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13 Best Powder Sunscreens For Flawless Skin Year-Round

Reapplying SPF has never been easier thanks to these top-rated powder sunscreens.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

13 Best Powder Sunscreens Via Merchantrd.com, via merchant (3)

Sunscreen powder

We know that UVA and UVB rays cause an array of unwanted side effects including premature aging, painful sunburn and deadly skin cancer. That’s why applying sunscreen is one of the most, if not the most, important part of your morning routine. Whether you use a face sunscreen, moisturizer with SPF or body sunscreen, it’s imperative to get something between your skin and the sun. However, maximum protection means reapplying SPF throughout the day, which is time consuming, messy and downright annoying. Enter: powder sunscreen.

What’s powder sunscreen?

Powder sunscreen is just like makeup setting powder, except better since it contains SPF. It typically comes in the form of a retractable brush that makes it easy to transport and reapply every two hours. Powder sunscreen protects skin not only from the sun, but pollution and blue light as well, shares Taylor Worden, celebrity esthetician and founder of Taylor Worden Skin in New York City. On top of SPF protection, powder sunscreen boasts a bounty of benefits.

Powder sunscreen can be used on more than just the face. It protects the neck, chest, ears, hands and arms, too. Worden notes that powder SPF actually works very well on the scalp and can even double as dry shampoo, which is great news if you leave home without your favorite summer hat. It also won’t leave skin feeling greasy. In fact, Worden notes that powder sunscreen works particularly well on oily skin because the powder soaks up oil and sweat. And best of all, powder sunscreen can be paired with your favorite sweat proof makeup. “It works amazing as a touch up and you can use it over your makeup,” says Worden. Because it’s a breeze to reapply, she suggests using powder sunscreen over a powder makeup with no SPF protection.

What to Look for When Buying Powder Sunscreen

With a variety of powder sunscreens on the market, keep these tips in mind when shopping. “Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen and make sure it has a minimum of 30 SPF,” advises Worden. You’ll also want to make sure you choose the right shade for your skin tone if there are no translucent options available. Worden cautions that brushes harbor bacteria which typically lead to breakouts. Keep bacteria away by gently cleaning makeup brushes and the retractable brush that comes with powder sunscreen. However, some brands warn that getting the bristles wet can clog powder sunscreen tools. Opt for products that have antimicrobial brushes or removable brush heads for fuss-free maintenance.

Evaluation Criteria

We found the best powder sunscreens by first consulting with Worden for her recommendations. Then, we scoured reviews and asked our shopping editors to find the best powder sunscreens that are worth adding to your daily skin care routine.

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Isdinceutics Mineral Brush Facial Powder Ecomm Via Isdin.comvia merchant

Best overall powder sunscreen

Isdinceutics Mineral Brush

The Isden Mineral Brush tops Worden’s list of the best powder sunscreens. Featuring 100% mineral powder, the formula contains titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mica and iron oxides that protect against UV rays, blue light, infrared radiation and pollution. People with sensitive skin love that it’s free of fragrance, parabens and talc. Though it’s not available in different shades, the translucent tone blends seamlessly into any skin type and color.

“The best for color, foundation coverage, sunscreen and even touchups when needed during the day,” shares verified reviewer, Stephanie. “Doesn’t even feel like you have makeup on! So easy to remove at the end of the day!”

Pros

  • Recommended by a skin expert
  • Translucent powder blends seamlessly
  • Protects against UV rays, blue light, infared radiation and pollution
  • Portable

Cons

  • Not available in different shades (though it is translucent)

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Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Sunscreen Powder Ecomm Via Target.comvia merchant

Best value powder sunscreen

Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Sunscreen Powder Brush SPF 30

This tried and true drugstore brand has been around for ages. So, when Hawaiian Tropic’s mineral sunscreen powder hit the shelves, we knew it would hold up. This lightweight, translucent powder goes on smooth, absorbs oil and leaves skin with a matte finish. It’s made with naturally sourced sea minerals, island botanicals and 100% mineral actives (read: no artificial chemicals) that offer broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. And while it does have a mild beachy scent, it’s free of parabens, oxybenzone and octinoxate. As one shopper puts it, this powder pick is like “invisible sunscreen.” It also doesn’t clog your pores, and won’t leave you looking like you have powder all over your face.

