Asked by Ha, Via e-mail
What is the best way to apply sunscreen and insect repellent --sunscreen first or insect repellent first? I have the lotion kind for both.
Living Well Expert
Dr. Jennifer Shu
Children's Medical Group
Thanks for your question. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you apply sunscreen first before applying insect repellent. This is true for both lotions and spray products. Rub on each product according to the label instructions. When applying to the face, put a small amount of lotion or spray in your hands before spreading and avoid getting the product into the eyes, nose or mouth. Try to keep these products out of open wounds such as cuts and scratches.
Remember that while sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours (or more often if you've been in the water or sweating), insect repellent may last for several hours. If you're getting bitten by mosquitoes or other insects, check the label to see how often the repellent may be reapplied, if at all. Unlike sunscreen, however, which you'll want to apply generously, it's best to use just enough insect repellent to cover exposed skin. Finally, it is a good idea to wash off the insect repellent once you return indoors.
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