If you are looking for an alternative to liquid sunscreen (which can at times be difficult to apply to your face), then you may want to check out powder sunscreens.
Powdered sunscreen is made up of finely ground minerals that provide SPF protection from the sun while giving your skin a beautiful, natural glow. It’s no wonder that powder sunscreens for face use have becoming increasingly more popular in recent years.
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of powdered sunscreen use, along with some reviews of our top picks for the best powder sunscreens.
Why Do People Like Powder Sunscreen for Face Use?
There are a number of reasons why people choose to use powdered sunscreen.
- Goes on Smooth. Powdered sunscreens go on your skin evenly and smoothly, allowing you to protect your face from exposure to damaging rays.
- Easy Application. Many powder SPF sunscreens for face use also come with their own built-in brush, making applying the powder quick and easy.
- Doubles as a Makeup Setting Powder. Many powder SPF sunblocks also double as a setting powder for your makeup and can help with touch up work too. Keep in mind that some powders are finer than others, so if you want one that will give you great coverage on top of being non-comedogenic, then go with the finest loose powder SPF sunscreens.
- Helps to Minimize Breakouts. If you have oily skin, then traditional sunscreen can make your skin even oilier and greasier. The powder form is a good type of sunscreen for oily skin because it can absorb excess oil and helps to minimize breakouts.
- Travel-Friendly. Powder sunscreen for face use is very easily travel-friendly, especially if you purchase a small loose powder SPF that comes in its own container. It’s one of the few types of sunscreen that you don’t need to worry about going through airport security with!
- Matte Finish. Powder SPF sunscreens have a soft, matte finish so it doesn’t leave your face looking shiny or leave behind greasy residue.
- Non-Comedogenic. As a bonus, most powder sunscreens use is also non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores, making it a great option for people with acne-prone skin. Powdered SPF sunblocks also tend to be hypoallergenic and just generally easier on the skin.
- Mineral. While it’s not always true, the vast majority of powder sunscreens tend to be a form of mineral physical sunscreen (as opposed to chemical sunscreens). Mineral sunscreens are often much more gentle on the face and are more likely to be reef-friendly as well, all while providing great broad spectrum SPF protection.
What are the Drawbacks fo Powder Sunscreen for Face Use?
Unfortunately, insufficient coverage is a common issue with powder sunscreens. Since it’s difficult to see or understand exactly how much product you’ve applied, it’s common or users to not apply enough, and therefore not achieve the face protection from the sun that they’re after.
This risk can be mitigated a bit by reapplying frequently or pairing your facial mineral sunscreen powder with a sun hat or a UV umbrella. Also try to seek out natural shade as much as possible.
The Best Powder Sunscreen for Face Use: Our Top Picks
All of the powdered sunscreens above are great options for those new to mineral sunscreen powder!
However, to be sure that any individual sunscreen is the right option for you, check out the ingredients to make sure they are compatible with your skin type. You also want to do a patch test of the powder on your arm before applying it all over your face. This way, you can see if your skin has a negative reaction to it before using it all over your face.
With that in mind, let’s jump into our reviews!
1. DERMA E Sun Protection Mineral Powder SPF 30 – All Natural Matte Face Powder Sunscreen
The DERMA E Sun Protection Mineral Powder SPF 30 – All Natural Matte Face Powder Sunscreen is a natural, non-toxic sun protection that provides broad spectrum protection against both harmful UVA and UVB rays.
This clear mineral sunscreen face powder is a multifunctional formula that both prevents sunburns and offers makeup setting. It was actually developed by a makeup guru, designed to provide sun protection, set makeup, and absorb excess oils for an all-in-one coverage powder.
The sunscreen powder protects against UV rays with broad spectrum SPF protection, while Vitamin E works to make skin healthy and resilient, offering a layer of moisture. The green tea and chamomile flower extract helps to relieve redness and calm sensitive skin.
The SPF 30 clear powder can be worn on its own or over makeup. But regardless, it should be reapplied every 2-3 hours during the day to maintain an ideal level of sun blockage.
Derma-E has sourced the purest zinc oxide available, using only non-nano zinc oxide that creates a physical barrier that is effective at protecting the skin from harmful sun rays.
This powder sunscreen for the face contains no artificial fragrances, dyes, parabens, sulfates or phthalates and is never tested on animals. This product has been dermatologist-tested for safety and efficacy and is 100% vegan too!
2. Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen Mineral Powder
This Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen Mineral Powder is aimed towards acne-prone, sensitive skin, providing a gentle sunscreen face powder with an 50 SPF rating.
You can apply this sunscreen powder alone or after applying makeup for that great extra SPF protection from the sun without messing up your look!
Formulated with antioxidants, along with hyaluronic acid, this powder sunscreen will keep your face hydrated and supple too.
The brush applicator makes it easy to apply sunscreen to all of your exposed skin on your face, and it can even be taken on the go easily and thrown in your purse.
