Consumer product testers have found that the spray-on sunscreen Banana Boat Ultra Defense SPF 85 absorbs on contact and thus does not stain clothing, while the only sunscreen lotion that does not stain fabrics is Neutrogena Sensitive Skin. To protect against skin cancer, the FDA recommends also wearing sunglasses, hats and tight-weaved clothing that cannot be seen through.
Frances Largeman-Roth, a senior editor for Health magazine, says that personal preference is the most important factor in choosing a sunscreen, as sunscreen is worthless if the user avoids applying it. In addition to finding a sunscreen that is comfortable for the user, dermatologists recommend a minimum SPF of 30. Beyond 50, says Largeman-Roth, there is no guarantee of how much extra protection the sunscreen really provides.
Special care must be taken with babies, because they have sensitive skin and lose moisture more easily. For babies, Largeman-Roth recommends Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection SPF 50, which preserves the moisture on a baby's skin. Aveeno is not among the sunscreens found to not stain clothing, but Playtex and Coppertone offer suggestions for preventing and treating sunscreen stains. To prevent stains, Playtex advises allowing time for sunscreen to dry completely before getting dressed. For removal of stains, Coppertone recommends a heavy-duty detergent and a water softener.