Why Everyone Is Talking About Powder Sunscreen

It's common knowledge that daily sunscreen is a must for cancer prevention, and maintaining healthy, young looking skin. And while most of us slather the stuff on as a final step to our skincare routine, that single application under a face full of makeup isn't enough to protect you from harmful UVA (those are the ones that cause premature aging) and UVB rays (those are the ones that cause burns and skin damage) for an entire day (via American Academy of Dermatology). 

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours for effective protection. If you're scratching your head about how to reapply your SPF over foundation, don't despair. That's where powder sunscreen comes in. You can use it like setting powder throughout the day without fear of smearing or smudging, and it will even help control sweating and shine on these hot summer days (via HuffPost).

How to use powder sunscreen

Powder sunscreens, while convenient, should not, however, be used as your main form of sunscreen. They should be reserved as a mess-free touch-up for added protection (via HuffPost). In a recent interview with Good Housekeeping, Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab Director, Dr. Birnur Aral explained, "The efficacy of sunscreen comes from the robust films they form on skin which shield or absorb the harmful sun rays. It's harder to form such protective films on skin using only powder ingredients, and they could be limited to lower SPF numbers or not provide a broad-spectrum protection." That means you should use the powder only to complement your initial application of daily sunscreen.

It's important to remember that sunscreens should be worn daily, even if you spend the day completely indoors, which is why reapplication is so important. L.A. based dermatologist, Ava Shamban, told Allure, "Indoor UV exposure can occur from ultraviolet that penetrates through glass, which is UVA. UVA is emitted at the same level — all day long." In a nutshell, messing up your makeup is no longer an excuse to avoid applying sunscreen every 2 hours.