You’ve likely heard it a million times: Make sunscreen part of your daily skincare routine. But since greasy, heavy lotions aren’t necessarily the kind of thing you want to layer on your face every day, powder sunscreen for the face offers a light, shine-free alternative. Because wearing makeup in the summer and protecting your skin from the sun don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Powder sunscreen isn’t necessarily a substitute for traditional formulas if you’re planning on spending a day on the beach or getting active in the sun, but it’s a great option for those of us who tend to sweat, er, glow a little more in the summer but still want the benefits of a daily SPF. Plenty of the options available now reduce oil, set makeup, and some even offer a hint of color, all while adding sun protection. Just brush it on over your finished face–and remember to reapply every few hours! Especially if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, powder sunscreen can be a godsend, sitting on top of your skin rather than plugging up your pores; that’s especially true with a mineral powder sunscreen that features ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
An added bonus to using powder sunscreen— think kids that will not sit still. It’s hard getting them to stay put for the daily rub of spf face cream before they run out the door. Now imagine having them close their eyes for a few seconds while you just brush on a sunscreen powder. We dare say they’ll like it (and even ask for it!).
So which SPF powder is right for you and/or your fam? We dove into the world of sun protection to bring you the best powder sunscreen picks available now. Scroll to shop them all and give UV rays the brush 0ff.
Best Brush On Powder Sunscreen for Face
This mineral powder sunscreen is lightweight, non-chalky, and totally transparent so it can be used on all skin tones. In addition to protecting your skin from the sun’s rays, it helps reduce shine, sets makeup, and features nourishing antioxidants from sea kelp. “My pores look smaller with this powder; someone even complimented on how good my skin looked,” wrote one reviewer. Plus, this hypoallergenic, natural sunscreen powder has all the good “frees:” It’s gluten-free, paraben-free, SLS- and phthalate-free, and cruelty free. Brush it on 15 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply every two hours–it’s that easy. As another reviewer raved, “I love this stuff! I keep one in my purse and one in my pool bag. It glides so fabulous over my makeup and gives me the protection I need. It does not seem to have any weird build up after multiple applications. It is refillable as well.”
One of the many benefits of powder sunscreen is that it doesn’t run into your eyes the way traditional lotions can. If you’ve ever had to soothe a screaming child or spouse (raises hand) whose eyes were stinging from sunscreen, well you know the importance of this feature cannot be overstated. A mineral powder sunscreen that’s safe for kids and parents, Brush-On Block offers a convenient, refillable alternative to greasy formulas that’s also great for sensitive skin. It’s formulated with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, can be worn over or under makeup, and the Touch of Tan version comes with a hint of color that can be layered for deeper tones. Shoppers frequently mention how sheer this powder is–and how they plan to refill! Wrote one reviewer, “I have a medium caramel skin tone and it really is translucent! Pleasantly surprised. Will definitely be ordering refill cartridges of the powder.” Another wrote “I can see buying the refill and using it for years. The product is easy to use and invisible.”
A portable powder sunscreen is ideal for those of us who never seem to have enough time (AKA: all of us?). Thanks to its convenient brush-on tube, you can touch up/reapply this Peter Thomas Roth powder sunscreen anywhere. It’s sheer with a hint of color and has a matte finish, helping absorb oils, reduce shine, and set makeup. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide provide SPF 45 sun protection, while vitamins A, C, and E help nourish your skin with antioxidants. “This is my go to for sunscreen on my face,” wrote a reviewer, “Love that it acts as setting powder. It’s lightly tinted and doesn’t smell like anything which I like. Good for sensitive skin.” Another noted that this mineral powder sunscreen is “Awesome for all shades,” noting, “I have brown skin and the powder blends in perfectly even though it’s white. There is no scent and it helps keep my face getting too sweaty.” Sun protection powder for all moms? Yeah, we’re into that.
