There is a Right Way to Use Spray Sunscreen
If you're applying sunscreen from a spray can this summer and wondering why you're still getting burned, you may be doing it wrong.
The Treasure Valley heat is no joke right now, and since the sun will still be beating on us for another couple of months, there is still plenty of time left this summer to perfect the art of applying sunscreen.
If the spray can is your modus operandi because it's so darned convenient, you're not alone. Once kids set their sights on the water they sure don't want to pause to rub in some lotion, right? They want to hop in the pool right now, and we're lucky if we can squirt the back of their legs as the run off. In addition to squirting arms and legs, I always put some spray sunscreen in my girls' hands so they can rub it on their cheeks, but every once in a while they end up with a pink streak from a missed spot. And we forget to reapply.
There are a few things we need to know about the spray sunscreen that might save us all from getting burned next time we're at the pool.
Consumer Reports said it takes about an ounce of sunscreen to fully cover an adult’s body, and since it's hard to see how much we're applying, we should spray until our skin glistens. And then to avoid missed spots, we should rub it in even if it's labeled "no rub." In other words, the spray version is not going to save us any time because we have to rub it in just like the lotion. So maybe we should just use the lotion.
We've really got to give that spray a good squirt too. Good Housekeeping said, "If you apply an SPF 45 spray for 2-3 seconds, you only get realistically SPF 10-12 protection." Keep spraying.
And check this out. It might be a rule that we're all breaking. Good Housekeeping also said adults should use at least 1 ounce every 2 hours which is about the size of a shot-glass, plus a nickel-sized dollop for the face alone. Wow! And this is why the spray can will be running dry after one outing to the pool or lake. That's a lot. The lotion may last longer.
It's not the spray sunscreen's fault if we use it and still get burned. Apparently, we're doing it wrong and that's why we end up with patchy burns and streaks of pink. We just need to take more time and apply more of it, and it will keep us from needing the aloe vera later on. And we'll have to accept the fact that the can is going to run dry in a hurry, and we could be spending fifty bucks a month on sunscreen.
We've got sunshine and the mid-90s through the weekend. Is it October yet?