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I have a friend I constantly have to nag about sunscreen. Throughout the year (be in the dead of winter or the brutal middle of summer) she sends me photos of her tanned skin, sometimes sporting blotches of red and pink. And even though she tells me she doesn’t burn easily because of her Latino heritage, I still shove the sunscreen bottle in her face. Thankfully she has gotten better with her skincare routine when it comes to the sun and applies sunscreen spray liberally whenever I’m with her at the beach.

Spray sunscreen is still a relatively new product and while it prides itself on its sun protection and ease of application, more and more studies have found that using aerosol sunscreen is dangerous. Not only can you not control where the lotion is spraying, the bottle specifically says not to spray the product onto the face but rather spray onto your hands and rub in.

One mother followed these instructions, rubbing Banana Boat SPF 50 broad spectrum kid’s sunscreen onto her hands before applying it to her 14-month old daughter’s face. The bottle said it was safe to use on kids over 6 months old, however, a few hours later the mother was shocked to see that her daughter’s face was covered in severe burns.

In a post, Rebecaa Cannon shared her thoughts:

Kyla is back home after another hospital trip this morning due to extream swelling but she is doing ok and is in good spirits .. please watch and be carful when using aerosolized sunscreen ! I have done a lot of research. Since coming home and have found a disturbing amount of cases like ours. I don’t know why it’s not removed from the shelves !! Pictures from first to last is from yesterday morning to this afternoon please be carful the sunscreen used was banana boat spf 50 broad spectrum kids sunscreen — have spoken with banana boat and at this point besides a reimbursement for the product not sounding like they are going to do anything

According to Cannon, Kyla didn’t even go into the sun when she was wearing the sunscreen.

Cannon isn’t the only one sharing her disgust about spray sunscreens. Consumer Reports has suggested that children shouldn’t even be near the chemical sunscreens. According to a 2014 report, children are at risk of inhaling chemicals in the spray. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to publish an complete analysis of the product, and because of that, Consumer Reports suggests that the best sunscreen to use on children is sunscreen lotion or even sunscreen sticks.

Sunscreen, along with protective clothing, can help prevent skin cancer as well as annoying burns that make you want to rib your skin off. Try to apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and use broad specrum lotions with at least SPF 30 on the label.

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Using something like Sun Bum is the perfect alternative to spray sunscreen lotions. It’s dermotologist approved and is perfect for sensitive skin.

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Lyndsay Burginger is a food and lifestyle writer as well as the Managing Editor of Wide Open Eats. Lyndsay has worked for companies such as America's Test Kitchen and Disney, and holds degrees in Creative Writing and Culinary Arts. When she's not writing or cooking you can find Lyndsay traveling ...Read more
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