No matter how hard I try to protect myself from the sun, it seems like I'm constantly getting burnt in the same place again and again: on my scalp. While I'm the first of my friends to cover myself in SPF—and then to reapply it generously throughout the day—I've always found it tricky to apply sunscreen to the parts of my scalp that are exposed to the sun from the way I part my hair. I usually try to bring a sun hat to the beach as a solution, but sometimes it's just not enough.
Case in point: I recently went paddle boarding for the first time ever in Hawaii, and I knew there was no way I could bring a floppy hat on my board with me. Enter: Supergoop's Poof Mineral Part and Sclap Powder in SPF 45 ($34, sephora.com).
Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York-based dermatologist, previously told Health that she recommends this non-oily mineral powder sunscreen because it’s chemical-free and safe for sensitive and acne-prone skin. She finds powder options like this one to be particularly easy to apply near your hair since you can brush them directly into your part to avoid any build up. As someone who hates the feeling of liquid sunscreen, especially mixed between strands of my hair, I was intrigued.
Your scalp is arguably one of the most uncomfortable spots to get burnt because it gets super itchy, and if it peels, it can look like dandruff—but aside from these annoyances, there are much more important reasons that SPF is so vital on this sensitive area. According to Dr. Jaliman, research has found that one of the most fatal melanoma skin cancers occurs on the scalp, which in particular, is because it often goes undiagnosed until late in the game. I was in Hawaii to participate in Paddle for a Cure at the Hyatt Regency Maui, a fundraising initiative in support of Susan G. Komen Hawaii and breast cancer awareness, so this evidence gave me even more reason to want to protect myself. You might say I was showing two types of cancer who's boss at once.
To buy: Supergoop! Poof 100% Mineral Part and Scalp Powder SPF 45, $34, sephora.com
When the time came to try the Mineral Part Powder, I first sprayed it onto my hand, which I usually do to test out a new product. It sprayed out of the bottle looking similar to a powder foundation, but with a more finely-grained formula. Any sudden movements would have had the loose powder flying everywhere, but that also meant it only took seconds to rub in and blend with my hair. For that reason, I'd definitely recommend applying it directly to your scalp, and that's exactly what I did the next time around—and this time, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily it disappeared into my hair. After just two pumps, there was no product build-up or weird sticky feeling left behind. I'm a brunette, and while I found that the nude-colored powder dried down with a slight white cast at first, it went away after a few minutes, leaving nothing behind.
A few hours of battling waves later, I was happy to find that my scalp was not burnt in the slightest—meaning the mineral powder passed the test and completely protected me from Hawaii's powerful UV rays. And many reviewers on Supergoop.com share similar stories: "Went out in the sun on the water two days in a row and my scalp did not burn or even redden," said one commenter. "This stuff will stay in my beach/river bag."
So if you're headed on a tropical vacation any time soon, I would recommend adding Supergoop's Part Powder sunscreen to your cart immediately. And then check out our list of dermatologist-recommended sunscreens designed to protect those other tricky spots, like your eyelids and lips.
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