13 Best Powder Sunscreens for UV Protection

powder sunscreen

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If you hate putting on sticky, goopy sunscreen, especially on your face, skip the giant hat and big sunglasses because powder sunscreen is about to change your paradigm. These lightweight sunscreens rely on SPF powder, usually made from zinc oxide and titanium oxide, to keep you safe from sunburns.

While we recommend these options for faces, hairlines, and parts, they’re a bit expensive to use all over, so you might want to stick to liquid organic sunscreen for the rest of your body.

What Is the Best Powder Sunscreen for Broad-Spectrum Protection?

brush on powder sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Non-greasy
  • Sweat and splash proof
  • Easy to apply
Price: $32.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
mineral powder sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • SPF 50
  • Multiple color options
  • Water resistant
Price: $45.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
mineral powder sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • SPF 45
  • Vitamin enriched
  • Blurs imperfections
Price: $30.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
scalp mineral sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Scalp saving
  • Easy to apply
  • Virtually undectable
Price: $31.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
brush on powder sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy to apply
  • SPF 30
  • Anti-aging formula
Price: $20.83 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
SPF 30 powder sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Vegan and gluten free
  • Dry powder finish
  • Easy to apply
Price: $37.60 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
mineral powder sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • SPF 30
  • Unisex sunscreen
  • Hypoallergenic
Price: $45.01 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Mineral powder foundation and sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • All natural formula
  • SPF 25
  • Healing and soothing
Price: $29.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
powder sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • SPF 50+++
  • Unisex
  • Includes a puff
Price: $24.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
mineral powder sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Long wearing
  • Easy to apply
  • Many color choices
Price: $24.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
mineral powder sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • SPF 46
  • Comes with a puff
  • Matte finish
Price: $15.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
mineral powder sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Absorbs oil
  • SPF 25
  • Easy to apply
Price: $18.10 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
zinc oxide powder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large quantity
  • Good for DIY sunscreen
  • Physically blocks UV rays
Price: $14.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Brush On Block Mineral Sunscreen Powder SPF 30

    Pros:
    • SPF 30 broad spectrum protection
    • Easy to apply and you can get refills without tossing the applicator
    • Made with natural titanium dioxide and zinc oxide
    • Not sticky or greasy
    Cons:
    • Super spendy for a small container
    • Can be difficult to get the powder loaded into the brush
    • More suited to face than whole body use

    When you sweep on the Brush on Block powder sunscreen, you’ll never feel stick, icky, or look ghostly. Conveniently packaged to be dispensed with a soft cosmetic brush, this mineral powder sunscreen gives you broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection, and is splash and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes per application. The self-dispensing brush applicator is eco-friendly because you can order refills without having to toss the brush applicator.

    This translucent powder glides on with just a hint of tint, and leaves your skin shimmery and fresh. Made with reef-safe minerals, it uses natural titanium dioxide and zinc oxide – the most effective protection to keep your skin safe from UVA and UVB rays. Non-irritating, and kid-friendly, it won’t sting if it gets in your eyes. That’s a plus.

    If you want to skip the bronzer this summer, try Brush On Block Touch of Tan powder sunscreen for a warm summer glow. And if you’re worried about dry sunburned lips this summer, Brush On Block also has a Full Face Kit that comes with sunscreen and protective lip oil.

  2. 2. Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen

    Pros:
    • One of the highest SPF values of all reviewed
    • Comes in four color options fot different skin tones
    • Protects from oxidative stress due to blue light exposure
    Cons:
    • Application is difficult
    • Quite expensive
    • Can't wash the brush

    When it comes to mineral powder sunscreen, so many are “one size fits all,” but that’s not the case with ColorScience brush on sunscreen, which gives you four color options from fair to deep. Geared to match a variety of different skin tones, this sunscreen offers a whopping SPF 50, so one of the highest levels of protection you can get. As you know, cancer experts say consistent use of sunscreen reduces your chance of getting melanoma by 50 percent.

