When it comes to spray sunscreen, there are a few notable advantages. Mainly, they’re less messy to use and easier to apply—especially for hard-to-reach areas like your back. They're also easier to reapply throughout the day compared to lotions.

What to Consider When Buying Spray Sunscreen:

  • SPF Level: You want a minimum of SPF 30. As board-certified dermatologist Stacy Chimento, MD, of Riverchase Dermatology in Miami Beach, FL explained to us: "Anything under SPF 30 doesn't provide enough protection, while anything over that threshold won't cause any harm."
  • Broad Spectrum Protection: Look for the words "broad spectrum" on the label to ensure you're getting coverage for both types of UV light: ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.

The key thing to remember when using a spray sunscreen is that you’ll need to use more of it than you think for adequate protection, so be generous with your application and make sure to spread the sunscreen by hand afterward for an even distribution.

A final tip: Don’t spray the sunscreen directly onto your face (unless it’s a setting mist made specifically for this purpose). For all other spray formulas, first spray the sunscreen onto your palms and then rub it onto your face.

Thank you for completing your spray sunscreen safety orientation. Now, can we interest you in some of our favorite formulas?

Best Spray Sunscreens At A Glance:

RELATED: The 11 Best Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin

1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 70

Best Overall

  • Why We Love It: Non-greasy formula, doesn't clog pores

Lightweight, non-greasy and easy to apply, this super sheer formula is the exact opposite of everything you’ve ever disliked about sunscreen as a child (i.e., the stickiness, the chalkiness, the feeling of having a coat of something on your skin). With broad-spectrum SPF 70, it offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays and is non-comedogenic and oil-free, so it won't leave a heavy residue or clog pores.

Buy it ($11)

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

Best Application

  • Why We Love It: Lightweight formula, fragrance-free, 360-degree spray top

Speaking of lightweight formulas, we’re also longtime fans of this protective spray from La Roche-Posay because it basically disappears into your skin the moment you rub it in. It’s also oil-, alcohol- and fragrance-free, making it a great option for anyone who is prone to breakouts or easily irritated by scent. Bonus: The 360-degree spray top makes it easier to reach all angles of your body—including your back.

$27 at Amazon

3. Babo Botanicals Sheer Non-Nano Zinc Continuous Spray SPF 30

Best for Kids

  • Why We Love It: Mineral formula, has soothing ingredients

If you’re looking for a super gentle option for yourself or your kids, this mineral spray is a safe bet. Formulated with non-nano zinc oxide to protect against UV rays, it’s also free of any potentially irritating fragrance and has ingredients like aloe vera and calendula extract to soothe skin.

Buy it ($19)

4. Sun Bum Sunscreen Spray SPF 30

Best Scent

  • Why We Love It: Has SPF 30 and antioxidants, smells like vacation

The fan favorite is known for its signature scent, which the brand itself describes as smelling “like summer.” Picture an ideal day at the beach, the ocean breezes is wafting the sweet scent from the coconut trees that are swaying above you…sort of like that, in a can. Add to that SPF 30 and some vitamin E for added antioxidants and it’s easy to see why it’s beloved.

Buy it ($17)

5. Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Shimmering Body Oil SPF 30

Best for Dry Skin

  • Why We Love It: Extra moisturizing, has a nice shimmer to it

We love this body oil because it offers sun protection and hydration. With SPF 30 and a trio of skin quenching ingredients like cupuaçu butter, açaí and coconut oil to lock in moisture, it makes our patchy, parched limbs glisten in the light without feeling too greasy.

Buy it ($38)

6. Coola Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 50

Best for the Entire Family

  • Why We Love It: Lightweight texture, smells fruity

As any parent knows, it can be a struggle to get a wriggling child to stay put while you attempt to apply sunscreen on their little bodies. Between the lightweight formula and the yummy mango scent, this spray makes the task just a tad easier. Plus, it’s made from 70 percent certified organic ingredients and no parabens or phthalates, in case that’s of concern to you.

Buy it ($25)

7. Coola Scalp & Hair Mist Organic Sunscreen SPF 30

Best for Hair

  • Why We Love It: Protects scalp while hydrating dry ends

Another top pick from Coola is this scalp and hair mist, which you can use from root to tip to protect your part and prevent your color from fading in the sun. With a blend of protective ingredients like avobenzone and octocrylene and hydrating monoi oil and vitamin B5, it works double-duty as an SPF and finishing spray to add shine to dull strands.

