What is Powder Sunscreen?

What's the best? Does it work? How to apply. And, does it last?

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Powder Sunscreen Beach Girl

Summer has finally arrived! It’s no surprise that many people are excited for their first beach day of the season. After all, there’s nothing better than laying on the sand under a hot sun and watching the waves roll in.

But do you know what ruins a beach day faster than a swear word in church? A sunburn!

A sunburn can be the difference between a wonderful vacation and a painful memory. That is why sunscreen is so important. You don’t want to have a tainted beach memory just because you forgot to sunscreen up!

Sometimes, though, sunscreen can seem like more of an inconvenience than a useful protector against harmful UV rays. Those thick, paste-like lotions take forever to rub into your skin, and even then, they seem to leave a sticky residue behind. The sprays aren’t much better, getting into your mouth and eyes when the wind blows, or missing spots that you don’t notice until it’s too late.

Luckily, these types of sunscreens aren’t the only options out there.

Powder sunscreen is a protective UV blocker in – you guessed it – powder form. It is typically mineral-based (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide), which helps deflect UV rays. It can also absorb excess oil. Unlike its lotion and spray counterparts, powder sunscreen is light, convenient, and easy to apply.

What is the best powder sunscreen?

Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen is a favorite among beachgoers and dermatologists alike. It is a lightweight, mineral-based, 100% chemical-free powder sunscreen. It is broad-spectrum SPF 50, protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen was formulated using EnviroScreen Technology, meaning that in addition to UVA and UVB rays, it also shields against pollution, blue (HEV) light, and infrared radiation. It is hypoallergenic and works great for those with sensitive skin. Because it comes in multiple shades, it complements a variety of skin tones. Its convenient packaging and brush-on formula are the perfect combo, making it easy to stow in your purse or beach bag to use for reapplication throughout the day.

Other dermatologist-recommended powder sunscreens include: Brush on Block Mineral Facial Sunscreen Powder, Supergoop Poof 100% Mineral Part and Scalp Powder, Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45, Tarte Sea Set & Protect Mineral Sunscreen Powder, Isdin Mineral Brush Powder, and Derma E Sun Protection Mineral Face Powder.

Does Powder Sunscreen Work?

While powder sunscreen is appealing, dermatologists warn not to rely on it as your only form of protection against the sun. However, it can provide a protective base layer under your makeup. You can also use it for touchups during the day. According to dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein, “Powder SPF should not be your primary form of sunscreen and is best used for touch-ups and day-to-day sun exposure.” Just as with liquid sunscreen, experts advise choosing a powder sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher and to apply liberally and often.

How Do You Apply Powder Sunscreen?

You should apply powder sunscreen liberally and often. Apply it using small circular motions onto dry or moisturized skin, or over makeup. It is most effective if you apply generously using multiple passes with the powder brush. California-based dermatologist Anna Guanche says, “In theory, powdered sunscreens would be great if thoroughly applied to the entire face in a thicker coat.” But because that can difficult due to time (and money) constraints, Guanche continued, “Apply a mixed chemical and physical sunscreen to the skin first thing in the A.M., then touch up with the powder sunscreen throughout the day on the must sunburn-prone areas: midface, nasal bridge, and upper forehead.” Dr. Marchbein agreed, noting that powder sunscreens are “ideal for reapplication over makeup, but I would caution against [using powder] as a primary method of sun protection, as the amount applied is likely insufficient to properly protect the skin.”

How Long Does Powder Sunscreen Work?

As with liquid sunscreens, powder sunscreen should be applied often – at least every two hours. Even the best sunscreens won’t protect you if they’re not applied often enough! Additionally, be sure to reapply your sunscreen after swimming.

Of course, it is important to take other precautions against harmful sun rays, as well. In addition to sunscreen, be sure to wear hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing for ultimate sun protection. This way, you can enjoy your time on the beach, while also saving yourself from a miserable sunburn. Time to book your stay in one of our Destin vacation rentals, pack your favorite liquid and powder sunscreens, and get ready for some fun in the sun!