We all know we’re supposed to re-apply our sunscreen every two hours, but let’s be frank, if we’re sporting a full-face of makeup, how likely is it we’re going reach for our sunscreen and then re-do our ‘face’ all over again? We thought as much. Which is why, here at The Handbook, we are fast becoming big fans of powder SPF, which is super easy to apply, substantially reduces shine and doesn’t spill in your bag while giving great SPF coverage too, and minus a white cast. Here, Dr Anthony Rossi, dermatologist, and founder of Dr Rossi Derm MD, explains why powder sunscreens are having a moment.
Why all the hype?
Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the active ingredients that can already be found in powder form in your regular SPF, so you’re getting exactly the same goodness in a tube of powder as you are in a traditional tube of sun cream. The difference is the amount needed for optimum protection. Often, SPF powders have lower levels of protection which is why even though powder sunscreen is great for adding protection to your skin, Dr. Rossi still recommends layering them with another sunscreen. “As a dermatologist, I still like to encourage patients to use a mineral-based cream or physical sunscreens like titanium and zinc dioxide as a base,” he says, “use these powders as an extra layer and top up, rather than your main UV protector.”
How best to apply it…
The thicker the better! But no one wants a heavy veil of powder on their skin, especially in the heat. So, skin experts, such as Rossi, suggest you apply your regular chemical sunscreen first thing in the morning, then sweep on a powder SPF as top ups throughout the day, layering up as the day goes on to ensure your face has sufficient and even coverage. Focus on the areas that are most prone to burning, such as the bridge of your nose, the upper forehead, and your cheeks. Rossi explains, “you can brush them on the skin—much like you would a setting powder—and get the same amount of protection as that of a formula from a tube or bottle, minus the mess.”
Will my makeup really stay put?
The beauty of a powder texture and often translucent one too is it doesn’t interfere with your makeup; in fact, it often enhances it. Powder sunscreens can help mop up excess oil from the skin, even out your skin tone, lend a luminous healthy glow to your look, lock in your base and add protection. What’s not to love? Another indisputable win is the brush packaging is a game-changer for on-the-go touch-ups and SPF protection, wherever you are. Bung one in your handbag, keep one at your desk, in your car… Suncare has never been easier or kinder!
Here, we’ve rounded up 7 of the best powder sunscreens to sweep on every day…
Expect to be transported to a sandy beach and tropical location with just one whiff of the signature Hawaiian Tropic exotic scent. This fine powder easily absorbs access oil and sweat whilst leaving a matte veil in its path. Along with Vitamin C and 100% mineral actives it protects from UVA/UVB while nourishing too. And unlike most sunscreens in this niche sun care category, it’s affordable too.
This clever twist-up, refillable, and travel-friendly powder comes at a hefty price, but it’s packed with key ingredients that protect, hydrate, and stimulate skin. In a few sweeps, zinc oxide and hydroxyapatite offer a barrier to reflect and instantly repel harmful UVA and UVB rays while protecting against other environmental stressors and blue light. This dual-action, weightless formula can be buffed over both skincare and makeup and comes in five flattering shades without a spillage in sight!
With a cult following, this has quickly become the powder sunscreen to know. An all-round winner thanks to its super featherweight formula that is so light you’ll question whether you applied the product or not. It dispenses easily, there’s no-mess or excess, doubles up well as a UV scalp protector, water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and lasts for ages.
Already popular with beauty junkies, this 100% mineral zinc oxide formula is packed with bonus ingredients to keep skin looking healthy and protected simultaneously. Non-nano particles create an invisible shield of protection, blocking out UV rays and minimising skin damage while ceramides and glycerides that ensure skin doesn’t get dry or tight from a day in the sun. With zero tint or colour, this is a great choice whether you’re sporting a tan or not.
Talc-free and completely translucent, this works on all skin tones, especially as the non-comedogenic formula means you never have to worry about it clogging your pores. We love the open/close notch, so you know exactly how much of the product you’re dispensing. If you usually veer towards a dense mattifying finish that wipes away a few sweat beads in the process, this will be your summer skin game-changer.
A favourite with dermatologists, this sunscreen ticks all the boxes. It’s high in SPF, it’s free from parabens, sulphates and fragrance making it a perfect recommendation for those who suffer from skin conditions. Plus, it’s the only powdered sunscreen to have earned the coveted Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal for use. And if that isn’t enough, it’s also 100% mineral-based so it protects your skin from blue light when you’re reading your Kindle on a sun lounger! A brilliant all-rounder that never ever cakes however many times you re-apply.
This weightless SPF powder is great for all skin tones with four different shades to choose from (translucent, golden, tanned and nude) that can be worn with or without makeup. Formulated with titanium dioxide to protect skin against UVA and UVB, while an ingredient called ‘montmorillonite’ soothes redness and inflammation. And the brush head is removable, so you can easily pop it off to clean. Water-resistant, refillable, and fully recyclable, this is a well-considered powder sunscreen that delivers.
The products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however, The Handbook may make a small commission on some products purchased through affiliate links.