Do You Put Sunscreen On Before Mosquito Repellent?

The sun is out, and the mosquitos are out in full force, but how do you know if you should put sunscreen on before or after mosquito repellent? Unfortunately, there’s a lot of conflicting information, so let’s dive into what you need to know to keep yourself safe from mosquitoes and protected from the sun.

Sunscreen vs Mosquito Repellent

It may seem like a simple question, but putting sunscreen on before or after mosquito repellent can make all the difference. Sunscreens contain ingredients that can reduce the effectiveness of insect repellents, so it’s essential to apply sunscreen first. Sunscreens also contain oils that can act as a barrier against DEET-based insect repellents, making them less effective at keeping bugs away.

On the other hand, mosquito repellent needs to be applied over sunscreen to ensure that it is effective in protecting you from bug bites. Generally speaking, it is best practice to apply sunscreen for about 15 minutes before applying bug spray for optimal protection. This will give your skin time to absorb the sunscreen and allow the bug spray to form an effective barrier against pesky bugs.

Mosquito Repellents & Skin Protection

When using sunscreen and mosquito repellents, it is essential to use products specifically formulated for your skin type and climate. For instance, waterproof sunscreens with SPF 30+ should be used in areas where you are likely to sweat or get wet regularly (i.e., near water sources).

Similarly, DEET-based insect repellents should be used in areas where mosquito-borne illnesses (like the Zika virus) are common; however, these types of insect repellents should not be used on babies under two months old or pregnant women.

Does bug spray ruin sunscreen?

The short answer is yes; you can use bug spray and sunscreen together. The active ingredients in most bug sprays are designed to repel insects (like mosquitoes) by creating a physical barrier between them and your skin.

Sunscreen, on the other hand, works by absorbing UVA/UVB rays from the sun, thus preventing them from reaching your skin. As such, you can use both at different times.

However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when using bug spray and sunscreen together:

1. Choose an effective sunscreen – Not all sunscreens are created equal! Make sure you choose one with an SPF of at least 30 or higher for optimal protection against UVA/UVB rays. Additionally, look for a product containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active ingredients; these minerals have been proven more effective than chemical-based sunscreens in blocking UV rays.

2. Reapply frequently – Both bug spray and sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours (or more often if you’re sweating or swimming). This will ensure that your skin is adequately protected from bugs and the sun throughout the day.

3. Use different products – Try to use separate products for each task rather than combining them into one product (e.g., insect repellent + sunscreen). This will help avoid any potential irritation due to the overuse of one ingredient or another. For example, some bug sprays contain DEET, which has been known to irritate when combined with certain sunscreen ingredients (such as oxybenzone).


In conclusion, when using sunscreen and bug spray, it is essential to remember that sunscreen should always go on first, followed by an appropriate insect repellent for your location and skin type (if applicable).

By doing this, you can ensure that both products work together for maximum protection against mosquitoes and harmful UV rays from the sun! So whether you’re headed outdoors or just enjoying some time in your backyard, remember to stay safe this season by putting sunscreen on before mosquito repellent!