Best Scalp Sunscreens to Protect the Spot You Always Forget About
Avoid the burn with scalp sunscreen.
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The goal for a beach trip is to come back with a glow, not a burn. But even after applying sunscreen for your skin type every couple of hours, most of us forget to apply it on one critical area: our head. Avoid that stinging sensation with scalp sunscreen.
According to dermatologist Dr. Anna Chacon, it only takes 15 minutes for skin to burn if you don’t use sunscreen, and the damage might not show up for 12 hours. Anyone who has made this mistake (which, let’s admit, is probably most of us) knows how unbearably itchy and flaky scalp sunburn is after a day in the sun. Applying sunscreen to the scalp might sound messy, but isn’t the thought of scalp burns even worse?
There are numerous scalp sunscreens from translucent mineral powders to mattifying mists for bald heads. Whether you’re attending an outdoor wedding or have kids who spend all summer jumping in and out of the swimming pool, we compiled a list of the best scalp sunscreens for the season. Dr. Chacon also recommends reapplying sunscreen every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating.
Sun Bum Sunscreen Scalp Spray SPF 30
Don’t be surprised by Sun Bum sunscreen’s small bottle. A little goes a long way to protect the scalp. The lightweight mist is suitable for all hair types and won’t leave it feeling greasy. Not only does the spray prevent sunburn, but it’s also a great moisturizer with SPF to nourish skin. The non-comedogenic formula is also great for those with sensitive complexions.
Derma-E Sun Protection Mineral Powder SPF 30
Sunscreen on the head sounds like the perfect recipe for oily hair (same with wearing a hat in soaring temperatures). So how do you protect the scalp without having to wash your hair every day? This SPF 30 mineral powder is oil-free, mattifying and translucent for use on all hair colors. Dust it lightly along the hair parting to avoid sunburn and an oily hairline.
Coola Suncare Scalp & Hair Mist SPF 30
Trust a brand from San Diego to create the ultimate product in sun protection. Coola’s SPF mist protects and freshens the hair and scalp. Free from parabens, sulfates and phthalates, it also contains monoi oil to improve shine and prevent breakage. It’s a must for anyone who gets frizzy hair in the summer months.
Supergoop! Poof 100% Mineral Part Powder SPF 35
When having oily hair is not an option or avoiding sun exposure is impossible, this Supergoop mineral powder works almost like a dry shampoo. It’s practically undetectable on the scalp. The nongreasy formulation makes it perfect for outdoor summer events, like weddings or graduation parties.
The mineral powder is also fragrance-free so it won’t itch or cause irritation. Now, just master the rest of your summer makeup.
Nature’s Apothecary Sunscreen Powder SPF 30
This Nature’s Apothecary powder is for anyone who can’t wait to climb mountains, go kayaking or hike once the sun comes out. Water and sweat resistant, the sunscreen powder provides ultimate protection while exercising outside. The benzene-free and non-nano zinc oxide formula is ideal for acne-prone skin. It even controls the shine on bald heads.
Isdin Ultralight Emulsion Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
For those who prefer a liquid consistency, this breathable mineral sunscreen is still light enough to apply along the hairline. There’s also no white cast, meaning it’s suitable for bald heads and fair skin. For more facial coverage, try one of these tinted moisturizers.
Banana Boat Sport Ultra Sunscreen Spray SPF 50
Trying to keep kids protected from the sun all summer? Having a bottle of this spray from Banana Boat on hand at all times will prove useful. Use it from head to toe or just on the scalp. The biggest win is its superior endurance against sweat and water, and the fact that it’s a natural sunscreen, making it reef friendly.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist SPF 70
For those looking for nearly invisible sun protection, this mist from Neutrogena feels like applying nothing more than cool air. There is no white finish or residue because the formula is ultra sheer, oil-free and non-comedogenic. Spritz it lightly over the scalp without ruining your hair, then try one of these hairstyles that make you look younger.
Old Spice Bald Care System Scalp Moisturizer SPF 25
This moisturizer with sunscreen is a bathroom shelf essential for bald men. Made for everyday use, it combines skincare with sunscreen to ensure the scalp stays soft, smooth and protected from the sun. It absorbs quickly and has a matte finish for no fear of overshine. Add it to your man’s morning routine during the summer months—his healthy scalp will thank you.
Rahua Aloe Vera Hair Gel
After applying safe sunscreen, aftersun care is still important to prevent skin and hair from drying out and becoming damaged—no matter how protected the skin is throughout the day. This aloe vera hair gel from Rahua uses organic ingredients and cucumber to cool and refresh hair and scalp. It restores hair health and luster after overexposure to the sun, making it a vacation must-have.
- Anna Chacon, M.D., MyPsoriasisTeam dermatologist
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