The 7 Best Powder Sunscreens of 2023, According to Dermatologists

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Perfect for touchups

<p>Amazon, Ulta, Sephora</p>

Amazon, Ulta, Sephora

While being good about applying sunscreen the first time around is one thing, it's the reapplication that's the kicker. It's easy to forget once you've applied your initial layer, or there's the fact that it simply feels like a bit of a nuisance post-makeup application. We totally understand not wanting to slather on some creamy SPF on top of your foundation (yuck), but that's where powder sunscreen comes in.

"Powder sunscreen is no different, ingredient-wise, than a mineral-based sunscreen," explains Christina Lee Chung, M.D. F.A.A.D. "In fact, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide exist naturally as powders, so instead of putting these particles in a lotion, cream, or spray base, they are allowed to exist in their natural form."

Think of it as your favorite setting powder mixed with UV blockers. And not only do these brush-on powder formulas offer protection against the sun's harmful rays, but they are also specifically designed to work with your makeup, making reapplying a cinch rather than an annoyance. Thanks to the powder formulation, they also mattify oily skin. Some options we mention below also serve as a powder foundation — talk about a double win!

If you're curious about which powder sunscreen is the right option for you, we asked dermatologists to break down their favorites below.

Related:The 7 Best Makeup Brushes of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Best Overall: Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50

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Who It’s Good For

  • All skin tones, as they have multiple shades to choose from.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Those looking for an affordable option.

This pure mineral powder sunscreen is a cult favorite for a reason, especially among the dermatologists we interviewed. Even with its $70 price tag, skincare experts and customers all over can't get enough of this product. It has garnered over 2,200 5-star reviews on Amazon, which is nothing to scoff at. It's a super lightweight option that doesn't clog your pores, making it an ideal powder sunscreen for those with acne-prone skin. It also protects your skin from infrared heat and blue light, an excellent added benefit if you're looking for a multipurpose product.

"The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends it for active use, so it's an excellent choice for people who spend lots of time outdoors," Chung explains. "It's also cruelty-free and non-nano for those who prioritize an organic, green lifestyle. Its price point is a bit higher, so some of the finer details may not be worth it for some, but you get what you pay for with this one."

Price at time of publish: $69

SPF: 30-50 | Size: 6.2 grams | Cruelty-Free: Yes 

Best for Scalp: Supergoop! Poof 100% Mineral Part Powder SPF 35

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Who It’s Good For

  • Someone looking for an easy-to-use product.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Those who prefer a multi-use product, as this is specifically formulated for the scalp.

We can't talk about sunscreen without mentioning Supergoop. The brand's Mineral Part and Scalp Powder SPF 35 has garnered a 4-star rating on Amazon with its 100 percent mineral zinc oxide formulation that delivers broad-spectrum UV protection. The best part is you can apply this SPF to your scalp without worrying about any cakiness or build-up. The sheer formula helps reduce shine and smooths the skin's appearance thanks to the addition of coated silica, which is known to diffuse light and help the appearance of visible pores. "It does not get cakey or flake; it stays under the radar and is almost invisible," dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D., explains. "It helps to absorb sebum, seal, and set on the scalp and part lines with 100 percent mineral protection." It's also formulated with ceramides and olive glycerides, which help lock in moisture. Chung adds, "You're more likely to find dry shampoo than makeup in my bathroom, and I love that you can kill two birds with one stone with [this] powder!" 

Price at time of publish: $34

SPF: 45 | Size: 4.25 grams | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for a Dewy Glow: iS Clinical PerfecTint Powder SPF 40

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Who It’s Good For

  • All skin types, specifically those with drier skin.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Someone who prefers a more affordable option.

