7 Best Powder Sunscreens That Won’t Mess Up Your Makeup


An important note on sunscreen safety: The FDA is currently proposing big changes to sunscreen regulations, and only physical sunscreens with the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are currently recognized as safe. Until they reach a more robust conclusion in late 2020, the FDA advises, “Americans should continue to use sunscreen with other sun protective measures as this important rule-making effort moves forward.” Our GH Beauty Lab experts agree, and test a range of formulas (both mineral and chemical) that protect against sunburn.

Sunscreen in a powder form? Yes, you read that right: Though SPF most often comes in creamy lotions, sheer sprays, or good ol’ white zinc oxide, now sunscreen and powder have officially joined forces to give you mess-free protection, shine control, and sometimes, a little coverage, too.

Powder SPF can be used anywhere, but according to Marisa Garshick, M.D., a dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York City, it’s best used as a touch-up for the face, neck, chest, and hands, which are areas prone to daily UV exposure, and for hard-to reach-or often-forgotten areas like the hairline and scalp. They may not be as practical for the whole body based on the amount you would need to apply to ensure appropriate coverage.