Time for a little fun in the sun, and a lovely SunSpray airbrush tan before you slip into your swimsuit, grab your towel, and head for that lounge chair. Pure relaxation! But before all that relaxing can happen you need to do one more thing….put on your SUNSCREEN!

The best sunscreens for spray tans are oil-free and alcohol-free, at least an SPF 30, and a broad-spectrum formula, which protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Stay away from the aerosol type of sunblock as they can dry out your skin and sunless tan. Opt for a lotion or creme formula instead.

link to amazon sum bum sunscreen

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click and purchase, I may make a commission. Read my full disclosure here.

Heading out on your Spring Break Vacation?

If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet this is who I use to book my getaways.

There are really great places to rent all over the world and the renter and homeowner are both checked so you can feel comfortable safely renting through the service.

If you are new to Airbnb great! I was able to get you $40 toward your first trip for signing up. Just click through the link and follow the easy steps to be on your way.

I will wait right here while you are booking 🙂

OK now that you have your plans in place and you have your spray tan appointment booked let’s shop for a sunscreen that is spray tan friendly.

What Is The Best Sunscreen After My Spray Tan?

My usual answer is:

  • Choose an oil-free sunscreen lotion
  • Stay away from the aerosol or spray-on sunblock because they don’t go on evenly, and contain alcohol that can dry your tan out making it fade unevenly
  • Check the expiration date on any products you have at home

Sounds pretty easy, until you get to the store and stand in the aisle with all 10 million bottles of sunscreen and your eyes glaze over and you can’t remember what I said or how you can possibly choose just one tube in the sea of SPF containers.

Then I get a text message that says, “Which one do I pick?”

So I decided to pull together a few of my favorite sunscreens to use after your spray tan.

But first things first…….

How Does Sunscreen Work?

Writing this blog post for y’all I learned quite a few things about sunblock!

The first thing I learned is that they don’t want you to call it sunblock because it doesn’t completely block the sun’s harmful rays. It filters harmful rays; therefore, it is called sunscreen.

There are two different types of sunscreen; mineral-based physical barrier (think zinc oxide) and chemical-based.

They either reflect the sun’s harmful rays away from our skin (mineral-based) or they absorb the rays and break them down releasing them as heat so they are not absorbed into our skin (chemical-based).

Some sunscreens are a combination type of product that will do both.

Sunscreen comes in lotions, creams, sticks, sprays, and powders.  It can be all-natural and organic. Oil-based or oil-free.  For everyday use or water resistant for outdoor activities.

There is also some controversy on several of the commonly used ingredients contained in chemical sunscreens. Studies linking ingredients like oxybenzone, homosalate, and octinoxate to possible endocrine disruption.  I tried to steer clear of the products that contain those ingredients and choose the safest products that I could find on the market.

So many things to consider.

……And on top of all that, then we have to make sure the sunscreen that you choose is safe for your spray tan so it doesn’t ruin and remove your fresh vacation tan.

How To Find A Safe Sunscreen To Use

The Skin Cancer Foundation and the Environmental Working Group both have lists of approved sunscreens that I worked off of to choose the products that offered the best SPF protection, top-rated ingredients, and were the safest for you and your spray tan.

Some of these are all-natural and some of them are not.

Just so everyone has options that appeal to their personal choice.

I also automatically removed the spray sunscreen products from consideration as I feel that the propellant and alcohol in them react with sunless tans creating a patchy fade, and NOBODY wants that business happening.

sunburn after spray on sunscreen

And if you follow me on FB you would have seen that last summer after using an aerosol spray sunscreen on my arms, chest, and back that I fried myself.

I say NOT EFFECTIVE PROTECTION.

Events To Spray Tan For:

How To Apply Sunscreen

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends when applying your sunscreen lotion to follow these simple rules:

  • Choose a sunscreen that has at least an SPF of 30
  • Apply your sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside to give it time to absorb
  • Use a shot glass size of the product to cover your body
  • Don’t forget all the little bits. Ears, lips, back of your neck, and under those swimsuit straps
  • Reapply every 2 hours and immediately after swimming
  • Don’t rely just on your sunscreen. Hats, UV-blocking clothing, and the shade to get out of the sun

And then there is one of the most common questions I get asked about spray tans……

Does Spray Tan Have Sunscreen or Block The UV Rays?