We're all looking for that natural dewy glow — minus the sweat — and this powder SPF does just that. It offers sun protection for all skin types, including dry, mature, sensitive, combination, and balanced skin. “People with drier skin might stay away from powder sunscreen, but not this one,” says Shamban. “PerfecTint is ultra hydrating and does not accentuate dry patches and is great for all skin types.” It provides multilevel broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and leaves you with a silky smooth coverage that minimizes the appearance of pores and absorbs surface oil. This formula also features the brand’s antioxidant Extremozyme technology, which, according to the brand's site, “is clinically proven to help protect skin from environmental stressors while providing hydration even in powder form.” This powder sunscreen comes in five shades ranging from ivory to deep and can also be used on your face, scalp, and décolleté. That being said, it is on the pricier side with a price tag of $78.

Price at time of publish: $78

SPF: 40 | Size: 3.5 grams | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Budget: Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Translucent Sunscreen Powder Brush SPF 30

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Who It’s Good For

  • Someone in search of an affordable product that covers all the bases.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • This powder isn't good for people with fragrance sensitivity.

Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen Powder is our pick for those looking for an affordable option that is easily accessible at your local drugstore. Chung tells us that this powder "hits all the important items you should look for in powder sunscreen." She adds, "It's a great starter product for people who haven't dabbled much in cosmetics." Many reviewers stated that it provides excellent coverage and is super easy to throw in your bag when you're on the go. It's created with naturally sourced sea minerals that help absorb excess oil throughout the day and provides a matte finish. The translucent formula is known for blending well into most skin tones. This 100 percent mineral powder sunscreen gives UVA/UVB protection without chemical filters and is free of oxybenzone and octinoxate. "It also has a form of vitamin C which is a great antioxidant to protect your skin," Dhaval G. Bhanusali, M.D. says. This option is also dermatologist-tested and offers a light topical scent if you're looking for a fragrance that transports you to a faraway island instead of being stuck at home or work (one can dream, right?).

Price at time of publish: $16.14

SPF: 30 | Size: 4.25 grams | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Related:Elizabeth Hurley Uses This $30 Oil-Free Sunscreen That Shoppers Call 'Perfect'

Best for Acneic Skin: DERMA E Sun Protection Mineral Powder SPF 30

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Who It’s Good For

  • Those who are prone to breakouts.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • This product is only available in one translucent shade that might not work for every skin tone.

Derma-E's powder sunscreen is an excellent option for acne-prone and sensitive skin. This 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free product is only made with 12 natural ingredients and was developed in collaboration with makeup artist Ash Deleon (so you know it works great with makeup). This natural formula is “not just good for acne but anyone with sensitive skin,” says Chung. It’s also packed with skincare-focused ingredients like vitamin E, which is said to improve your skin's texture and provide moisture; green tea, which helps give your skin vital antioxidants; and chamomile flower extract, which helps soothe and calm irritated skin. “It is a mattifying powder which gives the skin an even-toned look, and it's also great for sensitive/acne-prone and mature skin,” Shamban explains. If you have mature skin, this powder SPF is ideal as it contains mica and silica, which help plump and give your skin a nice glow.

Price at time of publish: $23.95

SPF: 30 | Size: 4 grams | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Water-Resistant: Brush-On Block Mineral Sunscreen Powder

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Who It’s Good For

  • Everyone (there is also a kid-friendly version!)

Who It’s Not Good For

  • This is not a great product for people looking for additional protectants for infrared rays and bluelight.

Looking for a water-resistant option that offers broad-spectrum protection from the sun's UVA and UVB rays? Try this SPF 30 mineral sunscreen powder that is water-resistant and sweat-proof for up to 80 minutes! "This is a water-resistant sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, but I recommend reapplying after any activity and every 2 hours regardless," Shamban explains. It's perfect for touch-up lounging by the pool or hanging out at the beach after a day. Just a reminder that powder sunscreens are only meant for reapplications. "Do not fool yourself," cautions Shereene Idriss, M.D. "This is the cherry on top of the ice cream, not a substitute for sunscreen — just a top-off. If you're going to the beach or the pool, pick up a lotion or spray sunscreen." It currently has over 2,136 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon. Customers are raving that it's also easy to apply to your ears, scalp, and hands. They also mentioned the brush itself makes the application process super seamless.

