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What works better, sunscreen sprays, lotions, sticks or creams?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
What works best depends on why you’re using it. For your first application of the day on your face and body, I recommend using a lotion or cream. Don’t skimp -- you want to make sure to use enough to cover your skin generously (for an adult, that’s enough to fill a shot glass for your entire body). Remember to reapply the same amount at least every two hours, or more often if you go swimming or are sweating significantly. For the second application, you can use a lotion or spray. Sticks are convenient for quick swipes on areas like your cheeks. Be careful using sprays with kids -- if they inhale the spray, it can irritate their airways. For this reason, when applying on their face, spray first on your hand, then rub on their face. 
 
What to buy: Look for the words “broad spectrum” on the label. This means the sunscreen blocks both types of the sun’s rays -- UVA (which ages skin and contributes to skin cancer) and UVB (which causes sunburn and skin cancer). Choose a product with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97% of UVB.
 
All sunscreen application methods work well. Choosing one over another is a matter of personal preference. While some people may choose lotions or creams for extra hydration for their dry skin, others may want the convenience of a spray or stick. It is important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with coverage for ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or above. Apply a good base layer and reapply every two hours.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

That depends on your preference. Any type of sunscreen should work well, provided that you use a high enough SPF and reapply it regularly. However, sprays may be difficult to apply outside, especially on windy days.

Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing to safeguard your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.