I have never liked aerosol spray sunscreen. Why? Because I feel like it is hard to know how much sunscreen you have sprayed on your body and if the courage is even. I also feel like not rubbing in the sunscreen would make it less effective. These reasons are why I have never used aerosol spray sunscreen.
There are four agencies (FDA, Consumer Reports, EWG, and American Academy of Dermatology) that recommend avoiding aerosol spray sunscreen. Four! The main reasons why they recommend avoiding aerosol spray sunscreen are the dangers of inhaling the sunscreen, not applying sunscreen properly and having exposed areas of skin, as well as not using enough sunscreen to properly protect your skin from the suns harmful rays.
Recently, the FDA started an investigation about the dangers and health risks of inhaling aerosol spray sunscreen. The FDA is investigating aerosol spray sunscreen products to ensure they are effective and to determine if they present a safety concern when inhaled. Currently, the FDA has requested additional data from aerosol spray sunscreen manufacturers but has not stopped manufacturing of the product.
Consumer Reports also cautions users to “use spray sunscreen carefully” and to “avoid using sprays on children.”
EWG Sun Safety campaign states, “Given the ease of applying them on squirming kids and hard-to-reach areas, these super-popular aerosolized sunscreens may seem like a dream come true. But they may pose serious inhalation risks. They certainly make it too easy to apply too little or miss a spot.”
The American Academy of Dermatology also cautions against spray sunscreen usage, stating, “The challenge in using spray sunscreen is that it is difficult to know if you have used enough sunscreen to cover all sun exposed areas of the body, which may result in inadequate coverage.”
Another concern with aerosol spray sunscreen is, it is flammable. The FDA reported five separate incidents in recent years in which people who were wearing spray sunscreen near a source of flames were seriously burned.
Bret Sigworth suffered burns after applying aerosol spray sunscreen and, after rubbing it in, went back to his BBQ where he caught on fire. I don’t know about you, but I would feel terribly if my child caught fire because of the sunscreen I was using. I know it doesn’t happen often, but the fact of the matter is, it DOES happen.
Consumer Reports also recommends not using aerosol spray sunscreen. “We also advise that you don’t use any spray sunscreens on your children. The Food and Drug Administration is exploring the risks of inhaling spray sunscreens, which are greater among children. Until the agency completes it analysis, we recommend that spray sunscreens not be used on or by children unless you have no other product available. If that’s the case, spray it on your hands first, then rub it on your child. And as will all sunscreens, be especially careful when applying it to a child’s face, taking care to avoid eyes and mouth.”
EWG recommends avoiding spray sunscreens entirely. “These ingredients are not meant to be inhaled into the lungs.“
After reading all of this, I stand by my decision to not use aerosol spray sunscreen and hope you will reconsider using it as well.
What are your thoughts?