EMPHATICALLY NO!!!!

You will burn right through your spray tan. A spray tan does NOT provide you with ANY sun protection so please please wear your sunscreen! (said in my best serious momma voice)

Related Articles:

So without further ado, let’s get to my favorite picks:

Kathryn’s Top Best Sunscreens That Won’t Ruin Your Spray Tan And Are Safe For Your Skin

Best Sunscreen For Face And Body: Supergoop! SPF Bestsellers Starter Kit, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen for Face & Body

Buy this sunscreen kit on Amazon

Supergoop has put together a really nice starter kit of their top favorite SPF’s for your face and body. Reef-friendly, oxybenzone & octinoxate-free including clean ingredients to nourish & protect your skin. This is a spray tan-friendly product lineup.

Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 is their broad spectrum sunscreen with sunflower extract. UVA & UVB protection without feeling sticky. Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 is totally invisible, oil-free, and scentless sunscreen protection for all skin types. Glowscreen SPF 40 broad-spectrum sunscreen helps filter blue light and doubles as a primer.


Best Overall Sunscreen: Alba Botanica Sunscreen Lotion

Shop this sunscreen on Amazon

I LOVE the Alba Botanica line of products having used several of their sunscreens for myself and my boys.

They are made with top-quality natural sunscreen ingredients, rated a 2 for ingredient safety by the EWG website, and are well-reviewed on Amazon.

This company has been doing it right for a long time! They are also missing all of the ingredients that I caution you to stay away from when wearing your spray tan.

Protection: UVA/UVB, SPF 30, Broad Spectrum, Water Resistant up to 80 minutes, this is a chemical-based sunscreen and must be applied 15 min before sun exposure.

Features: Revitalizing non-greasy, quick-absorbing, perfect for daily wear, Sensitive skin-friendly

Bonus: Paraben Free, Sulfate Free, Phthalate Free, Not Tested on Animals, Vegetarian, Spray Tan Friendly


Best Mineral Sunscreen For Face: COOLA Organic Mineral Matte Sunscreen

amazon link to coola sunscreen for faces

Shop this sunscreen on Amazon

Coola is a premium brand of sunscreens and self-tanning products!

Lightly tinted, Preservative-free formula, Natural BB finish, Water Resistant (40 minutes), No nano-sized particles

Coola is rated a 1 by EWG for top quality safe SPF ingredients,  they have different sunscreen products and rave reviews. Amazon Best Seller also.

Give your skin an immediate line-smoothing matte finish and fight signs of aging caused by the sun with this antioxidant-infused farm-to-face sourced broad spectrum SPF 30 mineral sunscreen. This unscented and lightly tinted formula is made with natural rosehip oil which is rich in free-radical fighting vitamin c. Naturally calming evening primrose and flaxseed oils deliver abundant omega-3 and gamma-linoleic acid to improve elasticity and help skin retain moisture. Natural shea butter smoothes and hydrates while the Phyto-protector plankton extract rejuvenates the skin. Formulated for all skin types and tones, including those that are especially sensitive or oily.

Protection: UVA/UVB, Broad Spectrum, SPF 30, Water Resistant up to 40 minutes, mineral sunscreen.

Features: Good for all skin types including Acne and Rosacea, Sensitive skin-friendly, and won’t clog pores.

Bonus: Eco-Cert Zinc Oxide, Paraben Free, Gluten Free, Cruelty-Free, Spray Tan Friendly


Best Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin: EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Face Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

amazon link to elta md sunscreen

Shop this sunscreen on Amazon

Elta MD is a great mineral-based physical barrier sunscreen lotion.  Lightly tinted to keep away the white sunscreen mask this is perfect for under your makeup.

It is gentle and suitable for sensitive skin, dries nicely, and can be used on both face and body. 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and rated a 2 for ingredient safety on EWG’s website.

This sunscreen looks good on your skin and won’t ruin your spray tan.

Protection: UVA/UVB, Broad spectrum, SPF 41, Mineral-Based Zinc Oxide Formula

Features: Lightly tinted, won’t clog pores, fragrance-free, Sensitive skin-friendly,

Bonus: Made in the USA, Spray Tan Friendly


Best Sunscreen For Kids And Babies: Babyganics SPF 50 Baby Sunscreen

Shop this sunscreen on Amazon

The Babyganics sunscreen is formulated without PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nano-particles. All those things we DON’T want on our pretty spray tans or on our babies.

