9 Best Powder Sunscreens in 2024, According to Dermatologists

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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While powders are a great option for touching up your SPF, all of the dermatologists we spoke with recommend using a lotion or cream sunscreen formula as your primary source of sun protection. “Powders are helpful for people who are forgetful in their reapplication of sunscreen, but they come off the skin more easily so they’re not a good alternative to liquid sunscreen,” Naana Boakye, MD, MPH, a board-certified dermatologist in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, tells SELF. Another downside to powder is that it’s hard to know if you’re applying an adequate amount of sunscreen (ideally a nickel-sized dollop when using a cream or liquid).

When you’re ready to reapply with an SPF powder, Kara Lara, associate director of global marketing for Colorescience, says to keep these tips in mind: “Before each use, tap the brush with the cap side down a few times, then flick the bristles with your finger to see if the powder is flowing,” she tells SELF. Use small circular motions to sweep the brush around your face directly on top of that previous layer of sunscreen or your makeup.

And Dr. Garshick recommends checking the instructions on your product’s packaging, noting that 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. And don’t forget about your ears and neck!

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