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The 12 Best Powder Sunscreens, According To Dermatologists

You can even use some to set your makeup.

best powder sunscreens of 2022
Christine Giordano

It’s no secret that sunscreen should be applied every day—even when it's cloudy. But it does get tricky to remember to reapply throughout the day, especially when you’re on the go. So why not add a product that gives you a dose of SPF protection in the blink of an eye? That’s where powder sunscreens enter the conversation.

A powder sunscreen is pretty similar to any other liquid formula, except, of course, these are “a type of mineral-based sunscreen that are in a powder form,” according to Anthony Rossi, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Rossi Derm MD. 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.

Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in NYC, also explains that powder sunscreens have no greasy textures and don’t leave any white cast behind. “They can be worn over makeup without messing it up, and they’re also great for the part line in the scalp,” she says. Dr. King adds that the mineral sunscreens also absorb excess oil, so they can serve a dual purpose as a finishing powder that can extend the life of your makeup with added sun protection.

“Apply it as the last step over makeup, over a tinted moisturizer, or another SPF,” Alicia Zalka, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Surface Deep, explains. “Brush it all over the face, neck, top of the chest, and backs of hands.” Always apply a generous amount to ensure you don’t miss any spots. And remember, just like any other sunscreen, you must reapply every two hours.

But 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.

If you're thinking about adding a powder-based sunscreen to your lineup for everyday use, here's 12 options recommended by our expert dermatologists.

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Best Overall
Brush-On Sunscreen Mineral Powder for Sensitive Skin

If you’re looking to add a powder sunscreen to your stash, Dr. Zalka recommends this brush-on product. “It’s super portable which means no more excuses of ‘oh, I forgot my sunscreen,’" she says. "You can bring it everywhere, and it's always in my purse, even in the winter.”

Best Reef Safe Formula
SPF 30 Mineral Powder Sunscreen
Larkly Suncare

According to Nava Greenfield, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City, this mineral powder SPF “gives excellent coverage and looks great on the skin.” It helps to cover all of the spots you might have missed with a traditional sunscreen, and it leaves no chalky finish behind. It’s also reef safe and refillable.

Best Defense Against Photoaging
Mineral Brush Powder

“I recommend Isdin's Mineral Brush," Dr. King says. "It's all mineral with titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mica, and iron oxides, and it protects against free radical pollution damage, blue light, and infrared radiation.” It also has a fine and silky texture, and it's free of talc, parabens, and fragrance.

Best Tinted Powder SPF
Powder-Me SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen
jane iredale

Dr. Zalka also recommends this powder formula, a weightless SPF powder that comes in four different shades and can be worn alone or with makeup. It’s water-resistant for up to 40 minutes and contains a soft vegan-made brush that makes reapplying the product a breeze.

Best for Protecting Against Free-Radicals
Sun Defense Minerals SPF 30

Eminence’s mineral SPF is infused with vitamins A and E that combat free radicals and sun damage.

Best for Setting Makeup
(Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder + Broad Spectrum SPF 35 PA+++ Sunscreen

Not only does it protect from sun damage, but the powder stick effortlessly glides over makeup and doubles as a setting powder for your makeup to reduce shine. It's a great product to never leave the house without.

Best Budget Product
Mineral Skin Nourishing Sunscreen Powder Brush - SPF 30
Hawaiian Tropic

Even though most powder SPFs are translucent, this selection from Dr. Zalka vanishes when you blend it into the skin—you never have to worry about it leaving a white cast behind. The formula also helps to absorb any excess oil on the skin, and it's free of oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Easiest To Reapply
Sea Set & Protect Mineral Sunscreen Powder Broad Spectrum SPF 30

This formula protects skin and makes applying an extra layer of protection something to look forward to. The powder SPF also sets your makeup for up to 12 hours and leaves a light vanilla fragrance behind that doesn't irritate the skin.

Best Lightweight Formula
Radiant Translucent Powder SPF 20

This formula is amazing for anyone that experiences redness, thanks to the addition of aloe and irritation-soothing hibiscus extract. The powder is weightless and easy to reapply every few hours, especially when you're on the go.

Best Splurge
PerfecTint Powder SPF 40
iS Clinical

This silky tinted powder makes skin look flawless with broad-spectrum protection from harmful rays and light coverage with lasting hydration.

Best For Blue Light Protection
Sunscreen + Powder Broad-Spectrum SPF 45
ZO Skin Health

This powder sunscreen protects and leaves the skin with light-reflecting minerals for a radiant glow. The formula also includes fractionated melanin that adds a layer of protection against blue light from electronics and the sun's rays.

Best On Amazon
Sun Protection Mineral Powder SPF 30

For daily protection, reach for the this SPF stick. The powder combines both makeup and protection and leaves skin with a healthy glow. The packaging also makes it easy to stick in your bag for easy access throughout the day.

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