This sunscreen made with all mineral actives: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide

I use this one when we go out on our boat.  It gives me great protection blocking the rays off the water.

Perfect for high exposure areas and targeted protection

This product has been rated by the EWG website and has been dermatologist tested and approved. The ingredients are safe won’t remove your spray tan, and are top-rated on Amazon.

Protection: UVA/UVB, Broad Spectrum, SPF 50+, Water-resistant (80 minutes)

Features: Safe for sensitive skin, Tear-free, Non-allergenic, Pediatrician & Dermatologist tested, Product not tested on animals

Bonus: Paraben Free, Spray Tan Friendly


Best Moisturizing Sunscreen: Sun Bum Original Scent SPF 30 Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion

Shop this sunscreen on Amazon

Sun Bum is a small company in Cocoa Beach, Florida that manufactures a great sunscreen and a highly rated baby line called Baby Bum.  So cute!

EWG has rated Sun Bum a 2 on its ingredient safety listing, it is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and is a best seller on Amazon.

People really seem to love this all-natural sunscreen!

Sometimes it’s just easier to wear the same thing that you are putting on the kiddos.  There is a lotion and a convenient stick for quick swipes on the shoulders or little noses. Sunless Tan safe.

Protection: UVA/UVB, Broad Spectrum, water-resistant up to 80 minutes

Features: Hypoallergenic ingredients, all-natural, Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, Pediatrician Approved

Bonus: Paraben Free, Phthalate Free, PABA Free, Cruelty-Free, Spray Tan Friendly


Best Mineral Powder Sunscreen: Supergoop! (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder, Makeup Setting Powder + Broad Spectrum SPF 35 PA+++ Sunscreen

Check this mineral sunscreen on Amazon

I just had to throw this in! The full mineral powder sunscreens are super easy to use and pop on over top of your makeup. And the Supergoop! (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder, Broad Spectrum SPF 35 has several colors to choose from. From translucent to deep which is something I haven’t seen before. Check it out. Completely spray tan friendly!


Best Dog Sunscreen Handy Hound Paw and Snout Bundle | Paw Butter | SnoutScreen | 4 oz

Y’all know I LOVE my pups, I didn’t want to leave them out. So here is a sunscreen option for our fur babies, when they are spending beach time or outside time with us because they need protection from the sun too.

Snout Screen Dog Sunscreen on Amazon

Shop this doggie sunscreen on Amazon

This doggie sunscreen is a MOISTURIZER, SUN PROTECTANT, and BUG REPELLANT. All the good things!

It’s an all-natural vegan organic balm to heal dry, rough, chapped, cracked noses and helps protect against the damaging UV rays of the sun.

And contains yummy ingredients like Candelilla Wax, Cupuacu Butter, Coconut, Raspberry Seed, Carrot Seed, Cedarwood, Lavender, Rose Geranium

And NO ZINC because that is toxic to dogs and we love our fur babies!


Final Thoughts: Kathryn’s Favorite Spray Tan Safe Sunscreens

I know I just overwhelmed you with a ton of information. Finding sunscreens that were spray tan friendly, safe and effective was actually NOT as easy as I thought it was gonna be. I hope this list helps you choose one.

Grab your favorite sunscreen and get ready for a great spring break vacation and an amazing summer!!!


Need to BOOK A SPRAY TAN? Head over to the contact page for all the info.

Wondering what the best self-tanning mousse is? My favorite is Rose Gold check it out here

As a small business owner, I can’t stock all the amazing products that are available in the world of sunless tanning but I can give you my professional opinion.


Ready To Start Your Own Spray Tan Business:

Mobile, home-based, or salon if you need help getting started then check out my FREE resources for easy steps to setting up your own sunless tanning business.

Professional advice on choosing the best spray tan equipment

Spray tan equipment reviews

Spray tanning business resources to help you learn and grow

Wholesale self-tanning products

Love the article you just read? Think your spray tan clients would like to read it too? SHARE my spray tan tips with your clients by DIRECTLY LINKING to my webpage. Please don’t change or otherwise alter any content or claim as your own. No one likes a copycat.

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