The 15 Best Spray Sunscreens, from a Fragrance-Free Option to a Makeup Setting Mist

Plus, some application tips.

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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. From a fragrance-free classic (like La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Lotion Spray SPF 60) to a makeup setting spray with SPF (like Kate Somerville's UncompliKated Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen), we’ve got 15 of the best spray sunscreen formulas for everyone ahead.

Meet the Experts

  • Bradley Glodny, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist at Park Avenue Dermatology in New York City, focusing on delivering the most comprehensive cosmetic and general dermatologic care. Dr. Glodny is currently an instructor in cosmetic dermatology at NYP Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He is also a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society for Dermatological Surgery.
  • Dr. Ellen Marmur is a board-certified dermatologist and founder of MMSkincare. Dr. Marmur is a dermatologic surgeon with her own private practice, Marmur Medical, and is a recognized and admired expert in skin cancer diagnosis and surgery. A skin cancer survivor herself, she has created her own foundation, Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!, which has received two humanitarian awards and the President’s Award.

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, once 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.

Are Spray Sunscreens Effective?

"When used correctly, spray sunscreens can be an amazing tool at protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays," says Dr. Glodny. "Ultimately a sunscreen should be easy to apply and absorb nicely, even in hair bearing areas, and spray formulas typically check those boxes."

"One major key to using spray sunscreen effectively is knowing that even though the spray is clear, it should still be rubbed into your skin to ensure it's spread evenly across your body. If it isn't rubbed in, there will likely be missed areas, leading to unwanted sun burns," he adds.

How to Apply Spray Sunscreen

"Obviously, bodies come in all different sizes and will therefore require different amounts of sunscreen. But as a general rule, I tell my patients that each limb and surface should be passed over four times with the spray before rubbing it in," advises Dr. Glodny.

​How Long Does Spray Sunscreen Last on Your Skin?

Spray sunscreen should be applied every one to two hours, similar to other sunscreen formulas. However, keep in mind that if your skin is wet or sweaty, you may have to reapply more frequently. Similarly, after a dip in the ocean or pool, you should definitely reapply your sunscreen as soon as you come out.

Is Spray Sunscreen Safe?

When asked this question, Dr. Glodny gave us an emphatic yes. "Spray sunscreen is absolutely safe to use. That said, spray formulas can have certain irritants or cause allergic reactions for some people," (which is why we always advise doing a patch test of any new skincare product before applying it all over).

Dr. Marmur agrees, adding that "generally the ingredients in spray sunscreens are safe for your skin, but they can be irritating to the lungs if inhaled, so I always apply spray sunscreens outdoors." Dr. Marmur also advises against spraying sunscreen directly on your face for this same reason. "Instead, spray the sunscreen on your hands first and then apply it to your face," she advises.

As for the possible endocrine disrupters in spray-on chemical sunscreens, Dr. Glodny says, "whether or not these chemicals clinically affect our hormonal profile has yet to be proven." (But if you're still wary, stick to a mineral formula in a non-aerosol spray bottle, which we've included a few options for below like EltaMD UV AOX Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 40).

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

How We Chose the Best Spray Sunscreens

We asked PureWow editors and the experts we interviewed to share their favorite spray sunscreens. We also spent hours researching top sellers (and their reviews) on retailers like Amazon, Ulta Beauty and Target to compile a comprehensive list of the 15 best spray sunscreens you can wear all summer long—and beyond.

Here's What We Get Wrong About Sunscreen

  • Why We Love It: has a high SPF, doesn't clog pores
  • What We Don't Love: leaves a slight sheen on skin
  • SPF: 70
  • Broad-Spectrum Protection: Yes

Lightweight 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 overly cloying scent). 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 clog pores.

  • Why We Love It: lightweight formula, fragrance-free, 360-degree spray top
  • What We Don't Love: some users report stinging in eyes
  • SPF: 60
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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.

  • Why We Love It: mineral formula, has soothing ingredients
  • What We Don't Love: can be a bit chalky
  • SPF: 30
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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.

Best Scent

4. Sun Bum Sunscreen Spray SPF 30

Sun Bum

  • Why We Love It: has SPF 30 and antioxidants, smells like vacation
  • What We Don't Love: may be too much for people who prefer fragrance-free formulas
  • SPF: 30
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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 breeze 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.

Best for the Entire Family

5. Coola Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 50


  • Why We Love It: has a lightweight texture, smells fruity
  • What We Don't Love: can smell too sweet for some
  • SPF: 50
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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.

  • Why We Love It: protects scalp while hydrating dry ends
  • Why We Don't Love It: bottle is a bit small for the price
  • SPF: 30
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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.

Best for Outdoor Activities

7. Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen Spray SPF 70


  • Why We Love It: water-resistant formula
  • What We Don't Love: has a stronger scent than some
  • SPF: 70
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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.

  • Why We Love It: has SPF 30 with a subtle tint to it
  • Why We Don't Love It: can be too greasy for some
  • SPF: 30
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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.)

The Editor Favorite

9. Supergoop! (Re)setting Refreshing Mist SPF 40


  • Why We Love It: feels refreshing on skin, doesn't disrupt makeup
  • Why We Don't Love It: a bit pricey for the size of the bottle
  • SPF: 40
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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.

Fastest Drying

10. MD SolarSciences Quick Dry Body Spray SPF 40

MD SolarSciences

  • Why We Love It: applies evenly and absorbs quickly
  • Why We Don't Love It: nozzle can get clogged
  • SPF: 40
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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 provides up to 80 minutes of water-resistant protection.

Best Reef-Safe Option

11. Bare Republic Mineral Spray SPF 50

Bare Republic

  • Why We Love It: has a sheer finish, mineral formula
  • Why We Don't Love It: requires some rubbing in to get rid of whitecast
  • SPF: 50
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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.)

Best for Acne-Prone Skin

12. EltaMD UV AOX Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 40

Elta MD

  • Why We Love It: 100 percent mineral sunscreen that's enriched with antioxidants
  • Why We Don't Love It: it's on the more expensive side
  • SPF: 40
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

Beloved by derms and countless celebs, this mineral sunscreen now comes in an easy-to-use spray (it has a 360-degree nozzle for application from any angle—even upside down), 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.

  • Why We Love It: mineral-based sunscreen, has vitamin E
  • Why We Don't Love It: requires some rubbing in to get rid of whitecast
  • SPF: 30
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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.

  • Why We Love It: mineral-based sunscreen, non-sticky formula
  • Why We Don't Love It: can be a little chalky on darker skintones
  • SPF: 30
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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.

  • Why We Love It: mist applicator spray, locks in makeup, reduces shine
  • Why We Don't Love It: can cause stinging in eyes, according to some reviews
  • SPF: 50
  • Broad-Spectrum: Yes

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.

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

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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...