Why experts warn against sun protection spray and powder
The times when sun protection was only applied on hot days according to the motto “Ah, right, I could still apply sunscreen!” are long gone. In 2022 we will take sun protection more seriously than ever. Continue reading this post on the Escort Service Website.
Rightly so! According to the Cancer Research Foundation, overexposure to UV rays is responsible for 86 per cent of all melanomas (skin cancer), of which 86 per cent are preventable. According to studies, regular sun protection reduces the risk of squamous cell cancer (a type of skin cancer) by 40 per cent.
It is, therefore, hardly surprising that sun protection has now become big business – and that the industry is trying to cater to every taste. So the kind of sunscreen you choose to use (whether it’s a spray bottle, stick, or lotion) is now a little more complicated than it used to be when you had no choice but to smear a smooth, white paste onto your skin. Nevertheless, cosmetic chemists and dermatologists are currently warning about some of these sunscreen types.
Is sunscreen spray a good choice?
Cosmetic chemist Michelle Wong recently went viral on Instagram with her video on aerosol sunscreen. With these sprays, you must press the spray button and voilà: sunscreen mist. “The problem with these sprays is that they contain a lot of fuels. These are liquefied gases,” explains Michelle. Most sunscreen sprays contain these fuels, which push the product out of the bottle and are usually listed in the ingredients as propane, butane, isobutane, or hydrocarbon (hydrocarbon). Michelle cites a new Australian study that found a standard sunscreen spray can be made up of 30 to 60% propellants. In other words, you’re getting about a third less sunscreen than the bottle says because the SPF tests are done without the fuels, Michelle explains.
She adds that some of the fuels also end up on the skin as a liquid, making it very difficult to know how much sunscreen you’ve put on. You might use too little, which can be dangerous in the sun. The comments below Michelle’s video prove that many people have had negative experiences with these sun sprays, such as painful burns. And dermatologists also agree that these sprays do not guarantee the best protection. “[Sunscreen aerosols] are not as good as sunscreen because they don’t provide reliable coverage,” confirms dermatologist Dr Walayat Hussain. He says a lot of this depends on how far away the spray is from the skin when you spray it and how long you spray an area of the body. But because these liquefied gases feel like regular sunscreen, it’s sometimes difficult to tell when you’ve applied enough.
It also makes a difference whether you spray the spray on the skin outside or inside. “Wind is often a problem,” Michelle tells R29. “There is another study on spray sunscreen, and wind found that when you are six mph wind, you lose around 32% to 79% of the spray, and at 12 mph, you lose 28% to 93%. That’s light to medium wind.” In other words, if the weather conditions aren’t right, the sunscreen can almost completely miss you when you spray it on.
Do sunscreen sprays have any advantage?
Sunscreen mist is often significantly lighter and dries faster, so makeup wearers like to use sprays that don’t need to be rubbed into the skin. According to Dr Hussain, sunscreen is better than nothing. “Some people don’t like the greasy feel of cream on their hands either. You can avoid that with a spray.”
Michelle agrees. “If you use this to apply enough sunscreen, sprays are fine. It’s just hard to tell when you’ve had enough.” So she recommends a pump spray (rather than a sunscreen mist) that lets you measure how many pumps you need before you apply. “For the face, it should be about a quarter teaspoon,” she advises and cautions against inhaling the sunscreen.
If you want a sunscreen spray, we recommend the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Spray SPF 50+ (€20.99 via DocMorris), which absorbs quickly. Also good: is the invisible Vichy Capital Soleil Solar Protective Water Hydrating SPF 50 (€16.45 via LookFantastic). If you don’t want to spend that much money, the Nivea Sun Protection & Care LSF 50+ (€9.95 via dm) is a great option.
Does sun powder provide good protection?
Aerosol sprays are not the only sun protection products being critically questioned this summer: Because they are small enough to put in your handbag and reapply now and then, countless beauty brands are bringing sun protection powder onto the market. Michelle and Dr Hussain aren’t big fans of that, though.
“I think sunscreen powder is a misleading term,” says Michelle. “The data shows that you must apply many products to be adequately protected.” In another Instagram post, she shows how much powder it takes to protect even a small skin area from the sun’s rays. Spoilers: very, very much. “Sun powder is not a good option to protect your skin from the sun,” Michelle wrote under the post. “I would not recommend powder as the main sunscreen. I even think it’s not even suitable for in-between applications.”
There is a lot of agreement from experts in the comments. “I can’t stand them. So misleading!” writes Australian dermatologist Dr Natasha Cook, and London dermatologist Dr Zena Willsmore criticizes the powder for its enormous price. As for application, Michelle tells R29 that a famous skincare brand recommends rubbing the powder into the skin for 60 seconds. “But very few people do that,” she says, “and the whole thing would be costly.” Instead, she recommends either carefully applying sunscreen lotion in between or using a spray.
Dr Hussain is also somewhat critical of powder sunscreen. “I think the SPF rating is very misleading. It would take a lot of powder to get that protection,” he says. “But that also applies to sunscreen.” He recommends always wearing sunscreen from March to September; this can also vary depending on the skin type. “If you’re outside in the summer, we recommend reapplying every two hours because the sunscreen evaporates. But if you’ve been in the water and dried yourself off afterwards, you should immediately apply lotion afterwards.”