Skip to main content
ASK AN EXPERT
Got a question about a health story in the news or a health topic? Here's your chance to get an answer. Send us your questions about general health topics, diet and fitness and mental health. If your question is chosen, it could be featured on CNN.com's health page with an answer from one of our health experts, or by a participant in the CNNhealth community.




* CNN encourages you to contribute a question. By submitting a question, you agree to the following terms found below.
You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. By submitting your question, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your questions(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statment.
Thank you for your question!

It will be reviewed and considered for posting on CNNHealth.com. Questions and comments are moderated by CNN and will not appear until after they have been reviewed and approved. Unfortunately, because of the voume of questions we receive, not all can be posted.

Submit another question or Go back to CNNHealth.com

Read answers from our experts: Living Well | Diet & Fitness | Mental Health | Conditions

Expert Q&A

  • Share this on:
    Share
  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

Which goes on first - sunscreen or bug repellent?

Asked by Ha, Via e-mail

Open quote
Close quote

What is the best way to apply sunscreen and insect repellent --sunscreen first or insect repellent first? I have the lotion kind for both.

Expert Bio Picture

Living Well Expert Dr. Jennifer Shu Pediatrician,
Children's Medical Group

Expert answer

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.

CDC tips on insect repellent and sunscreen

More Q&A

  • CNN's Medical UnitCNN's medical unit brings you the best experts available to answer your questions about current events and health issues that matter most to you.
What are the potential problems with ovarian cysts?asked by: Asked by Jane Coles; Virginia
Why do I no longer need an antibiotic before teeth cleaning?asked by: Asked by Janet; Leeds
How frequently should a man urinate daily?asked by: Asked by Brian; Canada

CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.

The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.