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Blends smooth into most skin tones
  • Uses naturally sourced sea minerals
  • Won’t clog pores

Cons

  • Not fragrance-free

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Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush On Shield Ecomm Via Colorscience.com 700x700 002via merchant

Best splurge powder sunscreen

Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50

The Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield boasts high marks from shoppers and our Executive Shopping Editor—and it’s clear why. The 100% mineral powder formula offers powerful and effective UVA and UVB protection. It’s so effective it’s currently the only powder sunscreen recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation for Active use, which is also why Worden recommends it. Aside from protecting against harmful rays, it guards skin from pollution, blue light and infrared radiation. This powder is also unscented and can be applied on its own over liquid SPF, moisturizer or makeup. Our shopping editor also swears by it. Megan Wood says, “This is my go-to face sunscreen for beach and travel days. It’s dependable, doesn’t leak and makes reapplication a breeze. Other sunscreens have left me with milia, but Colorescience keeps my skin clear.”

Pros

  • Seal of approval from the Skin Cancer Foundation
  • Contains antimicrobial brush bristles that won’t clog pores
  • Available in four shades

Cons

  • At $69, this option is on the pricey side
  • Brush can clog if it gets wet

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Mineral Fusion Brush On Sun Defense Ecomm Via Amazon.comvia merchant

Best powder sunscreen on Amazon

Mineral Fusion Brush-On Sun Defense SPF 30

With nearly 3,000 five-star ratings from Amazon shoppers, the Mineral Fusion Brush-On Defense is a favorite thanks to its hypoallergenic formula. Some even insist it’s on par with pricy competitors. Its super lightweight translucent formula protects skin from harmful UV rays and is loaded with antioxidants like vitamin A, sea kelp and white tea. Aside from being hypoallergenic, this sunscreen is free from talc, gluten, parabens, phthalates and fragrances. It’s also Leaping Bunny Certified, meaning you can feel extra good about applying it. File this powder sunscreen under winter sunscreen protection for safe-guarded skin year-round.

“I love how easy it is to carry this around with me and reapply sunscreen whenever I want to,” shares verified Amazon reviewer, Emma. “I have some melasma and use Elta MD before applying makeup everyday. I use the Mineral Fusion on top whenever I need it throughout the day. I also use it when home all day on bare skin. I showed it to my dermatologist and she was impressed with it.”

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Blurs pores, minimizes shine and sets makeup
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • Not water-resistant
  • Not available in multiple shades

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Is Clinical Perfecint Powder Ecomm Via Dermstore.comvia merchant

Best powder sunscreen for dark skin tones

iS Clinical PerfecTint Powder SPF 40

While some translucent powders blend seamlessly into all skin tones, a tinted powder that fits your skin tone also goes a long way. The iS Clinical PerfecTint Powder is available in ivory, cream, beige and deep tints. It protects all skin types from UVA and UVB rays and environmental pollution. While it hits all the right notes for powder sunscreen must-haves, we also love that this pick is formulated with plant-based ingredients, like clubmoss and imperata cylindrica root, that provide a powerful layer of hydration. Clubmoss helps improve skin hydration levels while the potassium rich imperata cylindrica root optimizes and reinforces the skin’s collagen synthesis and moisture absorption.