    This lightweight mineral powder is a terrific choice for those with sensitive or acne prone skin because it doesn’t clog pores and doesn’t have any greasy or oily ingredients. It’s also a great finishing powder over foundation and helps to set your makeup with a nice matte finish. It’s water-resistant so you won’t need an extra layer of another sunscreen for a bit of splashing.

    While it uses the customary combination of zinc oxide and titanium oxide to provide broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays, it also includes calcified red algae which helps to increase skin’s moisture, elasticity, and also has UV blocking properties. This sunscreen even has a proprietary blend of minerals to prevent oxidative stress from too much time staring at all your screens. 

  3. 3. Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45

    Pros:
    • Enriched with skin nourishing vitamins
    • Higher SPF than many
    • Blurs pores and leaves skin with a matte finish
    • Good for all skin tones
    Cons:
    • Difficulties with applicator reported
    • Brush bristles aren't as soft as some
    • Orange undertones

    When you’ve got extremely fair or sensitive skin, SPF 30 sunscreen might not be enough protection, which is why we like this SPF 45 powder formula from Peter Thomas Roth. This brush on formula gives skin a matte finish and is talc-free. But it’s also infused with vitamins your skin will love include A, C, and E.

    This mineral sunscreen masks imperfections, blurs pores, and leaves your skin looking healthy, but it can also be used as a makeup setting powder with superpowers. We love the notion of multitasking if your favorite foundation doesn’t include SPF. As with most powder formulas, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide do the heavy lifting when it comes to UVA and UVB protection, but those vitamins give you a huge boost of antioxidant protection as well.

    The translucent powder is good for all skin tones despite the fact that it looks light coming out of the brush. We first fell in love with the Peter Thomas Roth brand because of their wicked exfoliating pads, but do keep in mind, if you exfoliate regularly, you’ll need to be even more zen about your use of sunscreen every day.

  4. 4. Best For Hair & Scalp: Supergoop! Poof Part Powder SPF 45

    Pros:
    • Spray on formula is seriously easy to apply
    • Translucent and undetectable
    • SPF 45
    • Completely non-toxic
    Cons:
    • Very expensive
    • Can be a bit drying to skin and hair
    • Another very tiny container for the price

    It really doesn’t take that much practice to get in the habit of using sunscreen on your face, but if you’re like most of us, you either forget about that part in your hair, or refuse to put some greasy, goopy lotion onto your scalp because it makes you look like a sweathead. Enter, Supergoop! Poof – a 100% pure mineral powder exclusively developed to save that poor unexposed pink part on your head. 

    With SPF 45, you can simply spritz this translucent powder into your part (kind of like dry shampoo) and go. It’s undetectable and will keep your scalp safe from sunburn, plus it’s infused with vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that fights free radical damage from UV exposure. You can also use this powder to protect around your hairline by simply massaging in around the edges.

    If you weren’t aware, 13% of all skin cancers occur on the scalp, per the experts at Healthline. That’s why this product is a totally great idea.

  5. 5. Mineral Fusion Brush-On Sun Defense SPF 30

    Pros:
    • Leaping Bunny Certified
    • Anti-aging formula that's enriched with sea kelp and white tea
    • SPF 30 broad spectrum protection
    Cons:
    • Not recommended for water activites
    • Difficult to charge the brush with powder
    • Tends to look cakey on the skin

    If you’re looking for a powder sunscreen that gives your skin protection as well as a boost in age-defying antioxidants, Mineral Fusion is a solid choice. Leaping Bunny Certified, this powder sweeps on with a built-in brush applicator and leaves your skin with a refreshing matte finish. It cuts shine and blurs pores, while looking like you’re not wearing makeup – a perfect summertime or any time solution.

    It offers SPF 30 protection thanks to titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for broad-spectrum protection. This sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes prior to sun exposure, and if you’re planning for water activities, it’s recommended that you also use a water-resistant sunscreen as well. Fragrance-free and gluten-free, this skin-friendly formula includes sea kelp and white tea to boost its antioxidant (read anti-aging) power. 

