Does Sunscreen Repel Mosquitoes or Bugs?

spray arm to protect against insects

If you are wanting protection from mosquitoes or bugs but don’t have any bug repellent handy you might be wondering if sunscreen can do the same job or if it can help repel mosquitoes at all.

Sunscreen will not repel mosquitoes usually. That’s because sunscreen does not have any repellent properties when it comes to mosquitoes in particular.

Below we will go into this in more detail and if sunscreen can help protect against other bugs as well as mosquitoes.

Does Sunscreen Work as Bug Spray?

Before we talk more about if sunscreen works as a bug repellent it’s important we talk about how mosquitoes are attracted to people in the first place.

Mosquitoes are attracted to humans because of the carbon dioxide that we exhale, the heat of our body and other chemicals on our skin. Basically, sunscreen usually does not help mask any of these, so mosquitoes will still be attracted regardless of if you are wearing sunscreen or not. It’s important to keep in mind that some sunscreens with a stronger smell may help mask your own smell and help keep mosquitoes and other bugs away at least a little.

Of course, there are plenty of products out there that have been created to keep mosquitoes and other bugs away. They usually include ingredients like DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus and even picaridin. These ingredients have been shown to be effective at keeping mosquitoes away.

If possible it’s better to rely on a bug spray that uses some of these kinds of ingredients instead of using sunscreen. Because simply put sunscreen is not usually too affective at deterring mosquitoes. But what about other bugs?

Generally speaking, sunscreen will not protect against other bugs in addition to mosquitoes. While there is less research on this some people have said that certain sunscreens may help with repelling bugs though you shouldn’t expect it.

If you are somewhere with a lot of bugs and can’t get access to a bug spray you should surely still apply your sunscreen to protect your skin. If you are lucky it may even help repel certain bugs, but you shouldn’t expect it, but it won’t make it worse either. Of course, when you get the chance you should look to purchase some bug spray to keep them all away.

We Recommend: OFF! Insect Repellent

Should You Put Bug Spray or Sunscreen on First?

Ideally you really want to apply both sunscreen to offer the UV protection from the sun along with bug spray to repel bugs and mosquitoes, but in what order?

Firstly, you will want to apply your sunscreen. The secret here is to allow time for it to dry before applying any bug spray. Ideally you will need around 10-20 minutes time to allow for the sunscreen to absorb into the skin and dry quite well.

Once it has dried you can then apply bug spray afterwards. Make sure to check the label on the bug spray too because you may need to reapply it depending on how long you plan on staying outside etc.

One thing that is important to mention is if you go swimming or take a shower etc. Then you will need to apply both if you want the protection afterward because even a short dip in the pool can cause some if not all your protection to diminish greatly.

Interesting Related Questions

What Can I Put on My Skin So Mosquitoes Don’t Bite Me?

The best thing to put on so mosquitoes don’t bite is some sort of bug repellent or spray. These sprays usually have ingredients included that are designed to deter mosquitoes from biting you.

What Deters Mosquitoes from Biting?

Some things that deter mosquitoes from biting include DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus and picaridin. If you apply some of these to your body it will undoubtedly help keep mosquitoes away from you.

Do Mosquitoes Hate Lotion?

While there is no scientific evidence to suggest that mosquitoes hate lotion, some lotions may contain ingredients which may help mask our natural scent which in turn may help to make us less attractive to mosquitoes. This doesn’t really mean mosquitoes hate lotion but instead that it may deter them from our skin.

Scroll to Top