NEW YORK - There can be many aspects to consider when choosing a sunscreen for the family. The ingredients, the SPF and how often to reapply, should all be considered when protecting your loved ones from the sun.
According to Consumer Reports, how you apply sunscreen may be equally as important. Specifically, if you aren't applying spray sunscreens correctly, you can still get burned.
"The problem isn't with the spray sunscreens themselves, it's just that most people don't apply them correctly," said Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports health editor.
Doing a quick spray around your body with sunscreen may seem convenient, but it isn't enough. Consumer Reports testing of sunscreens found that great care needs to be taken to ensure skin is properly covered. Proper spray sunscreen technique is to hold the nozzle close to the skin and spray until skin glistens. Then, rub the sunscreen in for more even coverage.
"I'm sure everybody's seen a parent, running after their child at the beach or the pool, spraying behind them," Calvo said. "But that's not an effective way to protect your skin."
While applying sunscreen, be sure not to inhale it, as the mist can cause lung irritation. This is why Consumer Reports recommends not using spray sunscreen on kids. If you do use sprays on children, spray the sunscreen into your hands and then rub onto the skin.
Spray sunscreens aren't very economical either. Since some of the mist goes into the air instead of the skin, you end up using more sunscreen and subsequently spending more money.