer the same level of protection as lotion sunscreens. 

If you're wanting to skip the lotion sunblock for a faster, less messy option, sunscreen spray is another option you can consider. Just remember to spray those hard-to-reach spots, get full coverage of your body and avoid your eyes and mouth! 

How to Use Your Sunscreen

Once you've picked out a sunscreen that works best for you, it needs to be applied properly in order to work its magic! Both lotion and spray sunscreens protect your skin well if you know how to use them correctly. 

Guidelines for Lotion Sunscreen

  • Use a handful or ounce of cream to cover your entire body with even coverage
  • Apply to all areas of your body that are exposed to the sun, including areas such as the top of your feet, your head, your ears, and the backs of your legs
  • Be sure to apply sunscreen to your face, but avoid the eyes
  • Always reapply sunblock after swimming or excessive sweating
  • You should apply sunblock at least 30 minutes before going outside 

Guidelines for Sunscreen Spray

  • Hold the nozzle close to your skin and be sure to spray until your skin looks wet and you see an even gloss
  • Spraying longer than 3 seconds is recommended 
  • Even after you spray sunscreen on your body, massage it into your skin to make sure you have even coverage 
  • Avoid inhaling sunscreen sprays, and never spray directly on your face
  • To apply spray sunscreen to your face, spray into your hands first, then rub it on your face
  • Avoid applying sunscreen spray near an open flame, since it can be flammable
  • Avoid using in a windy environment, since it might be harder for the mist to properly spray your body

Sunblock for Different Skin Types

Finding the right sunscreen for your skin type and using sunscreen safely can help avoid skin irritation and give your skin the best chance at sun protection and avoiding premature aging. 

Dry Skin: If you have dry skin, then picking out a sunscreen that has hydrating ingredients is best for you. Glycerin, a natural sugar alcohol that helps retain moisture, and hyaluronic acid, a natural protein that retains moisture, are two ingredients you should be looking for.

Oily Skin: Traditional sunscreens tend to work better with oily skin than mineral sunscreens since mineral sunscreens can be drier on the skin. Also, be on the lookout for sunscreens that are labeled as "non-comedogenic" since these sunscreens don't block your pores and can reduce shine. This type of sunscreen can also be the best for acne-prone faces.

Sensitive Skin: If you have sensitive skin, then choosing a mineral-based sunscreen is the way to go. With ingredients like zinc and titanium dioxide, this sunscreen is less irritating on the skin. 

Be sure to think about your skin and what it needs to flourish! Finding the right lotion or spray sunscreen can make or break your skin and take your skincare routine to the next level if chosen correctly. 

Wearing Sunscreen While Running 

Have you ever wondered if active exercising, such as running, affects how your sunscreen works on your skin, or vice versa? 

While some sunscreens can block pores, researchers have found that sunscreen does not have any impact on heart rate, sweat loss, and oxygen consumption while running.

This means that if you're running your heart out, your speed and agility will not be affected, and becoming overheated due to sunscreen is not a worry you should have.

When choosing a sunscreen that works best for your running lifestyle, it's best to remember you will sweat a lot. Finding a high-quality and sweat- or water-resistant spray or lotion sunscreen is ideal. 

UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so remember that when deciding when to run and wondering if you need sunblock. Additionally, wearing UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor, clothing can help block out UV rays along with your sunscreen, ensuring you a cool run! 

The Dangers of Skipping Sunscreen 

There might be times when you are tempted to avoid the hassle of rubbing or spraying sunscreen on your body because you're in a hurry, or it is "not that sunny" outside.

However, when you realize how UV radiation actually does affect the skin, it's something that should be taken seriously. Skin cancer, wrinkles, dramatic aging, and melanoma are all side effects of too much sun. 

With both medicinal and cosmetic benefits, sunscreen really helps you feel good and look good despite sun exposure.

Examples of too much sun exposure include the appearance of new moles, red, itchy regions of the skin, fine lines on the face, and tan, leathery skin. 

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 Americans develop skin cancer by the age of 70, and having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma. So don't skip out on sunblock before you go outdoors; it's not worth the risk!  

Spray vs. Lotion: Which is Best? 

When it comes down to it, spray and lotion sunscreens offer similar benefits and just have a difference in texture. If they both have the same SPF levels, both types will be effective if applied correctly. You should use whichever one is best for your lifestyle! 

The best sunscreen for face application would be a lotion sunscreen, while a spray sunscreen works best across the body. Water resistance, an SPF of 30 or higher, and broad-spectrum are qualities either sunscreen can have that will do a great job of protecting you from the sun and keeping your skin looking fresh. 

Whether you choose a spray or lotion sunblock, also be sure it works well with your skin type and that you reapply every two hours when outdoors or immediately after swimming.

The amount of sunscreen you spray on your body can be more difficult to gauge than lotion sunscreen, but by spraying sunscreen generously and thoroughly, you're still safe from the sun.  

Best Lotion and Best Spray Sunscreen for Outdoor Adventurers 

Our TANRI Sunblock SPF50 and TANRI Sunblock Spray are great options for anyone looking for a sunscreen that promotes healthy skin while you're getting wet and sweaty in the great outdoors.

This traditional sunscreen is offered in both a lotion and spray, is non-mineral based, and lacks damaging chemicals found in other sunscreens.

The lotion is applied like a moisturizer; it offers strong protection from the sun and leaves no white smudges behind! The spray sunscreen is bottled in an 8 oz. aluminum container and gives you a quick and easy application. Compact and lightweight, it's a great option to take on the run.

With either option, both of these reef safe sunscreens are water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Rub it on or spray it in, these sunscreens offer all there is when it comes to keeping your skin moisturized and protected from harsh UV rays.

Are You Ready to Find Your Best Sunscreen? 

Now that you are more informed on the benefits and differences between spray and lotion sunscreens, and how important it is to wear sunscreen to protect your skin, find one that works best for you! 

At TANRI, we want to offer you sun care products that are environmentally friendly while also getting you outside worry-free. Training for a marathon or gearing up for a big hike? We've got you covered (literally). 

Want to see more of what we offer? Click here to find the best sun care, lip balm, and apparel items to support all of your outdoor running adventures. 


Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.