Does Powdered Sunscreen Actually Work? A dermatologist explains
This is the age-old dilemma. You’ve meticulously swirled your cream blush, dabbed your cheekbones with a highlighter, and maybe even drew on a handful of adorable freckles. But it’s been two hours since you applied your SPF and you’re about to wake up. What will you ever do? Definitely don’t spill lotion all over your summer glamor!
This is where powdered sunscreen comes in, offering to weightlessly drape your face in invisible sunscreen. Sounds perfect, right? But it works?
“On its own, that’s not the case,” says Dr. Susan Poelman, a certified dermatologist based in Calgary. “The jury is still out on the effectiveness of the blanket.”
Here’s the thing: Cream or lotion formulations are specially designed to provide even distribution of sun filters to give you the best possible protection. With powders, it might not be as easy to achieve an even application, says Poelman.
It does not mean that they are not good. Most powdered sunscreens contain mineral filters like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which effectively deflect the rays. Some are even enriched with iron oxides, which can protect against the blue light emitted by our electronic devices. Others have antioxidants to “mop up damage from your sunscreen, like an insurance policy for your skin,” says Poelman, who recommends patients apply an antioxidant serum under their sunscreen.
“I think where powder sunscreen is great is touching up your sunscreen on your makeup”
But the main problem dermis have with powdered sunscreen is that it shouldn’t replace the “real” thing. “I think where powdered sunscreen is great is touching up your sunscreen on your makeup,” says Poelman. Indeed, it solves this reapplication mentioned above on the enigma of makeup. But if you don’t like the feel of a cream or liquid, it is not advisable to replace it with a powder. “Meat and potatoes are liquids, creams or lotions,” says Poelman.
So the touch-ups are. The general rule of thumb is to reapply after two hours, although you will want to increase your SPF more often if you are sweating or swimming. The best way to apply powdered sunscreen, says Poelman, is to sprinkle about a teaspoon of the product on the back of your hand and then dab it on. This way you know you are applying enough to get protection. Also, avoid doing this in a windy area to make sure all of the product is actually getting on your face.
Another thing to keep in mind is not to accidentally inhale the powder while you are dusting it. “These powdered sunscreen nanoparticles can easily pass through the body and even enter the lungs,” Poelman warns. She also emphasizes the importance of applying an SPF all over the face, to the edge of the hairline and ears. “In women, we see a lot of cancer of the skin right in front of the ears,” she says.
As Poelman reminds us, melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is one of the most common types of cancer in people aged 15 to 49. “It’s a very preventable type of cancer,” she says. “We think we are invincible, but we actually are not.” That’s why, in addition to diligent use of sunscreen, the Canadian Dermatology Association also recommends wearing a wide-brimmed hat and UV protective goggles.
“There is no reason not to enjoy the sun, to be healthy and to be outdoors,” says Poelman. “It’s about responsible use of sun protection measures: avoiding the sun during peak hours, checking the UV index before going out – these are all ways to protect yourself and have a safe summer. . “
Available in light and dark, this SPF 50 powder from the Canadian brand Laboratoire Dr Renaud offers broad spectrum protection with an extra dose of antioxidants.
An all-mineral SPF 45 powder from the sun care brand Buzzy Supergoop !. Not only does it protect the skin, it also removes excess shine and helps set makeup.
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