By now, you should be familiar with the number-one sunscreen rule: Always wear it. Regardless of skin tone, this is an essential everyday step to keep your skin glowing and healthy, and protecting your body from the sun’s powerful rays is just as important as protecting your face. With Summer Fridays and vacations upon us, it’s time to consider adding sunscreen mists to your sun-protection plan. For those not keen on rubbing in creamy, white sunscreen all over your body — which includes me and my olive-toned skin — a generous spritz of sunscreen can provide a white-cast-free, convenient alternative.
Mist sunscreens can get a bad reputation because of their application method; it can be difficult to gauge how much you’ve applied. However, board-certified dermatologist Adeline Kikam, also known as @brownskinderm on Instagram, says they’re just as effective as traditional sunscreen formats for protecting skin from UVR (ultraviolet radiation) when used correctly. “There are no real, major differences in the formulation [between a cream and mist sunscreen],” says Kikam.
When an adequate amount (Kikam says comparable to a shot glass) is applied correctly and the SPF number is 30 or above, mist and cream sunscreens “should protect your skin equally,” she says. Furthermore, the different texture and application style have their own advantages for different skin types and lifestyles. “The convenience and lightweight, airy application of a mist can make the biggest difference for someone always on the go, an athlete, or children,” says Kikam, who also recommends spray sunscreens for those with oily skin since they tend to be more breathable and less greasy.
Kikam stresses the importance of application. “One light spritz will not do the trick,” she says. Unfortunately, when it comes to mists, under-application is extremely common since a mist makes it harder to know if you’d applied enough, as opposed to a handful of lotion you can see every drop of. “It’s important to spend double the time when spraying sunscreen, making sure to confirm build-up of sunscreen on the skin and rubbing it into the skin for even coverage,” says Kikam.
With expert advice in mind and a season of outdoor plans ahead, you’re ready to check out the best sunscreen mists, recommended by dermatologists and Allure editors, to protect your skin this summer and all year.