This non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic formula is safe on reefs and uses active ingredients titanium dioxide and non-nano zinc oxide. It’s available in several shades: fair, medium, and tan. With this bottle providing a 90-day supply based on typical use, you’ll be good to go for several months!
3. Brush-On Block Mineral Sunscreen Powder
Brush On Block’s powder sunscreen goes on smoothly without affecting your normal skin tone for flawless coverage.
This mineral powder sunblock uses translucent powder that can be reapplied easily throughout the day with its built-in brush applicator that’s convenient, small enough to fit in purses, sports bags or make-up bags so you never have to leave home without UV protection!
It’s vegan friendly and reef friendly with a formula that contains no oxybenzone, octinoxate, or nano-sized particles. This means it should be plenty safe for a variety of skin types – even for those with sensitive skin!
We also love that this powder sunscreen has the option to purchase eco-friendly refills for when you need more powder. You won’t need to buy an entire new device, cutting down on un-necessary plastic use.
4. KARADIUM Collagen Smart Sun Pact SPF50+ PA+++
KARADIUMs Smart Sun Pact is a SPF powder that relies on a compact design, rather than a brush applicator.
This broad spectrum SPF 50 powder compact contains collagen and silk powder with lecithin coating that forms into a moisture shield for a healthy, hydrated makeup look that promises to last all day.
Plus, it’s pretty affordable compared to some other powder sunscreen options!
5. Larkly SPF 30 Mineral Powder Face Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide
The Larkly SPF 30 Mineral Powder Face Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide is a great option not only due to its broad spectrum SPF 30 sun protection factor, but also because it promises not to leave behind any grease or oils from your face!
Made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, this lightweight sunscreen powder protects your face without leaving behind a stick residue. On top of that, this powder contains an anti-oxidant rich blend of green tea extract and black licorice root.
This powder face sunscreen is hypoallergenic, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and silicone-free. It also is formulated with no oxybenzone or octinoxaye, making it reef-safe. It’s vegan and cruelty-free too!
We also appreciate that Larkly Mineral Powder is refillable and reusable, serving as a great alternative to single-use sunscreens.
6. Eminence Sun Defense Minerals SPF30
Eminence Organics Sun Defense Minerals is a powder-based sunscreen designed for both men and women with light to medium skin tones.
This natural formula provides SPF 30 protection that’s water resistant, making it great for sports or outdoors activity.
This formula offers benefits including added bioflavonoids (from plant sources), vitamin A, and vitamin E too. Eminence is formulated with micro-sized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. While this does allow the compounds to blend better into the skin without a white cast, some are skeptical of nano zinc oxide, and this may make this sunscreen not technically reef-safe.
How to Apply Powder Sunscreen for Face Use
For the best results using powder sunscreens, follow these simple steps:
You will want to be sure that you have moisturized your skin before you apply the powder sunscreen since it can leave a flaky residue on skin if not done so properly.
2. Brush on the Powder
Brush on a small amount of loose powder sunscreen into the lid with a brush. Then, apply the mineral powder sunscreen evenly to your face. This is best done by using a brush or makeup sponge.
3. Remove Any Excess Powder
Finally, make sure that there is no excess powder on your skin, as this can give your skin a chalky texture.
FAQ for Powder Sunscreen for Face Use
How often should I reapply powder sunscreen?
For the best results, be sure to reapply powder sunscreen every two hours or even more frequently. You want to apply powder sunscreen just as you would reapply with regular sunscreen lotion, so be sure that you are covering every inch of your skin.
Can I use powder sunscreen as a makeup setting powder?
Yes, you can use powder sunscreen as a makeup setting powder. Follow the instructions listed above to apply the powder to your face correctly after applying makeup. You may also want to consider using a primer before applying powder sunscreen if your skin tends to be on the oilier side since it will sit on top of the skin and can look a bit cakey.
Can I use a powder sunscreen on top of a liquid foundation?
Yes, you can use a powder sunscreen on top of a liquid foundation by using it as your last step when applying makeup before heading out into the sun. This way, you get the coverage from liquid foundation and the added SPF protection of powder sunscreen.
Powder sunscreens are versatile and can easily be applied on top of your face without disrupting any existing makeup, which is why they’re very popular when it comes to reapplying sunscreen over makeup.
Does powder sunscreen work for acne-prone skin?
Many people claim that powder sunscreen works great for acne-prone skin since the zinc powders can be slightly drying, which is often a plus for oily, acne-prone skin. If your skin is already quite dry, you may want to consider opting for a sunscreen spray for face use, which tends to be less drying than powder.
Is mineral sunscreen better for face use?
Generally yes, mineral sunscreen tends to be easier on one’s face. That’s why many fan-favorite sunscreens for face have zinc oxide, and why it’s often the main ingredient in facial powdered sunscreens.
Do you have any favorite powder sunscreens we missed? Share your favorites in the comments!