Stay Protected With the Best Lightweight SPF Facial Mists
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We updated this article in May 2023 to add more information about each featured product, based on extensive research done by our team.
Sun protection is non-negotiable. Thankfully, there are so many different SPF formulas on the market like the best mineral sunscreens and the best scalp sunscreens to name a few. But sunscreen face sprays and SPF facial mists might just be the product you’ve been missing. These sprays make application and reapplication throughout the day a breeze—but heads up, they aren’t best as your sole method of protection.
“Sun exposure is the leading cause of premature skin aging, which can lead to fine lines and wrinkles, textured skin, hyperpigmentation, and sun spots,” explains Corey L. Hartman, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, AL. “Even worse, excess sun exposure can cause skin cancer, which can be deadly.” However, you can’t just slather it on in the morning and forget about it. “We know people understand the importance of reapplication but are not doing so driven by the effort required,” notes Chris Birchby, Founder and Chief Culture Officer of Coola.
Meet the experts: Corey L. Hartman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist; Chris Birchby, Founder and Chief Culture Officer of Coola; Sarmela Sunder, M.D., a double-board certified facial plastic surgeon; Nava Greenfield, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist; Mona Gohara, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist
That’s where sunscreen face sprays come in since they’re a quick way to reapply SPF. However, there’s a bit of a catch, warns Sarmela Sunder, M.D., double-board certified, fellowship-trained Beverly Hills facial plastic surgeon. It can be difficult to use an adequate amount needed to fully protect your skin. “In general, with facial sprays containing SPF, you don’t get enough on the skin for it to actually be protective and behave at that SPF level,” Dr. Sunder says. “So, a lot of times people get a false sense of security, and don’t apply enough.”
Our top picks
Ahead, find the best SPF facial mist options, according to experts.
Classic Face Sunscreen Mist SPF 50
Dr. Hartman notes that the mist is “easy to apply on bare skin or over makeup, and leaves skin feeling dry.” The addition to Coola’s impressive lineup of SPF formulas features antioxidant-rich ingredients like buriti oil and prickly pear extract. “It’s an incredibly lightweight, non-greasy organic sunscreen mist that helps fight free radicals without slowing you down,” Birchby explains.
Facial Setting Spray Sunscreen SPF 50
This facial setting spray with a high level of broad spectrum sunscreen also includes skin-soothing superstars like glycerin, aloe vera leaf juice, and rosewater. It provides a slightly matte finish that minimizes shine without adding a dry or powdery look to the skin. “This product is so amazing,” one Ulta reviewer writes. “It's a setting spray with sunscreen but it also gives a healthy glow to my skin and leaves it so soft and dewy. Love it!”
(Re) Setting Refreshing Mist SPF 40
Not only is this facial mist great for on-the-go sun protection and reapplication, but it makes for a great makeup setting spray, too. This weightless mist contains silica to help absorb oil, English field mustard and chinawood oil to help filter pollution, and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), a superstar ingredient that helps lock makeup in place and extend its wear. “This setting mist is a total game changer and a must have for the summer,” writes one Sephora customer. “It helps set my makeup without leaving any shine or grease.”
Invisible Daily Defense Face Mist
Dr. Hartman recommends this oil-free, non-comedogenic SPF spray that offers a powerful level of on-the-go, lightweight sun protection. Developed with the brand’s antioxidant complex, it provides protection against environmental aggressors like sun-induced free radicals, pollution, cold, and ozone. “This product is great for on-the-go reapplication, especially over makeup,” Dr. Hartman says. “It’s breathable and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores.”
Face Mist SPF 45
If you’re looking for something sheer, Nava Greenfield, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist recommends this lightweight sunscreen. Not only does it protect your skin against UVA and UVB rays, but it’s also non-comedogenic meaning it won’t clog your pores. Plus, it leaves your skin with a subtle glow.
Anthelios Ultra-Light Body and Face Sunscreen Spray SPF 60
For long days spent in the sun, sand, or water, this SPF spray is the way to go. Both Dr. Greenfield and Dr. Gohara immediately place this spray at the top of their lists. It is truly ultralight, gushes Dr. Greenfield. Its fast absorbency and high SPF make this a winner and it can be used on all skin types. Plus, “This is a great option if you’re going to be more active outside, swimming, riding your bike, hiking, working out,” Dr. Hartman explains. “It's water and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so even when you’re working hard, you’re still protected.”
Ultimate Sun Protection Spray SPF 50+
Triple threat alert: this SPF mist does it all, protecting your face, body, and hair from the sun’s rays. The lightweight, non-greasy, and non-sticky texture makes it as comfortable to wear as it is easy to use. It’s also formulated with xylitol, for soft, healthy skin, and ingredients like rose apple leaf extract to protect cells and prevent DNA damage. “This sunscreen is the best I have ever used,” according to one Sephora reviewer. “It’s light and not greasy or sticky. Coverage is great—I burn very easily and this protects my skin very well.”
PLAY SPF 50 Antioxidant Body Mist
Although not marketed for the face, Mona Gohara, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University, says this is a good option because it’s formulated with Vitamin C, an antioxidant. Antioxidants don’t offer protection against sunburn or skin cancer, but they do offer an additional layer of protection against sun damage, she says.
Set & C Protect SPF 45 Matte Sheer Setting Mist
This refreshing facial mist is enriched with vitamin C, sea minerals, and other healthy skin ingredients for an added boost to the makeup setting, sun protecting formula. In addition to its broad spectrum sun protection, it also helps protect against blue-light damage while providing a semi-matte finish to the skin. “I use it throughout the day over my makeup,” writes one Ulta buyer. “It controls oiliness and has a spf 45. Because it's a spray it doesn't mess up my makeup and it gives me a matte finish. Love this product.”
