Are Powder Sunscreens Safe and Do They Work?

When it comes to sun protection, we are fortunate to have a wide variety of options available to us. Gone are the days of limited choices and subpar formulas. Today, you can find sunscreen in various forms such as gels, oils, serums, lotions, and creams. However, with so many choices, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to use.

One type of sunscreen that has gained popularity in recent years is powder sunscreen. Despite its popularity, some people are still unsure about whether it actually works and how to use it properly. In this article, we will look at this unique SPF category, including the best ways to use it and our top product picks.

What Are Powder Sunscreens?

Powder sunscreens are a type of physical sunscreen that comes in a dry, loose powder form. They are made of natural, mineral-based ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Powder sunscreens are applied with a cosmetic brush, making them a convenient choice for reapplication over makeup.

One of the benefits of powder sunscreens is that they are non-greasy and often provide a matte finish, which some people may prefer. Additionally, those with skin sensitivities may find that pure mineral powder sunscreens are less likely to irritate their skin than other types of sunscreen.

Powder sunscreens can also be used to protect the scalp from the sun. They are a great option for those who want to reapply sunscreen throughout the day without disturbing their makeup. Overall, powder sunscreens are a versatile and effective way to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.

Do Powder Sunscreens Actually Work?

Powder sunscreens are often considered less effective than other types of sunscreens. However, in theory, powder sunscreens should be just as effective as other forms of sunscreen with the same SPF if applied correctly. The main issue with all sunscreens is that many users do not apply them correctly. Powder sunscreens are more susceptible to this problem because they must be applied generously enough to achieve the labeled SPF, which is often not the case.

Another factor to consider is that many powder sunscreens do not hold up as well to water or sweat compared to liquid versions. This makes them less effective, especially if you are planning to be in the water or sweat excessively.

Ultimately, it is up to personal preference whether you choose to use a powder sunscreen over another type. However, if you do choose to use a powder sunscreen, make sure to apply it generously and reapply it often, especially if you are in the water or sweating.

When to Use Powder Sunscreens

Powder sunscreens are a great option for those who have skin sensitivities or allergies and can’t tolerate other formulas. They are also ideal for those dealing with oily skin issues and want a mattified effect. In addition, powder sunscreens are perfect for when applying SPF over your makeup or to protect your scalp.

Some experts advise that powder sunscreens should only be used in small areas rather than the entire body. It is also important to clean the brush weekly like you would other makeup brushes to prevent accumulation of oil, sweat, dirt, and bacteria.

Overall, powder sunscreens are a convenient and effective way to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Just be sure to use them in moderation and take proper care of your brushes.

5 Best Powder Sunscreens to Try

If you’re looking for a convenient and easy-to-use sunscreen, powder sunscreens are a great option. Here are five of the best powder sunscreens that you should try:

  1. Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 ($69, Colorscience) – This mineral SPF is the only powder sunscreen recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation. It is clinically tested on sensitive skin and is water- and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
  2. Supergoop! 100% Mineral (Re)setting Powder SPF 35 ($35, Sephora) – Formulated specifically for over-makeup usage, this powder sunscreen from Supergoop! is made with 100% mineral zinc oxide along with ceramides and silica to help moisturize skin while nixing shine and setting your makeup.
  3. Roe Wellness SPF 50 Mineral Powder ($25, Roe Wellness) – A combination of zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and silica join forces in this simple powder sunscreen. It’s not water-resistant, but it’s great for re-applying over makeup or using on your scalp throughout the day as needed.
  4. Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Skin Nourishing Sunscreen Powder Brush SPF 30 ($19, Target) – This wallet-friendly option delivers a translucent matte finish that’s suitable for all skin tones, and it utilizes zinc oxide as the primary sun blocking ingredient.
  5. ISDIN Mineral Brush 100% Mineral Powder Matte Finish ($60, Dermstore) – Coined a dermatologist favorite, this powder sunscreen has a super silky texture that glides over skin, soaks up excess oil, and protects against the sun, pollution, and blue light. It’s made with both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, as well as mica and iron oxides.

These powder sunscreens are great for on-the-go application and can be easily reapplied throughout the day. With a range of prices and benefits, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.