Buy it ($26)

8. Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen Spray SPF 70

Best for Outdoor Activities

  • Why We Love It: Water-resistant formula

This water-resistant formula is great for those days when you know you’ll be sweating a bit more than usual—whether from a round of tennis or beach volleyball. The lightweight spray can be used from tip to toe and has an SPF 70 that can withstand beads of sweat or a dip in the pool for up to 80 minutes before you need to reapply.

$11 at Amazon

9. Australian Gold Instant Bronzer Spray Gel Sunscreen SPF 30

Best Bronzer

  • Why We Love It: SPF 30 with a subtle tint to it

If your limbs are looking a bit pale after a winter spent indoors, you can reach for this bronzing spray for an immediate boost of color. The texture is a hybrid between a spray and a lotion, so there’s a bit more hydration to it, and you get SPF 30 with a hint of glow. (The tropical scent is quite pleasing, too, sort of like an orange creamsicle.)

Buy it ($10)

10. Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist

The Editor Favorite

  • Why We Love It: Feels refreshing on skin, doesn't disrupt makeup

An all-time favorite here at PureWow, this refreshing mist offers ample coverage for day-to-day activities with an SPF 40 and a truly invigorating scent thanks to peppermint and rosemary oils in the formula. The micro-mist application ensures even coverage and ease of mind as you go to spray it over your face and neck, because it won’t disrupt your makeup or stain your collar.

Buy it ($32)

11. MDSolarSciences Quick Dry Body Spray SPF 40 Duo

Fastest Drying

  • Why We Love It: Non-greasy formula, dries quickly on skin

If you want something that will dry quickly on your skin, we’d direct you to this body spray. It goes on evenly and absorbs quickly without feeling too sticky or slick. We also appreciate that it comes in a two-pack, so we don’t have to worry about having a backup can.

$20 at Amazon

12. Bare Republic Mineral Spray

Best Reef-Safe Option

  • Why We Love It: Sheer finish, mineral formula

The passion project of a group of friends from California, this mineral formula skips any chemical sunscreen actives for non-nano zinc oxide and skin-friendly antioxidants like grape and carrot seed oils instead. While the spray does initially look white when you apply it, it dries down to a sheer finish as you rub it in. (We also appreciate the extra care the brand has put into making sure that the reef-safe formula meets the standards of the Hawaii Reef Compliant Act 104.)

$15 at Amazon

13. EltaMD UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45

Best for Acne-Prone Skin

  • Why We Love It: Oil-free, doesn't clog pores, dermatologist approved

Beloved by derms and countless celebs, this mineral sunscreen now comes in an easy-to-use spray, but the lightweight formula remains unchanged. It still blends sheer and is completely oil-free and non-comedogenic, so any fellow bacne sufferers or even those with eczema can get the sun protection they need without having to worry about causing breakouts or flareups.

Buy it ($37)

14. BeautyCounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30

Best Non-Aerosol Spray

  • Why We Love It: Mineral sunscreen, has vitamin E

Formulated with non-nano zinc oxide, this mineral-based sunscreen blends into skin and is powered by compressed air, so it’s free of propellent chemicals that are often found in aerosol cans. It also contains vitamin E, a hydrating antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals.

Buy it ($39)

RELATED: How to Apply Sunscreen to Your Back (by Yourself)

15. Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ For Face/Body

Best for All-Over Use

  • Why We Love It: Can be used from head to toe

Prefer to keep your skincare routine as bare bones as possible? We hear you. This Shiseido formula is so lightweight and residue-free, it can be used on the face, body and scalp without issue. In other words, you can forgo three different types of SPF for this one convenient bottle.

Buy it ($40)

16. Solara Suncare Go! Mineral Defense Sport Superfruit + Aloe Sunscreen Mist SPF 30

Best Mineral Sunscreen

  • Why We Love It: Feels nice on skin, doesn't have a scent

Lightweight on your skin and easy to apply, this mineral SPF 30 delivers up to 80 minutes of water resistant protection (which makes it a solid addition to your beach bag this summer). We also appreciate that it doesn't leave behind a sticky film nor does it have a cloying scent.

Buy it ($18)

17. Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen

Best Over Makeup

  • Why We Love It: Mist applicator spray, locks in makeup, reduces shine

This convenient spray makes it easy to retouch your SPF throughout the day, thanks to its fine mist applicator that dispenses sheer SPF 50 onto your skin in a few passes. Formulated with light diffusing silicone powders and hyaluronic acid, it also helps set your makeup and reduce shine.

Buy it ($44)

RELATED: How to Reapply Sunscreen While Wearing Makeup, According to the Experts

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