When the going gets hot, you need the best spray sunscreen to protect your skin. You have to live with your skin your whole life and spray sunscreens leave no excuses for not blocking harmful ultraviolet rays.
The best spray sunscreens are easy to apply quickly and many are sweat- and water-resistant so you don’t have to reapply every 10 minutes on a hot day poolside.
Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreens
Before we dive into the best spray sunscreens, a quick note on mineral vs chemical sunscreens. Though both still protect skin from harmful UV rays, they do it in different ways, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays, using ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Mineral, or physical, sunscreens use ingredients like titanium oxide or zinc oxide to act as a shield and physically block and reflect sunlight, which is why they’re sometimes called sunblocks.
Another key difference is where they operate. Mineral sunscreens will sit on top of your skin while chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin. That’s why mineral sunscreens tend to be better for sensitive skin. It’s also why they often leave some degree of white tint and tend to go on a little thicker, though you’ll have to rub any sunscreen in to some degree.
Differences aside, as long as you’re getting at least broad-spectrum SPF 30, both mineral and chemical sunscreens will work great to protect your skin. The most important thing is to apply 15 minutes before entering direct sunlight.
Now with the spray sunscreen basics out of the way, check out some of the best spray sunscreens below. They’re compact, work well and protect the only skin you’ll ever have.
1. Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50
BEST OVERALL SPRAY SUNSCREEN
For an overall great spray sunscreen, go for the Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50. They call it wet skin because you can spray this sunscreen on wet or dry skin and you’ll get the same UV protection. It’s also convenient for kids who never really stay dry when they’re at the beach.
It does smell a little funny, but it dissipates quickly, leaving skin with 80 minutes of sweat- and water-resistant protection.
Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50
2. EltaMD UV Daily Face Sunscreen Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 40
BEST SPRAY SUNSCREEN FOR FACE
The EltaMD UV Daily Face Sunscreen Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 40 simply has everything you would want in a great face sunscreen.
It’s lightweight, non-greasy and relies on transparent zinc oxide to stop harmful rays from getting into your skin. It even moisturizes skin and works to prevent and repair fine lines and skin damage thanks to hyaluronic acid. Plus, it’s highly rated on Amazon, with 86% five-star ratings on over 11,000 ratings.
One Amazon reviewer said, “I love this sunscreen. I’ve tried a lot of facial sunscreens and I think this one is my favorite. It works really well on dry skin … goes on really easily and doesn’t leave any white residue.”
Alas, we’re playing a little fast and loose with the word “spray” here. Though you press the nozzle and sunscreen does come out, it’s not an aerosolized spray like most of these others and you’ll definitely have to rub it in. But it is definitely the best spray sunscreen for faces if you can get over that spray technicality.
EltaMD UV Daily Face Sunscreen Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 40
3. Sun Bum Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray
BEST SPRAY SUNSCREEN FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Mineral sunscreens are great for sensitive skin because the sun-blocking ingredients won’t absorb into the skin. The Sun Bum Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray relies on zinc oxide and titanium oxide to keep the sun from harming your skin without irritating your skin themselves.
It sprays well without clogging and is sweat- and water-resistant, though it goes on a little sticky and will leave some white tint. But it’s vegan and well worth it for sensitive skin. Writing this summer, one Amazon reviewer said, “I am super picky about sunscreen and 99% of sunscreens irritate my skin and leave me with an annoying rash. This one did not irritate my skin at all, I love that it has absolutely no smell, and I didn’t get burned after a day at the beach wearing it. My only complaint is that it leaves a bit of a white cast, is a little tricky to spread, and it feels a bit sticky, but I highly recommend it.”
So go ahead and “trust the bum.” It won’t let your sensitive skin down.
Sun Bum Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray
4. Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray
BEST MINERAL SUNSCREEN SPRAY
The Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray offers a ton of protection in a sensitive-skin friendly spray sunscreen. With 24% zinc oxide, harmful UV rays will be the least of your worries. Because it’s heavy on minerals, it does spray on a little thick and rubbing it in is definitely recommended. But nothing will absorb into your skin, it’s water- and sweat-resistant and you’re getting a ton of earth-friendly, sensitive skin protection.
Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray
5. Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray
BEST SPRAY SUNSCREEN FOR KIDS
Neutrogena makes the best overall spray sunscreen and they make a very similar spray sunscreen for kids too. The Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray works equally well on wet or dry skin, absorbs well and offers even more protection for the sun, SPF 70, for kids’ sensitive skin.
Read more: Best Baby Sunscreens
Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray
6. Coppertone Sport Continuous Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50
BEST SUNSCREEN SPRAY FOR BODY
When you need all-over protection that lasts, the Coppertone Sport Continuous Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50 won’t let you down.
The continuous spray makes getting every inch of your body a breeze and the lightweight breathable formula doesn’t leave everything feeling sticky. Coppertone also added moisturizers like vitamin E into the mix to further protect and hydrate skin, and the sunscreen is water- and sweat-resistant too for whatever sunny activities you get up to.
Coppertone Sport Continuous Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50
7. Coral Safe Natural SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Spray
BEST NATURAL SPRAY SUNSCREEN
It may come in a more traditional spray bottle, but the Coral Safe Natural SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Spray prides itself on its natural and biodegradable mineral formula. The formula is also excellent for sensitive skin because Coral Safe uses non-nano zinc oxide and titanium oxide, meaning the mineral particles are bigger and therefore more difficult to absorb into skin. Add in other skin-rejuvenating plant-based ingredients like aloe, green tea, sunflower and mango and you can see why this is a winning natural spray sunscreen.
Read more: Best Natural Sunscreens
Coral Safe Natural SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Spray
8. Banana Boat Ultra Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 100 Sunscreen Spray
ALL THE SPF
The Banana Boat Ultra Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 100 Sunscreen Spray offers tank-level protection for your skin. With jacked-up levels of sun-absorbing chemicals, Banana Boat claims 99% protection from burning UV rays. But despite the heavy protection, this spray sunscreen still goes on light, sprays well and absorbs nicely. So if you know you burn easily, why not pull out the big guns?
Banana Boat Ultra Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 100 Sunscreen Spray
9. Banana Boat Simply Protect Sensitive Sunscreen Spray
A few years ago, I went to an all-day three-day music festival in Miami. I used the Banana Boat Simply Protect Sensitive Sunscreen Spray the entire time and only got burned in the places I didn’t spray, like my ears. Go figure.
This spray combines the best of both sunscreen worlds by using a mineral, zinc oxide, as well as chemicals to block the sun. I got pretty sweaty, but this sunscreen didn’t irritate my skin and held up great.