8 Over-Makeup Powder Sunscreens That Actually Work

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These Over-Makeup Powder Sunscreens Do Work

woman wearing sunscreen

Photo by Brian Doben

Photo by Brian Doben

If you haven’t already stocked up on sunscreen, now’s the time to raid those shelves—long days under the intense summer sun are upon us, and protecting your skin against premature aging and skin cancer is crucial.

But what type of sunscreen will you choose? Since sunblock has become such a skincare staple in everyone’s routine (finally!), beauty brands are inventing more options and formulations than ever before. While powder sunscreens aren’t necessarily anything new, you can find them popping up in many purses, gym bags and beach bags thanks to their easy application and mess-free packaging.

Powder sunscreens are packed with active SPF ingredients, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, that exist in powder form and sit on top of the skin to shield against UVA rays. “We may be used to sunscreens being available in liquid form, but they can be as effective in a powder, too,” says NYC-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D.

Although powder sunscreens are effective in terms of UVA protection, you probably shouldn’t rely on just powder when out in the sun for long periods of time. “Liquid sunscreen is best for the initial application, as it should provide even, sufficient coverage,” explains Engelman. “You would need to apply a great amount of powdered sunscreen to get the same coverage [as a liquid], and it’s easier and more effective to use a liquid sunscreen first and powdered sunscreen for reapplication.”

Engelman is a big fan of using powdered sunscreen as a bonus for liquid sunscreen, and advises to apply powdered sunscreen every two hours when out in the sun. “It sits on top of makeup, so it won’t disturb and also eliminates shine,” she says. “It’s super easy to have on hand, so reapplying SPF isn’t a hassle.”

Bottom line: don’t nix your liquid SPF just yet, but consider one of these eight powder sunscreens below the next time you need some extra sun protection throughout the day.

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ISDIN Mineral Brush 50

Mineral Powder SPF Brush

“This brush combines titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to provide UV and blue light protection,” says Engelman. “The natural color blends evenly on various skin tones, too.”

isdin.com, $55

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Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF® Dry Sunscreen

Jane Iredale Powder Sunscreen

Available in four shades, this reef-safe sunscreen can be applied to your face, body and scalp, too. It’s recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and can be a soothing and calming agent on sunburns.

janeiredale.com, $47

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Paula’s Choice On-the-Go Shielding Powder SPF 30

Paula's Choice Powder SPF

If there’s one thing Paula’s Choice is known for, it’s how seriously they take sun protection. This finely-milled blend includes Vitamin C & E to help strengthen your skin.

paulaschoice.com, $29

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Éminence Organic Skin Care Sun Defense Minerals - No. 0 Translucent

Éminence Organic Skin Care Sun

Photo courtesy of Dermstore

Photo courtesy of Dermstore

Not only is this sunscreen powder water resistant, but it’s also ideal for post-treatment use, as it won’t irritate skin.

dermstore.com, $58


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Brush on Block Translucent Mineral Powder Sunscreen

Brush on Block Powder SPF

Photo courtesy of Brush on Block

Photo courtesy of Brush on Block

This 30 SPF block is cruelty-free, great for kids and those with sensitive skin, and is sweat- and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

brushonblock.com, $32

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Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50

Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield

“This 100% mineral sunscreen provides protection while still feeling lightweight,” says Engelman. “It’s also oil-free, yet calming with niacinamides.”

colorescience.com, $65

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Supergoop! 100% Mineral Invincible Setting Powder

Supergoop powder SPF

Photo courtesy of Supergoop

Photo courtesy of Supergoop

Available in translucent, light, medium and deep, the Supergoop! powder offers a matte finish to the skin, and we love that the brush and base are refillable, too.

supergoop.com, $30

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Tarte Tarteguard Mineral Powder Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Tarte Powder SPF

Photo courtesy of Tarte

Photo courtesy of Tarte

Other than the fact that we’re totally obsessed with the pink and white brush head, the Tarte mineral powder SPF is vegan and promises to not mess with your makeup.

sephora.com, $28