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Spray Sunscreen And Babies: Everything You Need To Know

Posted on June 29 2020

Mom and daughter outside after using spray sunscreen

Spray sunscreen has become pretty popular over the last several years. This is probably because it’s easier to apply than lotion or cream sunscreen — especially on squirmy kids who are excited to play in the sun!

Like anything you put on your and your baby’s skin, you want to make sure spray sunscreen is safe and effective. Sprays can work just as well as regular sunscreens as long as you’re using them the right way.

In this article, find out everything you need to know when it comes to correctly applying spray sunscreen and choosing the best one for your family!

Are Spray Sunscreens Effective?

kids playing in the ocean waves wearing spray sunscreen

If you’re wondering whether or not spray sunscreens protect your skin from the sun’s rays, they do.

But even though this type of sunscreen protects your skin and goes on easier than traditional sunscreen, it can sometimes be hard to tell if you’ve applied enough. (Don’t worry; we’ll talk about application later!)

Spray sunscreens can be tricky because of the way they’re made. Because aerosol (what makes up most spray formulas) sunscreens are thinner than traditional sunscreens, you’ll need to apply more than you may think.

Unfortunately, there are other misconceptions about how to apply this type of sunscreen as well.

Setting all of the drawbacks aside, spray sunscreen is better than no sunscreen. However, there are definitely risks associated with sprays. Keep reading to understand those risks and learn how to safely use spray sunscreen!

Are Spray Sunscreens Harmful To Babies?

mom laying on beach with baby

According to the FDA, babies six months and younger should not use any kind of sunscreen. Because your baby’s skin isn’t mature enough yet to endure exposure to ingredients found in sunscreens, it’s best to keep them out of the sun.

Use alternative methods of sun protection, like keeping your baby in the shade, fully covering your baby’s skin with long-sleeves or pants, and giving your baby a sun hat to wear to protect their face and neck.

So, are spray sunscreens harmful to babies older than six months? It really depends on which one you’re using.

Keep in mind that whatever you’re spraying, your baby can inhale via aerosol. Spray sunscreen can irritate your baby’s lungs and cause them to cough if inhaled.

Additionally, it can be dangerous to your baby’s skin. Remember: your little one’s skin isn’t fully developed, so it can’t process chemicals the way yours can. It’s also important to realize that skin is an organ and acts like a sponge, so whatever you put on your skin can get in your skin.

The good news is that mineral-based sunscreens are safe and effective for protecting your baby’s skin and your family’s.

And that’s just what we offer here at Babo Botanicals! Our line of mineral-based sunscreens gives your family the safest and best protection while you’re out in the sun.

Try our Sheer Zinc Continuous Spray Sunscreen, which gives you the benefits of a spray without the harmful side effects! It’s gently formulated with 100% non-nano zinc oxide and perfect for extra sensitive skin.

This lightweight spray sunscreen is fragrance-free and works great for the entire family, from babies to adults. Plus, it’s water-resistant and reef safe!

What’s In Your Sunscreen?

We briefly mentioned chemicals above, but let’s talk about them in a bit more detail.

Some spray sunscreens contain harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which can lead to hormone disruptions in your body, among other things.

If these two dangerous ingredients are inhaled in large amounts, they may harm your baby. And, of course, they can also irritate your and your baby’s skin.

It’s especially important to choose a gentle, lightweight sunscreen for your baby’s delicate skin and still-developing body. The main active ingredients in your sunscreen should be zinc oxide and titanium oxide.

You’ll read more about these natural minerals and learn how to choose safe sunscreens later in this article.

How Do You Apply Spray Sunscreen?

Parents and kid playing soccer while wearing spray sunscreen

Are you wondering how much spray sunscreen is enough? 

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends spraying until your skin glistens. For correct application, hold the nozzle close to your skin and spray an even layer.

Next, rub the sunscreen in to make sure you didn’t miss any spots. Even fine sprays can leave an uneven layer on your skin, so you still need to rub them in to get the best coverage.

Important note: when you’re using a spray sunscreen, always apply it outside. The spray can affect the air quality in your home — depending on what type of spray you’re using — and it can make your floors slippery and unsafe.

If you’re trying to apply spray sunscreen on a windy day, you may not be able to get the full SPF coverage because of the wind blowing the spray away. Make sure the air is calm before you start spraying.

Applying Spray Sunscreen To Your Face

Because of the dangers we mentioned above about inhaling the spray, never apply sunscreen directly to your or your baby’s face.

If you do that, you’re spraying it directly on the nose and mouth, making it unsafe for both you and your baby. Instead, spray the sunscreen generously into your hands and then rub it onto your face.

When it’s difficult to apply sunscreen to your baby’s face, try our Fragrance Free SPF 50 Baby Face Mineral Sunscreen Stick. It glides on sheer and is gently formulated with 100% non-nano zinc oxide. This lightweight baby sunscreen is fragrance-free and formulated for very sensitive skin.

And for older kids who need a little extra sun protection, try our Clear Zinc Sunscreen Stick SPF 30 - Summer Scent. This broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sport zinc stick is great for the face, lips, nose, ears, and anywhere with extra sensitive skin!

It also goes on clear, is non-greasy, and rubs in well. Our hypoallergenic formula contains the power-packed protection of zinc, plus rich, skin-soothing certified organic oils, including Jojoba.

How To Choose The Right Spray Sunscreen

siblings hugging while sitting on the beach

When choosing the right spray sunscreen for your family, look for a non-aerosol spray.

Taking it a step further, to ensure the safest product for your family, choose a mineral-based sunscreen, like the Sheer Zinc Continuous Spray SPF 30 that we mentioned above.

Babo Botanicals’s Sheer Zinc Continuous Spray SPF 30 is designed with a bag on valve technology. This means it has a non-aerosol, eco-friendly, chemical-free dispensing system that is safe for the entire family.

If you’ve never heard of a non-aerosol sunscreen spray or bag on valve technology, let us explain.

Powered by air, this innovative packaging uses only compressed air instead of the propellant chemicals used in aerosol cans. When the button is pushed, air pressure squeezes the sunscreen out of the airless bag inside.

This means no potentially harmful chemicals are sprayed into the atmosphere or onto your or your baby’s skin! What’s more, it’s reef safe, free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, and hypoallergenic.

What To Avoid

We’ve established by now that it’s important to avoid aerosol sprays altogether.

Aerosol sprays are very dangerous for your baby — and you, for that matter! — and are highly flammable. You definitely don’t want to apply a flammable product to your baby’s skin!

Aerosols also contain alcohol and other dangerous chemicals that can easily be inhaled when sprayed. And to top it off, the chemicals found in traditional sprays are known to harm coral reefs!

Also, stay away from products that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are dangerous chemicals. Remember to look for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are natural minerals.

Avoid sulfates, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, dyes, sodium chloride, and formaldehyde — just to name a few — because these ingredients tend to cause skin irritations, especially in babies.

Giving Your Family The Best Protection

family having fun outside while wearing spray sunscreen

Summing up what you’ve learned about spray sunscreen, remember to use alternative sun-protection measures for your baby if they’re younger than six months old (for example, keep them in the shade).

Make sure you and your family stay safe by using a non-aerosol spray sunscreen. Aerosol sprays can be dangerous if inhaled, especially to your little baby.

Finally, remember to avoid harsh chemicals, like oxybenzone and octinoxate, and choose a spray made with natural minerals instead.

Give your family the best sun protection with Babo Botanicals's mineral-based sunscreen line!

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