Powdered and Tinted Sunscreens: Why You’ll Love Them

As dermatologists we are always excited about new ways that make it easier to prevent certain forms of skin cancer. Powdered and tinted sunscreens fall right into that category, making integrating sunscreen into your morning routine a snap.


If you haven’t heard of powdered or tinted sunscreen before, you’re not alone. Most people associate sunscreen with sticky, white lotion or sticky, clear sprays, and most people only see themselves applying these products for a day at the beach or poolside.


But you need sunscreen every day, not just on beach and pool days, and these products make it easier and more convenient than ever to protect your skin.


The perk of powdered and tinted sunscreens are that they feel more like makeup than sunscreen. Powdered forms brush on like mineral powders and tinted liquids feel more like base or cover up than sunscreen. They are easy to drop into your makeup bag with all your other essentials. And even men find them less intrusive and more convenient than traditional sunscreen. Let’s take a closer look.


Powdered Sunscreen


If you are familiar with sunscreens in general, you know that there are two types: chemical and mineral. Mineral sunscreens contain active ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide and are known to be gentler on skin. These ingredients, being minerals, come naturally in the form of a powder, so it is not surprising that they can be packaged and sold this way.


Powdered sunscreens are convenient because they can be applied and reapplied throughout the day with a few swipes of a brush. Ranging from SPF 15 to SPF 50, powdered sunscreens come in different colors to suit your skin tone and work especially well over makeup.


Liquid Tinted Sunscreens


If you tend to apply some kind of base, foundation or cover up every day, then tinted sunscreens might be a great option for you. With so many brands and products, you’ll be sure to find one your love. Tinted sunscreens come in liquid tints and tinted “sticks” that work like sport sunscreens. Some are mineral-based and chemical-free. Many are advertised as “tinted moisturizers” because of the added hydrating ingredients. You can even use these under a powdered sunscreen for extra protection. With products like these on the market, you can likely toss your regular makeup altogether!


Choosing the best powdered or liquid tinted sunscreen


If you are intrigued, beware that there are literally thousands of these types of products on the market. To help narrow down your choices, here are some dermatologist-approved considerations:


Check skin type. Powdered sunscreens can be applied under or over makeup.

They work especially well on oily skin because they absorb excess oil and take away “shine” as well as add a layer of SPF protection. If you have dry skin, look for a powdered sunscreen that contains added moisturizing ingredients. Added ingredients in tinted liquid products can moisturize or hide fine lines and wrinkles, but they can also clog pores, so be careful if you have acne-prone skin. Mineral sunscreens are better for sensitive skin than chemical ones.


Go for a high SPF. Because the amount you apply affects the level of protection you receive, opt for a higher SPF– at least 30 or 50. Some brands have limited skin tone options, leaning towards lighter colors, but more and more manufacturers are developing both powdered and liquid tints that work for darker skin tones, which is encouraging because people of all skin tones need to protect themselves.


Don’t use on beach days. We recommend powdered or liquid tinted sunscreen as a normal part of a typical daily routine, not for a day outdoors doing watersports. Powders aren’t the most water-resistant options, and they aren’t designed to protect you from hours and hours of sweating in the hot sun. Also, applying powdered or tinted liquid sunscreen to your entire body would be inconvenient, ineffective and expensive! Use your traditional sunscreen for beach days.


Men-friendly. Some powdered sunscreen brands come with a built-in brush dispenser that looks and feels more like a shaving cream brush than makeup, making it more attractive to men. Find one that isn’t tinted and it will go on sheer and undetectable without affecting your natural skin tone.


Reapply. Don’t forget to reapply throughout the day, especially if you are sweating or spending part of the day outdoors.


Environmentally friendly and safe. Many mineral-based powder or tinted sunscreens market themselves as reef-safe and chemical-free. Check ingredients to be sure, but a non-chemical, purely mineral-based powder sunscreen will not harm aquatic life and is the safest option for the environment and also for children and people with sensitive skin.


Bottom line, protecting your skin from damaging UV radiation just got easier and more convenient than ever. We hope you’ll take a look at your options and make sunscreen a regular part of your daily routine. Contact us today for more information on the types of sunscreens available at our offices.