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Spray Or Lotion: Which Sunscreen Works Best?

Before hitting the beach this summer, it's important to apply the proper amount of sunscreen.
Before hitting the beach this summer, it's important to apply the proper amount of sunscreen. Photo Credit: Westchester Medical Center

The short answer is: it doesn’t matter -- as long as you wear sunscreen in some form, said Arlene Cohen, oncology nurse at HealthAlliance Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth).

Cohen recommends creams for drier skin and the face, gels for hairy areas like the scalp or male chest and sticks for the sensitive area around the eyes. Overall, she favors a visible form of sunscreen over the sprays. “With creams and lotions, you know there’s adequate coverage because you can see it,” Cohen said. “Plus, research is still underway about whether inhalation of sprays is harmful; make sure that when you’re spraying kids, the wind isn’t blowing the spray into their mouths.”

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF of 30 or higher, she said, using enough to cover the entire body (about 1.5 ounces). “Make sure the sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays," said Cohen. "While both cause sunburn, UVB rays play the key role in causing cancer.”

Whatever type of sunscreen you use, “reapply it every two hours,” said Cohen.

Have a health-related question for a WMCHealth physician or specialist? Email, with “Just the Facts” in the subject heading to be featured in a future issue.

For more information on the services offered by WMCHealth, click here.

Daily Voice produced this article as part of a paid Content Partnership with our advertiser, Westchester Medical Center

We are highly selective with our Content Partners, and only share stories that we believe are truly valuable to the communities we serve.

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