N°38 Facial Sunscreen Mist
On a hot, summer day, you might need a bit of refreshment in addition to your sun protection. That’s where this rejuvenating, fine facial mist comes in: with cucumber fruit extract skin stays soothed and hydrated, while polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) locks in UV protection, skincare, and makeup. “This sunscreen mist is the perfect companion for everyday wear or a day at the beach. The fine mist allows for touchless application which won't mess up your makeup when you're on the go,” says one Sephora customer. “It is also a refreshing and revitalizing addition to your beach bag for those hot, sunny days.”
Hydrating SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray
The hydrating, broad spectrum SPF spray by Oars + Alps provides adequate sun protection for both face and body equally well with a light, fresh scent with notes of amber, bamboo and coconut water. This spray nourishes the skin and provides antioxidants with vitamin C and olive leaf extract. It’s also water and sweat resistant, and can be used on wet skin for an added bonus. One Amazon reviewer writes: “I was looking for a sunscreen spray that was not only good for my skin, but also hydrating. This spray hit the nail on the head…plus it smells like vacation, sweet and sunny.”
UncompliKated SPF Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray
Bathe your face in this skin, sun, and makeup hybrid mist. Formulated with silica and hyaluronic acid, this spray not only shields from the sun with broad spectrum UV protection, but reduces shine, blurs imperfections, and hydrates the skin. It also provides all of these benefits with an easy to use, ultra-fine mist for an enjoyable experience. “I am thrilled to have found the perfect sunscreen for me,” writes one Ulta reviewer. “I love that the SPF number is so high and I love how the fine mist doesn't make my skin greasy or smudge my makeup.”
Make it Last Sunscreen Setting Spray
If you’re looking for your makeup to truly last, this is the facial mist for you. Milani’s formula locks in makeup for up to sixteen hours while providing broad spectrum UV and environmental protection. It’s also super comfortable to wear, with a nearly undetectable lightweight finish that provides a subtle dewy finish. “This is a fine spray that sets makeup while also giving effective everyday sun protection,” notes one Ulta customer.
UV AOX Mist Mineral
This recommendation checks off all the boxes. Mineral? Check. SPF 30 or higher? Check. Water resistant? Check. Lightweight? Check. And the list goes on. It’s no wonder why it’s one of Dr. Gohara’s favorites and why it’s oftentimes out of stock. Apart from its antioxidant ingredients, you can also find coconut fruit extract, aloe vera, and glycerin to help keep skin hydrated and moisturized.
How to choose and use the best SPF facial mist
✔️Adequate, broad spectrum SPF. Sun protection factor is the most important aspect to consider in any sort of sunscreen, including facial mists. “At the minimum,” Dr. Sunder recommends SPF 30. “Anything less than that is not really doing anything, and I usually recommend in the 40’s or even 50’s.” Dr. Sunder also notes that it’s especially important to choose an SPF with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
✔️Helpful ingredients. “When it comes to all sun care products, it’s important to look for products created with healthy ingredients that offer powerful protection and are easy-to-wear,” Birchby notes. And, according to Dr. Hartman, there are lots of great SPF facial mists that also contain active ingredients to “help hydrate the skin or make the appearance of the skin matte,” depending on your concerns. Try looking for ingredients like antioxidant-rich oils, hydrating hyaluronic acid or aloe, and ingredients that are paraben-free.
✔️Lightweight formula. “Ideally, you want a spray that is lightweight, easy to apply, and won’t run down your face,” says Dr. Hartman. In avoiding sticky, heavy, or oily formulas (such as those formulated with ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin) you’ll ensure an enjoyable application experience that will keep you applying and reapplying, which is key.
Is sunscreen spray good for the face?
Adding a spritz of sunscreen spray on your face is a quick way to get sun protection, but according to Dr. Gohara it’s important to err on the side of caution. Chemical sunscreen sprays may cause irritation on the face and can precipitate acne, rosacea, or perioral and contact dermatitis, she warns. Plus, they may put you at risk of getting sunscreen into your airways. Sensitive skin types should stick with mineral. If you wish to opt for a chemical, follow Gohara’s tip of spraying first on the hands and then applying to the face to avoid direct contact with the aerosol.
Is sunscreen spray better than sunscreen lotion?
Not quite. Both Dr. Gohara and Dr. Greenfield prefer sunscreen lotions for the face because they can give you better protection thanks to the way they’re applied. “I prefer lotion because you have a clearer picture of how much you’re applying and how evenly,” says Dr. Greenfield. Generally, sprays are sometimes less efficacious because they are typically not rubbed in. Just remember the above tip of hands first and face after to help properly spread the sunscreen thoroughly. And regardless of which form of sunscreen you choose, don’t forget to reapply every two hours or after excessive sweating or swimming.
How we chose the best SPF facial mist
We consulted Corey L. Hartman, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, AL, Chris Birchby, Founder and Chief Culture Officer of Coola, Sarmela Sunder, M.D., double-board certified, fellowship-trained Beverly Hills facial plastic surgeon, Nava Greenfield, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, and Mona Gohara, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University. We also combed through countless reviews to find the best SPF facial mists available.
Why trust us
For more than 70 years, Prevention has been a leading provider of trustworthy health information, empowering readers with practical strategies to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Our editors interview medical experts to help guide our health-focused product selections. Additionally, Prevention also examines hundreds of reviews—and often conducts personal testing done by our staff—to help you make informed decisions.
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