With summer fast approaching, we all know we need sunscreen to protect our skin. We also know that if we want to keep away those pesky mosquitoes that like to snack on us this time of year and protect against insect-born disease, bug repellent is a great idea, too. So, wouldn't a sunscreen that includes an insect repellent be perfect? Actually, no. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) do not recommend using a combination sunscreen-insect repellent. Rather they suggest you apply sunscreen first, followed by a separate insect repellant. The primary reason for this is because sunscreen gets absorbed into skin, while the repellent generally sits on top of the skin’s surface. Additionally, the instructions for each product are different. Sunscreen often needs to be reapplied in large, thick amounts a few times throughout the day. Insect repellent, on the other hand, should be applied using just enough product to cover exposed skin, only needing to be reapplied if you notice you are being bitten. So, you can see how applying large amounts of a combination sunscreen-insect repellent multiple times a day would add extra chemicals to your skin unnecessarily. Sunscreen needs to be applied at least 15 minutes before going outside by rubbing it thoroughly into the skin. This allows for maximum absorption and makes it less likely to wash off when perspiring. Once sunscreen has been applied and time for absorption has passed, you should then apply the repellant over top to exposed areas. Take special care to avoid the eyes, mouth, and any open cuts or wounds when applying repellant. The CDC recommends spraying the product onto your hands first and then applying to your face as opposed to spraying the repellant directly onto your face. Repellant should be washed off once no longer needed. We recommend sunscreen and insect repellant products from Coretex Products, Inc. Their products, when correctly applied, will keep you and your crew safe from both the rays and the bugs! For your sun protection needs, we like the Coretex SunX SPF30 Sunscreen in the gallon size with a pump for an economic choice. It’s great for companies that use a lot of sunscreen allowing for quick and easy application without having to deal with tearing open individual packages. That being said, we also like the convenience of Coretex SunX SPF30 Sunscreen pouches and Coretex SunX SPF30 Sunscreen foil packets, both available in 100 and 300 quantities. You can keep a few in your pocket or purse for easy application wherever you may be, without having to carry around a bulky bottle. SunX products are rated “Very Water and Very Sweat” resistant which is ideal for folks working in labor intense industries. No matter which SunX product you choose, you can rest assured knowing that you have full UVA and UVB protection and the highest Sun Protection Factor rating allowed by the Food and Drug Administration. As far as insect repellent options go, we offer similar convenient spray bottle and towelette varieties by BugX30. BugX30’s new EPA registered formula allows for maximum protection against bugs while containing a lower DEET concentration than bug repellants of old. What does that mean to you? With the new water-based formula, you get the same great 7+ hours of protection you have come to expect with higher DEET concentrated formulas but with less odor, no staining or greasy feeling while also being water and sweat resistant. Bottom line, whether for work or for play, remember to correctly apply your sunscreen first, followed by bug repellent. This will provide the highest degree of protection by letting the products each do what they do best.