Powder Up to Block Rays

This isn't what your grandma uses to powder her nose. Instant mineral sunscreen protects your skin weightlessly.

March 14, 2012
Sailing World

Brush On Block

Courtesy Of The Manufacturer

I was initially leery about bringing along a new sunscreen to St. Maarten for the Heineken Regatta. After a winter in cloudy, cold Rhode Island, I knew the sun’s rays were going to feel intense once I got to the Caribbean. But I shouldn’t have been worried.

Brush On Block ($24.95;, a mineral powder sunscreen from Susan Posnick Family, more than met my sunscreen expectations. After a lifetime of using sunscreen in lotion-form, Brush On Block felt more like makeup than sun protection. It comes in a handy canister with a refillable mineral dispenser on one end, and a soft brush on the other. The minerals are made up of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which offer SPF 30 and UVA/UVB protection. Twisting the dispenser to the left allows for these minerals to flow to the brush. Move the brush back and forth on your wrist until you start to see the minerals, and then you’re good to go!

I coated my entire face and neck with the sunscreen before I went out on the water. At one point, I wondered if I was really putting anything on my skin. So, I double-checked that I had gotten the stuff out to my ears and on my nose, and when I turned the canister upside down, some of the minerals were, indeed, gone.


Once on the water, I got good protection from the rays. I was out in the sun for over six hours each day at the regatta, and only got a bit red on the first day when I forgot to reapply. Since it’s so weightless, it can be easy to forget this basic sunscreen etiquette.

I also took advantage of my beachside accommodations and went swimming a couple of times during the trip. (Hey, it was a tough assignment—I needed to relax somehow!) I laid out in the sun after each dip for around an hour, and the sunscreen still held strong. The company claims that it’ll retain protection for 80 minutes of activity in the water or sweating.

I’m interested to see how long the minerals will last before I need to get a refill for the cartridge. Brush On Block’s website states that it’ll be two months with average use. It’ll feel good to not have to throw out the entire plastic canister after I use it up.


I’m looking forward to stashing this little guy in my lifejacket when the summer finally rolls around here in Newport. When the guys I’m sailing with ask to borrow my sunscreen, they might be a little worried they’re about to put on makeup. But they’ll come around to the brush-able block—this isn’t what your grandma uses to powder her nose!


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