    Another benefit of sea kelp is its ability to help your skin retain moisture, according to this article from MANKIND.com, while white tea is not only antioxidant, it also has antibacterial properties. 

  6. 6. jane iredale Powder-Me SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen

    Pros:
    • Three color choices plus translucent
    • Botanical extracts improve overall skin health
    • Unique puff applicator
    • Non comedogenic
    Cons:
    • Poor container design allows powser leakage
    • Looks a little cakey when applied to bare skin
    • Very expensive for a small container

    Clean beauty products are the core philosophy of Jane Iredale, and this Powder-Me sunscreen falls right in line with that same skincare ethic. With SPF 30 protection, this dry sunscreen is 17% titanium dioxide along with other minerals and botanical extracts like pomegranate and pine bark. Pomegranate extract helps to plump the skin and encourages collagen production while enhancing elasticity, according to this article by Alice Howarth.

    Some studies have suggested that pine bark extract can contribute to skin hydration and reduce pigmentation when applied topically, as with this powder sunscreen. This vegan and gluten-free formula can also be mixed with your favorite moisturizer if you’d like a creamier application. It’s created with reef safe ingredients and is water-resistant up to 40 minutes.

    This sunscreen comes in three tints as well as translucent, so you can match to your skin tone if you’re planning to wear it alone instead of makeup. It’s also great because it doesn’t cause clogged pores.

  7. 7. Best Unisex Powder Sunscreen: Eminence Sun Defense Minerals SPF30

    Pros:
    • Neutral tones for men and women
    • Absorbs oil without clogging pores
    • All natural ingredients
    Cons:
    • Among the most costly
    • Colors can be deceiving
    • Applicator isn't consistently reliable

    While most SPF powder sunscreens seem geared toward women because they are tinted as well as protective, we like the Eminence Organics Sun Defense Minerals as a great unisex option for active men and women. With SPF 30, it’s water and sweat resistant. It’s loaded with bioflavonoids that are antioxidant-rich to help promote skin health and fight free radical damage.

    This powder contains zinc oxide to act as a physical barrier to UV rays and includes vitamins A and E to help heal and protect your skin. Naturally organic ingredients like calendula extract are antibacterial and antimicrobial. This powder helps to absorb excess oil without clogging pores. It comes in a few different tones. While this tone is a neutral peaches and cream, you can also find it in translucent as well as a honey tone.

    This sunscreen is hypoallergenic and great for covering red splotchy skin. It easily dispenses via a powder brush applicator.

  8. 8. On the Go Mineral Powder Brush On Sunscreen SPF 25

    Pros:
    • Covers flaws and redness while soothing skin with healing ingredients
    • Easy brush applicator makes it good on the go
    • Three color options
    • Refillable container makes it more eco friendly
    Cons:
    • A bit to the wallet
    • Hard to get secure the cap over the brush
    • Not a lot of product for the price

    We like the fact that Aú Natural Skinfood is right up front about their On the Go brush-on mineral powder. It’s intended to be an easy to use foundation and sunscreen in one. In shades light, medium, and dark, this SPF 25 sunscreen covers up imperfections and redness, while bolstering your skin with some awesome natural ingredients.

    While we don’t recommend you eat this sunscreen, the fact of the matter is that all the ingredients are, indeed, edible and have been sourced from New Zealand. No surprise then that this powder formula has healing manuka honey, one of our favorite ingredients in masks and face creams thanks to it’s naturally antibiotic and antibacterial properties.

    This sunscreen also contains antioxidant-rich grapeseed extract, and emollient-rich avocado oil. It’s easy to apply and uses titanium dioxide as a physical barrier to the sun’s harmful rays.  It comes with a simple brush applicator that lets you create a smooth palette for your blush or other products. 

