SPF Spray Picks A Beauty Editor Swears By
Beauty | Skincare

9 SPF Spray Picks A Beauty Editor Swears By

There’s no denying that an SPF spray is significantly more convenient than rubbing a sunscreen lotion all over your body. SPF sprays, also referred to as aerosol sunscreens, are one of the must-have beach bag essentials to bring on vacation, and are key to preventing skin cancer and skin aging. 

But not all SPF sprays are created equal. Some feel terrible on the skin, while others don’t actually provide the sun protection that they claim. Below, I’ve rounded up my absolute favorite SPF sprays of all time, for both the body and the face. 

9 Best SPF Sprays I Always Reach For

Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Sunscreen Spray SPF 30

Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Sunscreen Spray SPF 30

If you’re looking for one of the best non-toxic sunscreens that comes in a spray bottle, look no further than Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Sunscreen Spray SPF 30. I am so impressed with this pick, especially because it’s zinc-based but still disappears on the skin. You do need to rub this formula into your skin after you apply it (which I guess is the case for most SPF sprays), which can be kinda annoying. That being said, if you don’t love mineral sunscreens and would prefer a chemical option that isn’t white, it’s best to opt for another SPF spray on this list. 

Available on Amazon ($21)

Hawaiian Tropic Everyday Active Sunscreen SPF 30

Hawaiian Tropic Everyday Active Sunscreen SPF 30

Highly rated on Amazon and a fan-favorite at CNN Underscored, this pick from Hawaiian Tropic feels incredibly weightless on the skin. The continuous spray mechanism allows for a wide distribution of sunscreen, meaning less time applying it to your body. Additionally, I like that this pick is relatively affordable at around $9 per bottle. Plus, it smells deliciously of coconut—the scent that always makes me feel like I’m on vacation. If you prefer fragrance-free formulas, this option is not for you. 

Available on Amazon ($18 for 2–pack)

Supergoop! PLAY Antioxidant Body Mist SPF 50 with Vitamin C

Supergoop! PLAY Antioxidant Body Mist SPF 50 with Vitamin C

This sunscreen spray is on the pricier side at $24, and for good reason—it’s loaded with good-for-your-skin ingredients like antioxidants and vitamin C. These help protect your skin against free radicals, while the broad spectrum SPF works to provide sun protection from UV rays. 

One of the cool things about this product is that it comes in a unique bag-on-valve technology. This type of bottle helps to keep the SPF spray free of chemical propellants. It also allows you to apply the formula until the last drop. Another thing I like about this option is that you can easily spray this upside down (like when you’re trying to reach your back). And it sprays on completely clear, too. 

Available on Ulta ($24)

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 45

You might have heard about Neutrogena pulling some of their sunscreens from the shelves due to high levels of benzene a few years ago. The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70 and SPF 100+ are amongst the ones that were recalled. But the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 45 was not one of them. 

This pick reminds me so much of the summers when I was younger. I would purchase the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF sprays for myself and never want to share them with my family. They were always on the pricier side for sunscreen sprays at the drugstore. And I didn’t want my family of four to use up my fancy sunscreen so fast! 

My favorite part about this SPF spray is that it smells so fresh and elevated. It’s very easy to apply all over the body, and it absorbs into the skin quickly, too.

Available on Ulta ($18)

Banana Boat Sport Ultra SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray

Banana Boat Sport Ultra SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray 

This has always been a staple in my family’s beach bag for many years. It has about a bajillion reviews on Amazon and does what it needs to do, without the fuss or high price tag. I like that this formula really stands up to sweat and water. It’s ideal for anyone who is in the ocean or pool a lot. It’s free of active ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate, has SPF protection of 50+, and doesn’t feel greasy or uncomfortable on the skin. 

Available on Amazon ($20 for 2-pack)

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Sunscreen Spray Lotion SPF 60

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Sunscreen Spray Lotion SPF 60

This is another fancy sunscreen spray that I like to use from time to time. It has the highest SPF rating of all the ones I’ve listed, and it’s really ideal for folks with super sensitive skin (like myself). This pick is a chemical sunscreen that goes on white and needs to be rubbed in. Once you’ve rubbed it in, it doesn’t leave any type of white cast. I love that it’s paraben-, fragrance-, and oil-free and won’t irritate sensitive skin (which is often hard to find with SPF sprays). 

Available on Ulta ($29)

Can You Spray SPF Over Makeup?

Based on my own experience, I probably wouldn’t spray any of the above SPF sprays on my face, over my makeup. That’s because most of them are not designed to be used on the face. Plus, you don’t know if any of the SPF sprays’ ingredients will break down your foundation’s ingredients. Because of this, I would use one of the SPF sprays below to apply over your makeup, as many of these were designed for that specific purpose.   

SPF Spray Over Makeup

Pacifica GLOW BABY Brightening Setting Mist
Pacifica GLOW BABY Brightening Setting Mist

A lot of people love this setting mist for a few reasons. First off, it contains SPF 45, which is a decent amount of sun protection. Secondly, this formula contains vitamin C, sea algae, and sea minerals to brighten your skin tone while adding hydration, too. Third, it’s easy to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, over your makeup. I like that this pick is cruelty-free, vegan, and comes in a sustainable glass bottle, too.

Available at Pacifica Beauty ($18)

Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF Spray
Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF – SPF 50 Face Sunscreen and Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray

This pick is definitely on the pricier side at $39 per bottle, but worth the price tag if you want effective sun protection with a matte finish. This bottle has a nice, fine mist to it that won’t ruin your makeup underneath. Unfortunately, it does have a pretty strong scent, so beware if you are really sensitive to fragrances. 

Available at Ulta ($44)

Vacation Super Spritz SPF 50
Vacation Super Spritz SPF 50

Not only is the packaging super fun, but the formula really delivers, too. I like that this is designed specifically to apply over makeup, and it’s small enough to fit into your beach bag. I don’t know if this would be the best option for those with sensitive skin—the first ingredient is alcohol, which could be pretty irritating for some. 

Available at Vacation ($24)

Do SPF Sprays Work?

Yes, SPF sprays definitely work. The key is to use them correctly and often, just as you would a sunscreen lotion. 

Is Sunscreen Lotion or Spray Better?

This is a tricky answer. Most dermatologists would tell you that the best sunscreen is the one that you will actually apply regularly and often, whether that be a sunscreen lotion or a spray. FYI, you should be applying all your sunscreens about 15-20 minutes before sun exposure. Most folks find SPF sprays to be a lot more convenient. But sometimes it’s easier to get burned with them on because many don’t apply them correctly. Or they accidentally miss a spot on their skin. Sunscreen lotions tend to be more effective at preventing sunburn and skin cancer, but people are less likely to use them since they take a while to apply. 

Don’t miss my other sunscreen blog posts including my Alastin sunscreen review and the best non-toxic sunscreens.

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