Sunscreen Sticks And Sprays: What To Look For

Trusted Health Products
Written By Kevin Kerfoot / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Research suggests that correct daily sunscreen use could significantly cut the incidence of melanoma. This is why dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology advise their patients that the best sunscreen is the one they’ll wear. For many families, especially those with young children, this often includes stick and spray sunscreens in addition to lotions. “Sticks are easy for under the eyes and the backs of the hands, while spray sunscreens are often easier to apply on children,” says board-certified dermatologist Debra Wattenberg, MD, FAAD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “However, it’s important to take precautions when using stick and spray sunscreens to ensure the best protection for you and your family.”

Look for sticks and sprays that are broad-spectrum, water-resistant and have an SPF of 30 or higher. Broad spectrum” means that the sunscreen will protect against both types of harmful ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer and not just against the ones that cause sunburn. For the best protection with stick sunscreen, for each area of skin you’re protecting, apply four passes back and forth. Doing this will help ensure that you’re using enough sunscreen to be protected. Rub it in afterwards for an even layer of coverage.

Most adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen to fully cover the body. Since it can be difficult to determine how much spray sunscreen is enough, a good rule of thumb is to spray until your skin glistens. It’s also important to remember that a typical six-ounce bottle of spray sunscreen contains six applications. Hold the nozzle close to your skin and spray generously. To ensure that you didn’t miss any spots and that you have an even layer of coverage, rub the sunscreen in thoroughly after spraying. Do not inhale spray sunscreen, and never spray sunscreen around or near your face or mouth. Instead, spray the sunscreen on your hands first and then apply it to your face.

Avoid using spray sunscreen on windy days because these conditions make it more difficult to apply the sunscreen and easier to accidentally inhale it. Although sunscreen isn’t usually flammable, it can be when used in aerosol form. Never spray it by a grill, candles or other sources of fire, and make sure it is thoroughly rubbed in and dry before approaching any open flames. Since no sunscreen blocks 100 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, it’s also important to seek shade and wear protective clothing whenever possible, including a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection. “No matter what type of sunscreen you use, make sure you reapply it every two hours when outdoors or immediately after swimming or sweating,” Wattenberg added. “If you have questions about which type of sunscreen to use for you and your family, ask a board-certified dermatologist for help.”

Zinc Oxide Nanoparticle Sunscreens

While zinc oxide (ZnO) has long been recognized as an effective sunscreen agent, there have been calls for sunscreens containing ZnO nanoparticles to be banned because of potential toxicity and the need for caution in the absence of safety data in humans. An important study – in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology - provides the first direct evidence that intact ZnO nanoparticles neither penetrate the human skin barrier nor cause cellular toxicity after repeated application to human volunteers under in-use conditions. This confirms that the known benefits of using ZnO nanoparticles in sunscreens clearly outweigh the risks.

Investigators studied the safety of repeated application of agglomerated ZnO nanoparticles applied to five human volunteers - 20 to 30 years old - over five days. This mimics normal product use by consumers. They applied ZnO nanoparticles suspended in a commercial sunscreen base to the skin of volunteers hourly for six hours and daily for five days. Using multiphoton tomography with fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, they showed that the nanoparticles remained within the superficial layers of the stratum corneum and in the skin furrows. The fate of ZnO nanoparticles was also characterized in excised human skin in vitro.

They did not penetrate the viable epidermis and no cellular toxicity was seen, even after repeated hourly or daily applications typically used for sunscreens. "The terrible consequences of skin cancer and photoaging are much greater than any toxicity risk posed by approved sunscreens," says lead investigator Michael S. Roberts, Ph.D., of the Therapeutics Research Centre, The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Translational Research Institute, Brisbane, and School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Sansom Institute, Adelaide, QLD, Australia. "This study has shown that sunscreens containing nano ZnO can be repeatedly applied to the skin with minimal risk of any toxicity. We hope that these findings will help improve consumer confidence in these products, and in turn lead to better sun protection and reduction in ultraviolet-induced skin aging and cancer cases.”

Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list. 

Written By:

With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.

Image by chezbeate from Pixabay 


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