The 9 Best Powder Sunscreens For Super Easy SPF Reapplication

Our favorite is ISDIN Mineral Brush Facial Powder SPF 50.

Best Powder Sunscreens
Photo: Courtesy of Supergoop

Most people prioritize sunscreen in the summer, but safe sun practices are important all year round. Too much time under UV rays results in signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and in some cases, dangerous skin cancers. Although initial SPF application is necessary, reapplication is just as important. Derms suggest reapplying every two hours for the best possible UV protection.

Reapplication sounds great in theory, but in practice, it is much harder. Lathering sunscreen over a face full of makeup doesn't look or feel appealing, so it's usually avoided. Powder sunscreen offers an easy way to apply sun protection without disrupting your everyday look. "It can be difficult to get an even coat of application with sunscreen brushes and even application is critical for sun protection," says Caroline Robinson, M.D., board certified medical and cosmetic dermatologist at Tone Dermatology in Chicago.

Instead, she recommends using a lotion sunscreen as your first layer of application prior to sun exposure and using a powder for reapplication. ISDIN Mineral Brush Facial Powder SPF 50 is our favorite overall for its high SPF and smooth application.

We rounded up the best powder sunscreens to improve your reapplication game.

Our Picks

01 of 09

Best Overall: ISDIN Mineral Brush Facial Powder SPF 50

Powder Sunscreen
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Also available at ISDIN

What We Love: This do-it-all brush protects against bluelight, free radical damage, and harmful UV rays.

What We Don't Love: The price point is a little high for the amount of product. We wish this was more accessible.

The SPF 50 protection in an all-mineral formula is a major reason why we chose this formula for the best overall winner. This mineral brush contains titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and mica to protect against blue light and free radical damage while leaving your skin with a silky smooth finish that won't ruin your makeup, says Dendy Engleman, M.D., a board certified dermatologist and MOHS surgeon at the Shafer Clinic in New York City.

"The matte formula is also fragrance-free, paraben-free and talc-free to avoid irritation for sensitive skin." The sheer, translucent color also works across all skin tones and the included brush was soft and applied evenly.

Size: .14 oz | SPF: 50 | Shades: 1

02 of 09

Best Value: Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Skin Nourishing Sunscreen Powder Brush SPF 30

Powder Sunscreen
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Also available at Walgreens

What We Love: The super accessible price point makes this one that you can use often with guilt over the cost of a replacement.

What We Don't Love: Although the powder is translucent, we wish it came in more than one shade.

Chances are you already have a few Hawaiian Tropic lotions or sprays in your sunscreen stash. The lotions are a summertime staple in their own right, but their powder brush's formula earned a spot in our lineup. For those with especially oily skin, this powder is infused with sea minerals to help absorb excess sebum in addition to protecting your skin from the sun. Not only that, this powder has vitamin C, which helps even skin tone and prevent sun-related damage. A product that truly does it all and for under $20.

Size: .15 oz | SPF: 30 | Shades: 1

03 of 09

Best Splurge: iS Clinical PerfecTint Powder SPF 40

best cellulite cream
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Also available at Skinstore

What We Love: Available in five made-to-match shades, there's a powder to suit every skin tone.

What We Don't Love: The bristles feel a bit scratchy on the face.

While 70 bucks feels like a bit much to spend on SPF, hear us out. The $78 set comes with two powder refills, so you effectively get two sticks for the price of one. In addition, this powder packs a powerful punch. Infused with glycerin to protect the skin barrier and clubmoss to hydrate, this dainty dust not only protects your skin from the sun, but it also delivers serious skincare benefits. On top of that, it also comes in five flexible shades, so there is an option for everyone.

Size: .12 oz | SPF: 40 | Shades: 5

04 of 09

Best Tinted: Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush On Shield SPF 50

Powder Sunscreen
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Also available at Colorscience

What We Love: This powder cartridge holds over .2 oz, so you are getting more bang for your buck.

What We Don't Love: Even though these come in shades, the coverage and tone is very, very sheer.

Before there was even a market for powder sunscreens, Colorescience was selling their O.G. brush. In fact, it is the only powder SPF recommended by the Skin Cancer Society. As SPF amounts get higher, sunscreen formulas tend to get chalkier. This finely milled powder protects without caking on the skin. Available in four diverse shades, each person can find the tint that works for them.

Size: .21 oz | SPF: 50 | Shades: 4

05 of 09

Best Water-Resistant: Brush On Block Translucent Mineral Powder Sunscreen SPF 30

Powder Sunscreen
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Also available at Amazon

What We Love: This powder is sweat and water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

What We Don't Love: There is only one shade available.

Keep this brush in your beach bag or duffel for all your summer activities. This sweat and water resistant dust stays put after a quick dip in the pool or a bike down the boulevard. After applying, this powder works to nourish skin. Chamomile extract moisturizes, green tea leaf extract protects against free radicals, and honeysuckle prevents inflammation.

