Powder Sunscreen Is the Quick, Easy SPF Solution You’ve Been Missing


You already know you need to apply SPF everyday. That’s a great start. Before you head out the door everyday, you probably reach for a bottle of lotion or maybe a spray-on solution. Ideally, you’re separating facial SPF from body SPF, and have a go-to SPF moisturizer that you use all year long, since perennial SPF application is imperative. But there’s one category of SPF products that’s likely missing from your rotation: sunscreen powders, which happen to be one of the most effective and convenient SPF shields around. 

Sunscreen, as you know, is supposed to be reapplied every two hours. But it’s not terribly realistic for most of us to take the time out of work days to slather more SPF on—to say nothing of how icky multiple stacked layers of lotion can feel. That’s where the powder comes into play. When it’s time to re-up, simply pop the tab, brush the mineral SPF powder all over your mug, and voila: you’ve reinforced the UV shield on your face—i.e. the part of the body we’re all most preoccupied with as far as sun-induced signs of aging are concerned—and you’ve done it in a manner that keeps your skin looking fresh and matte, since the powder also absorbs excess oil and reduces shine. 

Still not convinced? Here are five key reasons it’s worth introducing a sunscreen powder to your skincare routine, along with our picks for the very best versions on the market. 

1. Easy Reapplication

It bears repeating: you need to reapply your SPF multiple times throughout the day, and sunscreen powder is the quickest and easiest way to do exactly that. Powders shouldn’t be your primary defense against UV rays, however—especially across broad areas of skin—so be sure to continue using your go-to facial SPFs and SPF moisturizers every morning before you leave the house. 

2. Scalp Coverage

If you’ve ever been sunburnt along the part line of your hair—or worse, on a bald or sparse spot up top—then you know exactly how important it is to have proper SPF protection on your scalp. But there’s absolutely nothing worse than applying and reapplying goopy lotion in your hair. A quick few pats of powder on your dome keeps that mess to a minimum. (If you’re going to spend a long day in the sun, however, it’s still smart to wear a cap or hit the exposed spots with a scalp SPF.) 

See Also: The Bald Man’s Guide to Sunscreen

3. Residue-Free Mineral Defense 

As far as SPF defenses go, dermatologists generally prefer mineral powders to chemical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to deflect UV rays at the surface of the skin, whereas chemical options are absorbed into the skin, where they neutralize UV rays after they too are absorbed. These chemical options can sometimes leave trace amounts in the blood and impact hormones (though the worst offenders have been more or less boxed out of the industry). Chemical sunscreens remain popular, largely because some mineral lotions will leave a chalky residue on the skin—but sunscreen powder is an easy way to get the mineral benefits without the residue.

4. Lightweight Layering

If you already have a preferred facial moisturizer that doesn’t include SPF, then sunscreen powder is an easy way to get your requisite sun defense without caking on another layer of lotion. And since powder absorbs excess moisture at the surface of the skin, it leaves your face mattified—which is even better news for oily skinned and sweaty individuals. 

Plus, if you wear any concealer or makeup, sunscreen powder can double as a matte foundation for those products, or as a setting sealant, too. Sunscreen powder will not only help keep your blemishes covered, but will also ensure you get much-needed SPF defense over those spots to prevent hyperpigmentation

5. Gentle on Skin 

If you’ve ever been frustrated by breakouts from harsh or heavy sunscreens, powders are a great solution. The zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide used in powder SPFs won’t clog your pores or irritate skin, making them an excellent option for folks with sensitive complexions. 

The 5 Best Sunscreen Powders to Try Right Now

Supergoop sunscreen powder SPF 35

Supergoop produces a gaggle of top-notch, GQ-approved sunscreens, and their powder is an all-around excellent option. It comes in four shades and packs SPF 35 protection. 

Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen powder SPF 30

Yep, even the drugstore brand you grew up using at the beach is on the powder game these days. And Hawaiian Tropic’s take is every bit as affordable and dependable as you’d expect. 

ISDIN sunscreen powder SPF 50

For those in need of a higher level of protection, ISDIN’s sunscreen powder delivers a strong SPF 50. 

Brush On Block sunscreen powder SPF 30

Brush On Block specializes in mineral powder sunscreens, and this sleek SPF 30 brush is their signature product. 

Derma-E sunscreen powder SPF 30

Looking to try out a sunscreen powder without breaking the bank? Derma-E’s $15 version is a rock-solid

Powder Sunscreen Is the Quick, Easy SPF Solution You’ve Been Missing

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