Supergoop! powder sunscreen is setting powder and sun protectant, offering SPF 45 and a flawless finish for your face. Meant for every type of skin (“Perfect combo even for my very sensitive skin,” a reviewer wrote, “Thank you SuperGoop!”), this formula smoothes fine lines and reduces shine, all while shielding your face from the sun’s harmful rays. It does so without parabens, synthetic fragrance, oxybenzone (which is known to harm reefs/cause coral bleaching), or testing on animals! Supergoop’s 100% mineral powder is available in four shades: light, medium, deep, and translucent (for all skin tones), so there’s basically an option for everyone. “This is such a great product,” wrote another happy reviewer, “I love to carry this one around and reapply sunscreen throughout the day.” Clean and convenient–you love to see it!
Meant for all types of skin from oily to dry, this vegan powder sunscreen brushes on easily over makeup without messing up your hard work. It’s translucent and oil-free, which means it’s neither chalky nor greasy, and it’s also free of chemicals and yucky toxins like parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates, and more. Just brush it over your finished face, as well as your neck, chest, and anywhere else on your bod 15 minutes before you get out in the sun, and make sure to reapply every two hours. Tarte sunscreen powder isn’t recommended for swimming or more-than-slight sweating, though, so be prepared. One fan wrote, “I spend a LOT of time out on the water, and am very careful about my sunscreen since having one round of skin cancer already. When I’m going to be on the water all day, I use sunscreen first, tinted moisturizer with spf over it, and set it with this. It’s also fantastic because the brush is built in; I travel a lot and it’s just one less thing to pack.” Clean and convenient!
Colorescience’s mineral powder sunscreen offers protection from the sun’s rays as well as a hint of color so you can use it as light coverage and SPF (It’s available in four shades: Fair, Medium, Tan, or Deep). The brand’s “Enviroscreen Technology” employs a blend of “exclusive ingredients and patented sunscreen actives” to protect your face from free-radicals and other skin-aging stressors. Just tap the tube on a hard surface and run your fingers through the brush bristles to get the sunscreen powder flowing, then dust it over your face for at least one minute. Customers love this non-oily formula for it’s easy application, writing reviews like, “Love it. No greasy lotion. Leaves skin protected and glowing with a look of health.” Another even noted how it’s “Easy to use on face and my husband’s bald head. Does not run down into his eyes.” We’re on board with anything that makes sunscreen application easier–and painless!
Best Loose Powder Sunscreen for Face
With SPF 30 and water-resistance up to 40 minutes, this brush-on mineral powder sunscreen is an excellent summer alternative to traditional lotions. You can literally use it from head to toe–it’s meant for face, body, and scalp (yes, please) and can even be used to soothe sunburns! Made from natural clay minerals and titanium dioxide, the formula is chemical-, vegan-, and gluten-free, and is recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective broad spectrum sunscreen. Well, okay. Customers also appear to recommend, as well. As one noted, “I love to wear this at the beach. Excellent sun protection and I love the color it gives to my face.” Another raved, “Love the application – no more liquid sunscreens for me! Living at 10,550 feet elevation with strong sun exposure daily, I can say this product does what it claims: sustained UV protection and ease of application with a kabuki brush.”
Ilia’s combo powder/sunscreen for face offers a hint of color, sun protection, and shine reduction all in one–and it does so using 100% natural dye, aloe leaf extract, passion fruit and rosemary oil. If you’re looking for an everyday powder that will keep your skin looking glowy but not greasy, this vegan, talc-free formula is a great option. It’s got an SPF level of 20 and, according to customers, it gets the job done. As one reviewer noted, “Clean Beauty, Excellent finishing powder! Lasts all day!” Another gushed, “This powder is so gorgeous on top of the tinted serum. I have large pores on my nose and cheeks and this powder works wonders! It kept me shine free for most of the day without any touch-ups. Love it!” Grab your favorite poof or brush, and this powder/sunscreen combo is pretty sweet for daily skin maintenance and protection.
Now that you’ve scored the perfect powder sunscreen, shop more beauty must-haves for the sunny season!