Using Spray and Stick Suncreens the Derm Approved Way!

I will be the first to admit that protecting yourself from the sun is a hard task. It takes a lot of effort, much more than you may want to do when you’re relaxing at the beach. The problem is that unless you put your sunscreen on the right way, you’re really not getting the protection that you need.  Just like getting up to go to the gym in the morning, you may not be in the mood to do it, but you know it’s good for you.

Spray and stick sunscreens have been around for years and definitely give us more options to be safe outdoors. Going outside without sunscreen in the summer is an absolute no, which is a challenge when you are responsible for protecting your kids from the sun. As a mom of two, these products have made my life a lot easier.  Even on days when the kids won’t agree to use lotions, I can get them to say yes to a spray or a stick. 

I've already spent a few weekends at the beach this summer, I see people using these sunscreens all wrong. Being married to a dermatologist, I’ve perfected my sunscreen skills and want to share the rules you need to follow so you use sticks and sprays the right way. Pay close attention, because if you’re not using then the right way you will be putting yourself at risk for burns.

You have to spray until you see the sunscreen on the skin. This is a new  Neutrogena Spray.

You have to spray until you see the sunscreen on the skin. This is a new Neutrogena Spray.

1. “If you’re not glistening, you’re not listening!” That is one of my husband’s favorite soundbites when talking about sprays. You need to see the spray sunscreen glistening on your skin to make sure that you have applied enough. How many times have we all seen a mom chasing after their child at the beach trying to spray him as he runs away? We do what we can as parents, but using sprays that way just won’t get enough on their skin. The can needs to be held close to the skin to make sure that the sunscreen doesn’t blow away in the wind.

This  La Roche Posay  sunscreen is a spray on lotion that feels great on the skin

This La Roche Posay sunscreen is a spray on lotion that feels great on the skin

2. “Four passes are better than one when it comes to sticks,” my husband says. Rubbing a sunscreen stick against the skin one time doesn’t put enough sunscreen on you. The SPF level labeled on the sunscreen is based on a lab test using a specific amount of sunscreen. In order to put that much on your skin, you have to pass the stick four times back-and-forth.  The term less is more doesn’t hold true when we are talking about sunscreen...

So today being the first day of summer, I hope you can use these tips to be sun safe. And if you follow these rules, stick and spray sunscreen are #TheDermWifeApproved.

We can call this image "Flat Lay at the Beach"

We can call this image "Flat Lay at the Beach"

cori zeichner