  9. 9. Ohui Perfect Sun Powder SPF50++

    Pros:
    • One of the highest SPF powders we've found
    • Great for unisex use
    • Leaves a semi-matte finish
    • Comes with a sponge puff applicator
    Cons:
    • Sponge applicator makes it difficult to get a smooth finish
    • Expensive for a small quantity
    • No information on water resistance times

    If you’ve got fair skin, you’re probably searching for a super high SPF sunscreen, and the OHUI Day Shield powder sunscreen is an ideal option with an SPF 50+++. Good for unisex use, it’s somewhat water resistant, although we can’t determine a length of time by which you need to reapply. This airy powder comes with a sponge puff included. When applied it leaves you with a semi-matte finish. It helps to keep shininess down from sweat and oil, without clogging pores.

    While users appreciated that this sunblock comes with a sponge puff applicator, many indicated they had better results achieving a smooth finish by using a kabuki brush instead. 

  10. 10. Most Color Options: Dermaflage SPF 26 Made in the Shade Mineral Powder Sunscreen

    Pros:
    • All natural ingredients including titanium dioxide and zinc oxide
    • Many color options to choose from
    • Loose powder is easy to apply with your own brush or puff
    • Long wearing with a smooth finish
    Cons:
    • Lighter colors still have a white sheen to them
    • Small container size
    • Quantities are limited

    We love our face to look like it’s fresh and beautiful, even if we’re wearing a mineral powder sunscreen, like Made in the Shade. Rather than leaving your face with a ghostly (and somewhat ghastly) white sheen, this powder comes in nine different shades! While some are getting in short supply, you can still get any of them, at least for a short while more.

    This powder features SPF 26. Even better, it’s long-wearing and smudge-proof, and quite frankly, intended to replace your regular foundation with a burst of face saving color.  Simply set with a makeup setting spray. Zinc oxide and titanium oxide are responsible for creating a physical barrier between those harmful UVA and UVB rays, while providing full coverage for acne scars and discoloration.

    This all-natural formula was developed by professional Hollywood makeup artists, and we know they know their stuff. We also like that it doesn’t use a built-in applicator, which many folks complain about. Use your own brushes or puff to apply. The easy color chart they provide also makes it fool-proof to pick the best color for your skin tone. 

  11. 11. Natural 100 Derma Sunkill Mineral Powder Sunscreen SPF 46

    Pros:
    • Easy to use powder with a puff included
    • SPF 46 is higher than many
    • Lightweight with a nice matte finish
    Cons:
    • Leaves you looking pale
    • Small container doesn't last long
    • Some yellow undertones

    If you’re a fan of the Korean beauty regimen, or you’re just jumping into the craze, this mineral powder sunscreen from K beauty company Catrin is affordable and has a higher SPF than many. Particularly great for those with oily skin and acne issues, this light and airy powder helps to control sebum and leaves your skin with a clean matte finish. You can wear it alone, or over moisturizer or makeup.

    This multi-purpose powder can even be used as a dry shampoo! With an SPF 46 thanks to zinc oxide and titanium oxide, it’s seriously easy to reapply the sunscreen to your face throughout the day without having to remove your makeup. The package contains a puff, which makes it super convenient to use. While this powder does have a slight tint, it’s totally appropriate for unisex use.

  12. 12. bareMinerals Original Mineral Veil Sunscreen SPF 25

    Pros:
    • Allows you to use your own brush for easy application
    • Ideal for combination skin as it absorbs oil as well as protects
    • Lightweight smooth finish
    • Good unisex option
    Cons:
    • Not as long wearing as some
    • No information about water resistance
    • More difficult to blend on skin than some others

    Powder sunscreens are ideal for those with oily skin, but what if you’re only oily in your T-zone? bareMinerals has the answer with their Mineral Veil sunscreen that’s formulated for combination skin. This SPF 25 mineral powder is tint-free, making it a great option for men and women. 