Pros

  • Variety of tints available
  • Hydrating
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Comes with brush cover

Cons

  • On the pricey side

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Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Sheer Matte Sunscreen Brush Ecomm Via Dermstore.comvia merchant

Best sunscreen powder for oily skin

Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Sheer Matte Sunscreen Brush SPF 30

Say goodbye to shiny skin! Although the rule of thumb for sunscreen powders is to absorb oil, extra oily skin or sunscreen wearers prone to blemishes will appreciate the Colorescience’s Sheer Matte sunscreen. It’s formulated to address specific oily-prone skin needs by absorbing excess oil and minimizing the appearance of pores. With protection from UVA/UVB, pollution, blue light and infrared radiation, this powder sunscreen goes the distance. It’s so easy to use it’ll be your new favorite beauty addition. Pair it with the best foundation for acne-prone skin for flawless coverage.

Pros

  • Absorbs excess oil
  • Antimicrobial brush bristles
  • Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective broad spectrum sunscreen

Cons

  • On the pricey side
  • Not available in multiple shades

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Bob Kids Brush On Mineral Powder Sunscreen Ecomm Via Amazon.comvia merchant

Best sunscreen powder for kids

Brush On Block Kids Brush On Mineral Powder SPF 30

Most kids simply can’t stand reapplying goopy sunscreen to their faces every two hours. This kid-friendly sunscreen powder solves that problem. This all natural, hypoallergenic formula is free of parabens, phthalates and gluten. Water- and sweat-resistant, it offers up to 80 minutes of broad-spectrum protection. You and your kids will love the fuss-free application and fluffy brush for year-round wear and reapplication throughout the day.

Pros

  • Kid-safe hypoallergenic formula
  • Ultra-soft fluffy brush is fun to use and soft on skin
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • Not refillable like the brand’s other powder sunscreen

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Tarte Sea Set And Protect Mineral Sunscreen Powder Broad Spectrum Ecomm Via Sephora.comvia merchant

Best sunscreen powder for sensitive skin

Tarte Sea Set & Protect Mineral Sunscreen Powder Broad Spectrum SPF 30

If you need a product that won’t irritate sensitive skin, the Tarte Sea Set and Protect Mineral Sunscreen Powder is ideal. This vegan powder has earned Sephora’s Clean Seal, meaning it’s free of parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates, mineral oil and triclosan. Sunscreen ingredients that are dangerous include oxybenzone and octinoxate, so opting for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide is important. The Tarte Mineral Sunscreen Powder gets high marks for this reason: Titanium Dioxide protects against UVA/UVB rays without harming skin.

Pros

  • Sephora Clean Seal of approval
  • Contains Titanium dioxide
  • All natural vanilla fragrance that’s rich in antioxidants

Cons

  • Some reviewers have found it’s difficult to get the right amount of powder out when using
  • Not available in multiple shades

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Eminence Organic Sun Care Ecomm Via Dermstore.comvia merchant

Best sunscreen powder for acne-prone skin

Eminence Organic Skin Care Sun Defense Minerals

For skin that needs a little extra TLC, this organic sunscreen powder is the solution. It does more than just protect skin from the sun by absorbing excess oil, combatting free radicals like pollution and preventing premature aging thanks to antioxidant rich Vitamins A and E. Available in six different shades, this is one of the best powder sunscreens for matching your skin tone and makeup. For extra glow, the brand suggests using a darker shade as a bronzer.

Pros

  • Gentle for acne-prone skin
  • Water-resistant
  • Formulated with Vitamins A and E
  • Doubles as a bronzer

Cons

  • Some reviewers don’t like the scent

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Supergoop Resetting 100 Percent Mineralpowder Sunscreen Ecomm Via Sephora.comvia merchant

Best sunscreen powder for all skin types

Supergoop (Re)Setting 100 Percent Mineral Powder

Full disclosure, we’re huge fans of everything Supergoop, including this mineral powder. This powder is so lightweight it’s easy to forget it’s even on. It’s made from 100% mineral actives and is free from harmful ingredients like the aforementioned oxybenzone and octinoxate. Apply it over sunscreen, moisturizer, makeup or wear on its own. No matter when or how this powder is applied, skin is treated to a smooth finish and no chalky residue. Choose from four shades to perfectly match your skin. And if you’re still in need of a liquid sunscreen, here’s the best sunscreen for every skin type.

