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Top 9 Powder Sunscreens Recommended by Dermatologists for 2024



When it comes to sun protection, powders can be a convenient option for touching up your SPF on the go. However, dermatologists recommend using a lotion or cream sunscreen as your primary source of sun protection. Dr. Naana Boakye, a board-certified dermatologist, notes that powders are helpful for those who forget to reapply sunscreen, but they come off the skin more easily than liquid formulas. This means they may not offer the same level of protection as traditional sunscreen.

One of the downsides of using powder sunscreen is that it can be difficult to determine if you are applying an adequate amount. With cream or liquid sunscreen, the recommended amount is a nickel-sized dollop. Kara Lara, from Colorescience, recommends tapping the brush with the cap side down and flicking the bristles to ensure the powder is flowing before each use. She advises using small circular motions to sweep the brush around your face on top of the previous layer of sunscreen or makeup.

Dr. Garshick suggests checking the instructions on your powder sunscreen packaging to ensure you are applying it correctly. Some brands recommend generously dusting the powder on your face for at least 60 seconds to get adequate protection, while others suggest at least two passes over the skin. It’s important not to forget about your ears and neck when applying powder sunscreen, as these areas are often overlooked but are just as susceptible to sun damage as the rest of your face.

While powder sunscreen may be a convenient option for reapplying SPF throughout the day, it should not be used as the sole source of sun protection. Dr. Boakye emphasizes the importance of using a lotion or cream sunscreen as your primary defense against the sun’s harmful rays. Powder sunscreen can be a helpful addition for touch-ups, especially for those who may forget to reapply liquid sunscreen regularly. However, it’s essential to ensure that you are applying an adequate amount and following the recommended instructions for maximum protection.

In addition to applying powder sunscreen correctly, it’s important to reapply it regularly throughout the day, especially if you are spending time outdoors. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends reapplying sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you are sweating or swimming. By incorporating powder sunscreen into your routine for touch-ups, you can ensure that your skin is protected from the sun’s damaging effects and reduce your risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

Overall, while powder sunscreen can be a convenient option for on-the-go sun protection, it should not be relied upon as the sole source of SPF. Using a lotion or cream sunscreen as your primary defense against UV rays is essential for optimal skin protection. By following the recommended application techniques and reapplying sunscreen regularly, you can enjoy the benefits of both liquid and powder sunscreen and keep your skin healthy and protected from the sun.

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