The Best Powder Sunscreens, According to Dermatologists
Ask any dermatologist and they will tell you that reapplying sunscreen throughout the day is key to effectively protecting your skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays. But on days you're on the go, or wearing a full face of makeup, reapplying sunscreen isn't always in the cards. The solution? Powder SPF, "which is typically made of physical UV filters, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide, which are excellent and also great for all skin types," explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein.
In addition to shielding your complexion from sun damage, powder sunscreens are great for mattifying oily skin—especially during the summer months—and work well for those who are acne-prone. What's more, SPF powders are designed to create an invisible layer of protection without disturbing your makeup or leaving a white cast. The only caveat? This formula type doesn't provide as much coverage as lotion-based iterations and should always be used in combination with cream or spray sunscreens. Ahead, a few dermatologist-recommended options for every complexion.
"This powder sunscreen is great because it contains zinc oxide and mica to protect your skin from sun damage and doubles as a mattifying powder foundation, leaving you with a natural finish. Plus, the compact packaging makes for easy on-the-go use," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman.
Shop Now: Isdin Mineral Brush SPF 50, $55, amazon.com.
If you're looking for an option that holds up against UV rays, salt water, and sweat, you can't go wrong with this formula from Jane Iredale. The lightweight powder is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes and contains titanium dioxide and natural clay minerals to soothe sensitive, acne-prone, and even sunburned skin.
Shop Now: Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen, $50, dermstore.com.
Are you on the oiler side? If so, Dr. Engelman recommends using this setting powder from Luminess. "These single-use packets pull double duty as oil blotters and SPF protection, and are perfect for stashing in a bag to bring with you on the go," she says.
Shop Now: Luminess SPF 30 Sunscreen Setting Powder, $20, luminesscosmetics.com.
Tarte's mineral sunscreen powder makes it easier than ever to set and protect your face. The vegan formula is gentle on sensitive skin and can even be used on your scalp, neck, chest, and hands.
Shop Now: Tarte "SEA Set & Protect" Mineral Sunscreen Powder, $28, sephora.com.
"I carry this in my purse at all times," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rachel Maiman of Marmur Medical. "It's a pure mineral sunscreen powder that has broad spectrum coverage and contains iron oxide for blue light protection. What's more, it has a very subtle shimmer that helps give that enviable glow—yet still manages to mattify on a hot summer day."
Shop Now: Colorescience "Sunforgettable Total Protection" Brush-On Shield SPF 50, $69, dermstore.com.
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss is a big fan of this product, as it not only shields skin from sun damage, but goes on seamlessly over makeup. Plus, its lightweight formula is packed with ceramides and olive glycerides that work to seal in moisture.
Shop Now: Supergoop! (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder SPF 35, $30, sephora.com.
ZO Skin Health
We love this powder sunscreen for two main reasons: First, it simultaneously hydrates and reduces oil, and second, it comes in three color-enhancing pigments for a luminous glow.
Shop Now: ZO Skin Health Sunsceen + Powder Broad-Spectrum, $65, zoskinhealth.com.
Brush on Block
If you're looking for a powder sunscreen that's safe for sensitive skin, this option from Brush on Block is a smart choice. It's formulated with nonirritating ingredients and can be worn under or over makeup.
Shop Now: Brush on Block Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, $32, amazon.com.