Pros

  • Versatile application uses
  • Available in four different shades
  • Synthetic brush is made of antimicrobial bristles

Cons

  • Some reviewers have found it’s hard to dispense the right amount of powder

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Powder Me Spf Dry Sunscreen Ecomm Via Ulta.com 001via merchant

Best refillable powder sunscreen

Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen

After Worden cautioned about brushes harboring bacteria, the thought of using the same one for an extended period of time felt risky. That is, until we came across this refillable powder sunscreen. Not only are the sunscreen powder canisters removable, but so is the magnetic brush head. This allows you to thoroughly—and regularly—clean and dry it. That is reason alone to hit “add to cart,” along with the fact that it offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection while calming and nourishing the skin. Pick your perfect shade and you’re good to go!

Pros

  • Refillable
  • Magnetic brush head that’s easy to remove and clean
  • Water-resistant for up to 40 minutes

Cons

  • On the pricey side

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Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush On Shield Ecomm Via Colorescience.comvia merchant

Best bronzing powder sunscreen

Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield Bronze SPF 50

Bronzer that doubles as sunscreen? Yes please! Colorescience offers this brush-on bronzer powder sunscreen, and it’s basically heaven in a bottle brush. Not only does it offer the same protection as their best-selling powder sunscreen, it doubles as a bronzer. Protect your skin from UVA/UVB, pollution, blue light and infrared radiation while adding a sun-kissed glow. We love that it hits every important skincare and makeup note, including the most important one of all: SPF protection.

Pros

  • Works as a sunscreen and bronzer
  • Antimicrobial brush bristles
  • Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective broad spectrum sunscreen

Cons

  • On the pricey side

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Brush On Block Mineral Sunscreen Powder Ecomm Via Amazon.com 2via merchant

Best powder sunscreen for swimming

Brush On Block Translucent Mineral Powder SPF 30

Worden loves the Brush on Block Translucent Mineral Poweder because it’s reef-safe, vegan and refillable. What does reef-safe mean, you ask? The formula protects your skin and oceans by ensuring that products don’t contain any oxybenzone, octinoxate or nano-sized particles. This all-natural, vegan sunscreen is made from mineral actives and is free of parabens, phthalates and fragrance. Water- and sweat-resistant up to 80 minutes, frequent beach- and pool-goers will enjoy long-lasting protection.

Pros:

  • Water-resistant up to 80 minutes
  • Refillable tubes available for purchase
  • Recommended by an expert

Cons:

  • Only offered in two different shades

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FAQs

Does powder sunscreen work?

Yes! Powder sunscreen contains SPF and works as well as liquid sunscreens.

How long does powder sunscreen work?

It’s recommended to reapply powder sunscreen every two hours for maximum efficacy.

Can you set sunscreen with powder?

Worden advises, “Yes, it can be used to set the face after using a liquid SPF. The liquid SPF is the primary SPF, and the powder SPF is a great touch up that you can use every 90 minutes to two hours.”

Should you use powder sunscreen all year long?

According to Worden, sunscreen should be worn year-round, all day every day. Powder sunscreen makes this convenient by offering a liquid-free application. Plus, the container is extra easy to tote around. No leaks!

Does powder sunscreen expire?

Just like all skincare ingredients, powder SPF expires and separates if not stored properly. Store it at room temperature and in a dark place for maximum efficacy. Powder sunscreen typically has a shelf life of one to three years, but always double check the product’s expiration date.

Sources:

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Marisa Hillman
Marisa is a freelance writer and product expert covering product reviews, gift guides, and sales for RD.com. She is a former educator turned professional shopper dedicated to finding the best sales and products on the market. When she's not on deadline, she can be found exploring the East Coast or curled up at home with her nose in a book. She lives in New England with her husband, three children, and two dogs.