Size: .12 oz | SPF: 30 | Shades: 1

06 of 09

Best For All Skin Types: Supergoop Resetting 100% Mineral Powder SPF 35

Powder Sunscreen
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Also available at Dermstore

What We Love: The finely milled powder delivers an elegant matte finish.

What We Don't Love: The product can take awhile to come out of the bottom of the brush.

Supergoop Resetting 100% Mineral Powder SPF 35 is a favorite of Dr. Robinson, who loves both the shade range and matte finish from this flexible powder. A few swipes improves the look of skin, while also depositing skin-benefitting ingredients at the same time. Ceramides and olive glycerides seal in moisture and coated silica minimizes the look of pores.

Size: .15 oz | SPF: 35 | Shades: 4

07 of 09

Best For Sensitive Skin: Eminence Organic Skin Care Sun Defense Minerals SPF 30

Powder Sunscreen
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Also available at Eminence Organics

What We Love: The wide range of shades means you'll find your match with ease.

What We Don't Love: The brush is on the pricey side.

Another one of Dr. Robinson's favorites, this powder is available in six blendable shades. "The cinnamon shade blends well in the deepest skin tones," she says. While the shade range of this powder is a definite boon, it also works on the most sensitive skin types. Minerals and organic fruit extracts help calm redness and irritation.

Size: .28 oz | SPF: 30 | Shades: 6

08 of 09

Best For Touch Ups: BareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder Broad Spectrum SPF 25

Powder Sunscreen
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Also available at Ulta

What We Love: It blurs like a setting powder, but protects like a sunscreen.

What We Don't Love: At only SPF 25, we wish this came in SPF 30 to meet dermatologist recommendations.

For especially oily skin types, this powder is nice to have on hand. Most powder sunscreens are sun protection before makeup, but this option from BareMinerals offers the best of both worlds. With the power to instantly brighten and minimize the look of fine lines, dab a little in greasy spots to absorb oil, as well as a bit under the eyes to fake awake.

This powder is only SPF 25, so make sure to have a solid layer of sunscreen on before using.

Size: .21 oz | SPF: 25 | Shades: 1

09 of 09

Best Translucent: Tarte SEA Set & Protect Mineral Sunscreen Powder Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Powder Sunscreen
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Also available at Tarte Cosmetics

What We Love: This brush has .28 oz of product, considerably more than most brushes.

What We Don't: It can be hard to get the powder out. Make sure a sufficient amount is on the brush before using.

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide team up to provide ultimate sun protection. The silky smooth formula covers without creating chalkiness. Our favorite part? The beachy vanilla scent will transport you to the islands, no matter where you are spending the summer.

Size: .28 oz | SPF: 30 | Shades: 1

What to Keep in Mind

Sun Damage

"The sneaky thing about sun damage is that it accumulates over time, and we may not even notice that our skin has sustained small amounts of damage until it's too late," Dr. Engelman previously told InStyle. "Protecting your skin every day with sunscreen should be an automatic part of everyone's routine."

Best sunscreen practices include wearing it every single day (not just on hot days or at the beach). You'll also want to reapply every two hours to keep skin protected. Most experts recommend looking for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has at least SPF 30 (bonus points for SPF 50).

Shade Range

While SPF powders are often very sheer, the number of shades, or lack thereof, is still a factor in your decision. If you want to cut shine or oil and don't want to disrupt your makeup, a colorless, translucent formula may be your best bet. If you want a hint of coverage or to touch-up your base makeup, then a formula with color might work well for you. The shade ranges for powder sunscreens are small, so opt for a shade that is the closest match. And remember: Beyond broad spectrum SPF 30, the best SPF product is the one you will use over and over again.

Your Questions, Answered

How do powder sunscreens work?

Powdered sunscreens are often mineral-based with active ingredients such as zinc-oxide and titanium dioxide, creating a protective barrier by reflecting harmful UV rays as opposed to absorbing them like a chemical sunscreen would, says Dr. Engelman. :They are also a non-comedogenic option for those with oily, acne-prone skin who want to minimize pore clogging that often happens with lotions and sprays."

The benefits of powder sunscreen extend beyond sun protection. "The powder consistency absorbs excess oil and sweat, making it a great option for scalp protection, too. It is also the safest method of reapplication to preserve your makeup," she adds.

How often do you apply powder sunscreens?

Though they come in a different format, powder SPFs behave similarly to lotions or sprays. "Sunscreen brushes follow similar reapplication rules to regular sunscreen and should be applied every two hours when exposed to the sun," says Dr. Robinson. Be sure to brush on several layers to get adequate protection — and pick a lotion for your first layer of the day.

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