Ask a Dermatologist: Is Powder Sunscreen Really Efficient?


powder sunscreen swatches

The significance of correct solar safety can’t be harassed sufficient. And with sunscreen formulation evolving far past the goopy iterations of your childhood, it is simpler than ever to put on SPF each single day. As for the newest formulation to earn a spot in our drugs cupboards, it is powder sunscreen.

With dozens of choices now being provided by each drugstore and high-end beauty firms alike, it’s arduous to know the place to begin on the subject of discovering and correctly utilizing powder sunscreen⁠—and is it even efficient?

Forward, dermatologists share every thing you might want to learn about powder sunscreen, from widespread errors, to one of the best formulation, and past.

What Is Powder Sunscreen?

powder sunscreen foundation makeup brushes

Powder sunscreen is an easy-to-apply sunscreen that mimics the feel of setting powder. Most formulation include a built-in brush for straightforward software.

Marchbein explains, “The powders usually come free in a retractable brush or are in a compact type. They’re extraordinarily light-weight, in order that they’re particularly good in the summertime months as a result of they will mattify the pores and skin, are simple to make use of over make-up, and for reapplication, and aren’t heavy like a cream or lotion.”

Although, she warns, “That being stated, sunscreen efficacy is as a lot about amount as it’s concerning the SPF quantity listed (which represents UVB blockage), and the true query is whether or not or not you will get sufficient powder SPF utilized to the pores and skin to make it an efficient methodology of solar safety.”

Is Powder Sunscreen Efficient?

The brief reply is sure—however not while you use them as your main or preliminary sunscreen. To successfully use powder sunscreen, it ought to be used as a reapplication or touch-up methodology each two hours after first making use of a standard, liquid sunscreen. By way of efficacy, Marchbein notes that conventional lotions and lotions are likely to have one of the best protection, and “a shot glass quantity (1 ounce) of broad-spectrum sunscreen ought to be utilized to the physique and a teaspoon quantity to the face each two hours. “An preliminary thick layer of sunscreen might be utilized below make-up, after which reapplied excessive each two hours.” This, she says, is the place spray and powder SPF are available in—as they are perfect for reapplication, not a main methodology of solar safety.

Emer agrees, saying “For my part, they’re much less efficient than a topical cream or spray as a result of they’ve much less skill to soak up into the pores and skin or on the floor and create a barrier. Plus, they’re usually much less SPF than most topical lotions, which suggests you might want to apply them extra regularly to get a real ‘full’ safety.” Each specialists agree that powder SPF, although efficient, shouldn’t be relied upon as your main type of sunscreen and as an alternative, used for protecting touch-ups all through the day.

The Advantages of Powder Sunscreen

fresh face portrait

  • Will not mess up your make-up: Powdered sunscreens really feel extra like setting powder than they do just like the white goop you in all probability affiliate with SPF, which suggests you possibly can simply reapply your sunscreen (each two hours!) over make-up.
  • Works for delicate pores and skin: Components (sometimes zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) are perfect for delicate pores and skin, says Marchbein.
  • Transportable: Most powder sunscreens are packaged in a tube concerning the dimension of a small bottle of hand lotion, or in a compact, which suggests they will slot in your smallest clutch bag.
  • Some might supply blue gentle safety: Marchbein explains that some formulations of powder sunscreen include iron oxide, “which helps with blue gentle safety and may even include hyaluronic acid and different hydrating substances for the pores and skin in addition to antioxidants to guard towards infrared harm. “

Widespread Powder Sunscreen Errors

  1. Utilizing powdered sunscreen as your main sunscreen: Each Marchbein and Emer stress that it ought to be used for touch-ups and as supplemental sunscreen, not as your one and solely.
  2. Uneven software: It is troublesome to manage the protection areas and amount with free powder, even when in a built-in brush type.
  3. Misunderstanding SPF: Do you know that the SPF quantity on a solar safety product is, “solely correct if a shot glass quantity is utilized to the physique and a teaspoon quantity to the face, each two hours” in keeping with Marchbein? This leaves a number of room for person error when coping with powders.

What to Look For in a Powder Sunscreen System

person applying powder

To pick the powdered sunscreen that is best for you, each Marchbein and Emer shared related suggestions to look out for.

First issues first, each dermatologists suggest fining a formulation that’s broad-spectrum —which means it protects towards each UVA and UVB rays and is at the least SPF 30+. If doable, Emer suggests searching for formulation containing titanium or zinc, noting that they “are chemical-free and are bodily blocking and are much less irritating when you have delicate pores and skin.” Components to look out for embrace ceramide 3 and olive glycerides for hydration, in addition to antioxidants, vitamin E, and vitamin C for his or her anti-aging properties and to assist struggle free radicals.

Emer says that iron oxide might be added as a further “mineral blocking agent” in comparison with the normal zinc and titanium, and Marchbein provides that iron oxide affords some blue gentle safety as nicely.

As summer season enters full swing, Marchbein provides, “Take into account that utilizing a excessive SPF (at the least 30 however ideally 50+) broad-spectrum sunscreen is just one element to secure solar practices, and sporting clothes together with sun shades, wide-brimmed hats, and sun-protective clothes (labeled UPF50+) or on the very least lengthy sleeves and pants, are additionally key to stopping sunburns and tans (and, due to this fact, solar harm and pores and skin cancers).”

Dermatologist-Accepted Powder Sunscreens

Supergoop Re(setting) SPF powder
Supergoop! (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder SPF 35 $30.00

This selection from Supergoop is a 100% mineral zinc oxide with a couple of additional bonus substances to maintain pores and skin feeling and looking wholesome. There are ceramides and olive glycerides that assist defend the pores and skin from getting dry by sealing in moisture and coated silica that makes your face look flawless.

colorscience powder sunscreen
Colorescience Sunforgettable Whole Safety Brush-On Protect SPF 50 $138.00

Dr. Anna Guanche, board-certified dermatologist, recommends this sunscreen as a result of it is really easy to make use of. “It’s simple to use and re-apply while you’re out and about. It’s mattifying as nicely in order that it provides the pores and skin an excellent look and reduces mid-face shine.”

ISDIN Isdinceutics Mineral Brush $55.00

Should you’re searching for an possibility you possibly can simply toss in your purse for on-the-go touchups, Guanche says it is a nice possibility. “ISDIN has a mixture of bodily blockers that defend the pores and skin from UV and IR radiation. It mattifies the pores and skin and is straightforward to take with you in your purse or bag.”

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