Price at time of publish: $32.30

SPF: 30 | Size: 3.4 grams | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Multitasking Powder Sunscreen: ISDIN Isdinceutics Mineral Brush

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Who It’s Good For

  • Those looking to add to their anti-aging repertoire.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • This powder only comes in one shade and may not be suitable for all skin tones.

What's better than a beauty product that does one thing really well? One that multitasks and makes your life a whole lot easier. If you're in the market for an SPF that also doubles as an anti-aging product, ISDIN's Mineral Brush Powder is right up your alley. This mineral sunscreen also protects your skin from certain environmental stressors thanks to its key ingredients, as Chung explains. "This is a favorite among my office staff. It contains a combination of zinc, titanium, iron oxides, and mica to protect skin from blue light and infrared radiation." This 2-in-1 gives you gorgeous coverage and sun protection. That being said, the shade range is nonexistent. "This product only comes in one translucent shade, so it may not be suitable for darker skin tones," Chung continues. It's also important to note that this powder sunscreen is expensive, coming in at $55.

Price at time of publish: $52.25

SPF: 50 | Size: 4 grams | Cruelty-Free: Not stated

How to Pick the Right Powder Sunscreen


When choosing a powder sunscreen, the most crucial factor to consider is choosing the correct SPF. You should look for a broad-spectrum product that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. “I like at least an SPF 30 or higher and something that is lightweight,” Bhanusali tells us. “Some powder sunscreens can get messy, and so it's important to have one that is easy to transport and something you can keep with you at all times.”


If you’re wondering if there are any ingredients you should avoid, allow Shamban to explain. She often chooses a powder sunscreen that’s “free of talc," a controversial ingredient that, in its natural form, may cause serious health concerns (though more studies need to be done). As for her green-light ingredients, Shamban says that likes those "full of micronized zinc and lots of antioxidants."

Ease of Use

It’s also important to find the right component for you. “Powder sunscreen can come in a few different packaging types including pumps, pressed into a compact, and most commonly, as an all-in-one brush,” Idriss explains. “When applying, you would brush it on as you would normally apply powdered makeup, which can be applied to your face, neck, and chest area. I also love applying it to the part in my hair to avoid a burnt, itchy scalp, a place that often gets overlooked when applying sunscreen.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wear powder sunscreen alone?

The short answer is no, because it doesn’t provide enough protection. “Powders have a lower coverage density and lack enough ‘stick’ to the skin. The best way to think about powder sunscreen is as a semi-sheer finishing layer, which makes it a great sunscreen cosmetic but not the best option for standalone sun protection,” Chung explains.

Where can you apply powder sunscreen?

Most dermatologists only recommend using powder sunscreen on your face and scalp — just remember they should only be used as touch-ups. To ensure full protection, you should apply an even layer on your face, neck, and chest. It's important to note that this doesn't omit the need for applying a base layer of a regular SPF. Idriss doesn't recommend using powder sunscreen as your sole sunscreen because "it's hard to get enough dispersed evenly onto your skin for sufficient protection." She recommends applying regular lotion sunscreen before you leave your house and bringing a powder sunscreen along with you to touch up throughout the day.

How often do you reapply a powder sunscreen?

You should reapply it every two hours for touch-ups only but as we mentioned, make sure to apply a regular sunscreen as your base as well.

Take Our Word For It

Nikita Charuza is a freelance beauty and fashion editor with almost a decade of experience and is the founder of the "happy headcare" line Squigs Beauty. For this story, she interviewed four dermatologists for product recommendations and insight into formulations and proper application. These experts included:

Before making her final selections, she took a look at the list of products to make sure there were several that are inclusive of shade ranges and skin types to make sure we are recommending a wide variety of powder sunscreens. These recommendations, along with reviews by customers on trusted retailers, helped determine the best products included in this roundup.

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