    It uses titanium dioxide to provide broad-spectrum protection from the sun, and corn starch to help absorb oil without looking pasty or cakey. We love that it comes in an easy to use tub, so you can pick your favorite makeup brush for application. It leaves the skin with a clean matte finish. If you plan to use this sunscreen with other makeup, use it underneath powders, but on top of cream blush, liquid foundation, or moisturizer. 

    We like that it’s more affordable than many, and a slightly larger size than some as well. The container is focused on holding the powder versus being combined with an applicator.

     

  13. 13. Zinc Oxide Powder by Sky Organics

    Pros:
    • Can be mixed with your regular face powder to create custom colr
    • Huge quantity will last and last
    • Lots of uses from dying up acne to healing diaper rash
    Cons:
    • Can't accurately determine SPF in DIY recipes
    • May get clumpy when mixed with liquid
    • Leaves a visible white film on skin

    One thing you’ll see in common with most mineral sunscreens is the use of zinc oxide as potent protection from UV rays. Sky Organics zinc oxide powder can be brushed on by itself, however, you can also mix it with your favorite face powder to create your own custom color powder sunscreen.  This non-nano mineral powder won’t clog your pores and it comes in a big 16 ounce bag that will last longer than smaller and much more expensive pre-mixed sunscreens. 

    The question is, how can you determine the SPF? Depending on the articles you can find in abundance on the internet, each percent of zinc oxide added to your total ingredients should give 1-1.5 SPF. Want SPF 15? You’ll need to add 15 units to your overall total units. One thing we know is that zinc oxide works best in a powder formulation as it loves to get clumpy in homemade liquid sunscreens. 

    Because zinc oxide sits on top of your skin, it’s a physical sun blocker, which is why it’s so effective.

Are Any Big Brands Making Powder Sunscreen?

As you'll note, there are a lot of smaller brands and K beauty brands in our list of reviews. Many of the expected manufacturers haven't yet embraced the powder sunscreen trend, especially the major liquid sunscreen makers.

That said, a few of our favorite cosmetic brands are doing it right, making products you can trust for efficacy and results. Who are they?

Jane Iredale - This cosmetic company was founded 25 years ago with the mission of making clean beauty products you can count on. They also have a philosophy of giving to charitable causes, having donated over $1,000,000 to organizations that support women.

bareMinerals - This company led the way in developing mineral powder makeup for every skin tone. Their mineral-based formulas are clean and natural and are always SPF powered by their mineral content.

Colorscience - When you care about using clinically tested ingredients on your skin, this company has a commitment to testing and using only 100% natural ingredients in their skincare products.

Why Is Mineral Powder Sunscreen So Popular?

For many of us, we have a tactile issue with liquid sunscreen. Either it feels sticky or looks greasy, and it's always a worry that it might cause us to break out, especially if they use chemicals rather than natural minerals to keep you from getting burned.

While they're great for both men and women, many are tinted so they can do double duty as a lightweight foundation and offer sun protection at the same time.

While more men are wearing makeup, there are also colorless options that can absorb sweat and oil without clogging pores.

Why Are Powder Sunscreens Expensive?

Because powder sunscreen is relatively new to the skincare scene, it's primarily being made by those cosmetic companies who value organic ingredients. While we're used to paying more for organic cosmetics, sunscreen seems like a staple.

As more companies embrace the option to create face powders with broad-spectrum SPF protection, you'll see prices go down.

How Does Powder Sunscreen Work?

Most powder sunscreens rely on zinc oxide and titanium oxide to protect your skin from the sun. These minerals provide a physical barrier between UV rays and your skin, and literally reflect the sun away from you.

By comparison, chemically-based sunscreens actually absorb the UV light and disperse heat. It's amazing, but if you don't like putting chemicals on your skin, the mineral options are cleaner for sure.

Can I Make My Own Powder Sunscreen?

Because it's so easy to get zinc oxide powder, (and we've included one brand in our list of reviews,) you could make your own by mixing with your favorite face powder. The difficulty is in knowing how effective your SPF or Sun Protection Factor will be.

We recommend you let the skincare experts do the mixing, at least for the time being.

See Also:

 

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