Does Powder Sunscreen Work? +10 Best SPF Powders To Protect Your Skin

Powder sunblock could be our summer savior.

Does Powder Sunscreen Work? 10 SPF Powders To Protect Your Skin shutterstock

Ever since sunscreen became part of my daily skincare routine, my biggest hassle has been finding ways to reapply it throughout the day.

The greasy formula of most SPFs does not wear well after several layers, and the subsequent breakouts are infuriating. And don’t even talk to me about putting it on over makeup!

Skin protection comes at the cost of smudged bronzer and patchy foundation. Luckily, powder sunscreen could be the solution to all our SPF-related problems.


Powder sunscreens are brushed onto the skin and claim to offer all the benefits of regular sunblock without actually absorbing into the skin. Many of our favorite skincare brands have released their take on this revolutionary product in recent years.

But is the hype justified? Does powder sunscreen work?

What is powder sunscreen?

RELATED: 21 Best SPF Lotions & Sunblocks For Every Skin Type


Powder sunscreens are made from refined minerals that, when applied to the skin, offer a high level of broad-spectrum SPF.

The leading ingredients in all sunscreen, liquid or not, are titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and iron oxide particles. These ingredients reflect harmful UV from the sun, preventing them from penetrating the skin.

In labs, these come in powder form anyway, so they don’t have to go through some crazy, transformative process to be made into a powder sunscreen. This means we’re getting the exact same protection that our regular SPFs provide, with the added benefit of absorbing oiliness and preserving makeup! 

How do you use powder sunscreen?


Powder sunscreens don’t absorb into your skin; instead, they provide long-lasting protection while sitting on the surface of your skin.

This is a weird concept to get your head around. What if you wipe your face, or get caught in some wind? Don’t worry — a good powder sunscreen will adhere to your skin’s natural oils, and the particles are so tiny that they won’t go anywhere.

Of course, you should still reapply powder sunscreens every few hours or after swimming just to ensure you stay protected.

The powder works best when applied to completely dry skin, in a thick layer. So, don’t throw away all your regular sunblocks just yet.

It’s probably best to reserve this powder product for face touch-ups only, unless you want to use up an entire jar in one sitting. Powder sunscreens are also great for mattifying makeup, and keeping skin protected and oil-free!


Now that we’re all educated on how these makeup-saving sunscreens work, here are 10 powder sunscreens to stock up on this summer.

RELATED: 11 Best Natural Sunscreens — To Protect Yourself Without All The Harmful Chemicals

1. Supergoop! Invincible Setting Powder SPF 45

Free from parabens, this product is great for those who suffer from redness or irritation. Its high concentration of SPF is great for protecting skin during the sunniest parts of the day.


(Sephora, $30)

2. Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen

Colorscience was one of the first powder sunscreen products, so it’s only right to give a place to the product that started it all! This product is rich in antioxidants so it won’t dry out your face when applied.


(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

3. SLMD Skincare UV Bounce SPF 30

Invented by Sandra Lee MD, AKA Dr. Pimple Popper, this product comes with a flat top brush that’s perfect for tapping it onto the skin without disrupting your makeup.

(Target, $39.99)

4. Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF 30 Sunscreen


Unlike other deceptive packaging, this product is full to the brim with sunscreen powder, so it will last you all summer long. It’s even water-resistant for up to 40 minutes and is perfect for the pool or dips in the ocean. 

(Walmart, $45.38)

5. BOB KIDS Brush On SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Mineral Powder Sunscreen


Despite being marketed toward children, this sunscreen is great for all ages. It’s perfect for swimming because it won’t run into your eyes the way cream sunblocks do when they get wet.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: 4 Serious Dangers Of Sunburn That Will Convince You To Get Your Sun Protection Ready For Summer

6. Brush On Block Mineral Sunscreen Powder


This vegan formula is translucent and all-natural. The small compact size is perfect for throwing in a beach bag or keeping in your purse. You can even buy attachable refills so you don’t have to keep buying the brush and container when you run out. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

7. Brush On Block SPF 30 Touch of Tan


If you want a little extra summer glow, this product works just as well as the translucent version but with a touch of bronzer. My contour is the first part of my makeup that slips and slides as the day progresses, so this is ideal for touch-ups. 

(Walmart, $24.95)

8. Tarte Sea Set & Protect Mineral Sunscreen Powder Broad Spectrum SPF 30


This non-chemical formula has a delicious vanilla scent that wears beautifully throughout the day. It glides on without being too chalky or drying out the skin.

(Sephora, $28)

9. ILIA Organic Radiant Powder SPF 20


Unlike tinted powders, this translucent formula can be applied to any skin tone. It’s a vegan product so you can protect the environment while protecting yourself from the environment! It's just SPF 20 though, so save it for cloudier days. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

10. Mineral Fusion Brush-On Sun Defense SPF 30


This brush-on powder blurs pores and evens out complexions. It’s great for applying over makeup or just for keeping skin flawless throughout the day. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: The 4 Types Of Sunscreens You Must Use (Unless You Want Skin Cancer)

Alice Kelly is a writer with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.

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