A Guide To The Best SPF Sprays For Your Face & Body (And How to Use Them)
A Guide To The Best SPF Sprays For Your Face & Body (And How to Use Them)

A Guide To The Best SPF Sprays For Your Face & Body (And How to Use Them)

5 minutes read

Whether you’re a sun-worshipper or just stepping out for a quick stroll in the sun, it’s always important to protect your skin from sun damage with a strong and reliable SPF. Arguably the easiest to use, SPF sprays can be a quick and simple way of shielding your skin from the UVA and UVB rays – so that you can spend less time slathering and more time sipping cocktails by the pool. Here, Beauty Daily speaks to Clarins Retail Trainer Julie Unwin on the benefits of SPF sprays, how to use them and why they are a summer beauty stash must-have.  

Happy women on the beach

Is spray SPF effective? 

Spray SPFs are designed to provide broad-spectrum protection, shielding you from both UVA and UVB rays. So, the answer is yes – if they are applied correctly and frequently enough, they certainly are! However, there’s a bit of a technique to ensure optimal effectiveness. “When applying sunscreen spray, be sure to cover each area of the body evenly and generously, and rub it over the skin thoroughly,” shares Unwin.  

How do spray SPFs compare to other types of sunscreens? 

SPF sprays have their unique advantages, like easy application and portability, but how do they stack up against creams, lotions, and gels? While spray sunscreens are just as effective as their counterparts, they tend to be thinner and lighter in texture – which means they may require more frequent reapplication, especially if you’re sweating or swimming. “It’s important to remember to top up any SPF after exposure to water,” Unwin explains. “This is because, although most SPF sprays will be ‘water resistant’, they are not ‘waterproof’ – meaning they’ll keep your skin protected while in the pool, but once that water drips off the skin, it’s time to reapply,” she adds.  

Read: Eye cream with SPF: Stop missing your eye area! 

Should you use sunscreen sprays alone or in conjunction with a cream SPF? 

Double the SPF, double the protection, right? Well, not necessarily. It’s best to choose one type of sunscreen and stick with it, but if you prefer using both, remember not to layer sunscreens that are formulated with different UV filters. If your spray SPF is made with mineral filters like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, then make sure your cream SPF is too. Similarly, if your spray SPF is made from chemical filters then, you get the picture, your cream SPF should contain chemical filters too.  

How often should you apply SPF spray? 

Whether you’re using a spray, lotion, or cream, reapplying sunscreen is vital to staying sun-safe. For SPF sprays, experts recommend reapplication every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating excessively. Remember, consistency is the key to maintaining a sun-kissed glow rather than sporting an unwanted burn. 

Do you still have to rub in SPF spray?

We’ve all been there – spray on your sunscreen, rub it in, and repeat. But is the rubbing step really necessary? While some spray SPFs claim to be rub-free, it’s essential to ensure even coverage. Which means, after applying, gently rub it in to guarantee maximum protection. 

Are there any cons to using spray sunscreen? 

No product is perfect, and spray sunscreens come with their own set of concerns. Let’s address the most common questions: 

Are spray-on sunscreens bad for you? 

Historically, there have been concerns about inhaling the particles in spray-on sunscreens, but fear not. Modern spray SPF formulations are designed to minimise these risks, and as long as you follow the instructions and use them in a well-ventilated area, you’ll be just fine. 

What is the biggest mistake with using spray sunscreen? 

One of the most significant issues users face with spray SPF is improper application. “Some people tend to miss spots, leading to uneven protection,” Unwin says. “Remember to apply generously and cover every nook and cranny, including the often-neglected ears and the back of your neck,” she continues. 

Do SPF sprays work on the face? 

Although SPF sprays have most commonly been used on the body, in recent years a plethora of brands have formulated versions that can be used on the face too. But when it comes to what SPFs are best for your face, it’s worth thinking about your specific needs.  

Does SPF spray work over make-up? 

SPF mists can be applied over make-up for quick touch-ups throughout the day. Reach for lightweight, non-greasy formulations made specifically for the face that won’t smudge your make-up or make your eyes sting. We love Ultra Violette Preen Screen SPF 50+ Reapplication Mist, £32. 

How do you apply SPF spray to your face? 

The application process is essential for optimal protection. To apply SPF spray on your face, hold the bottle about six inches away and mist evenly. Avoid spraying directly into your eyes or inhaling the product. If you’re wearing make-up, spray the sunscreen from a distance and allow it to settle without rubbing. 

When should you apply sunscreen sprays in your beauty routine? 

For the best results, apply SPF spray after cleansing and moisturising your face, but before make-up. Reapply as needed throughout the day (even over make-up), especially if you’re spending time outdoors. 

Best SPF sprays 

Best sunscreen spray for face and body 

Bali Body Hydrating Body and Face Sunscreen, £21.95, is a versatile option that ensures your face and body stay safeguarded under the sun’s rays. 

Best sunscreen spray for every day

Clarins Sun Care Water Mist SPF50+, £26, is a reliable daily companion that offers broad-spectrum protection without feeling heavy or greasy. 

suncare water mist

Best sunscreen spray for an invisible finish  

Clarins Sun Care Body Oil-in-Mist, £26, is a non-greasy oil spray that absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving no white cast or residue. 

clarins suncare oil mist

Best sunscreen spray for sensitive skin 

Coola Spray SPF50, £25, is perfect for reactive skin as this gentle spray is formulated to provide extra care, ensuring protection without any irritation.

Best sunscreen spray for exercise

UltraSun Very High SPF50 Sports Spray Formula, £28. Stay active and protected with this water-resistant spray, perfect for those intense workout sessions under the sun. 

Best sunscreen spray for travel 

Rituals Sun Protection Milky Spray SPF 30 50ml, £11.90. Travel light with this travel-sized spray, designed to fit snugly in your carry-on bag. 

Best sunscreen spray for your body  

Clarins Sun Care Body Lotion-in-Spray SPF50+, £26, is packed with senna, plane tree, baobab and aloe vera to combat skin dehydration and signs of ageing.  

clarins suncare lotion spray

Read next: This is why a mineral sunscreen should be in your shopping basket 


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