While we’re familiar with the golden rule of SPF, which is to reapply sunscreen every few hours throughout the day, the thought of slathering greasy sunscreen lotion over our already-perfected makeup is enough to make our skins crawl.
Instead of skipping our SPF retouches, however, we’ve found another way to layer it on midday without messing up our makeup: powder sunscreen.
What is powder sunscreen?
Powder sunscreens are made with minerals that physically block or reflect harmful UV rays before they hit the skin.
You might be tempted to switch your regular sunscreen lotions for powders because they sweep over the skin effortlessly and feel so lightweight. However, the thing to note is that they don’t provide as much protection, which is why they shouldn’t be used as your primary form of SPF.
Since they rest over the skin, you can use them for the mess-free reapplication of your SPF at any time during the day. Not only do they prevent your makeup from melting, but they’re also perfect for mattifying midday shine.
You can also dust them on in the mornings, over your sunscreen lotions, to cover any of the spots that you might have missed out. Or, if you’re a frequent beach-goer, then adopt this pro-tip: tap your powder sunscreens onto your parting to shield against sunburn!
How to use powder sunscreen?
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The key to applying powder sunscreen, just as with lotions, is that you should wear enough and an even layer over your skin.
A slight sprinkle of powder isn’t going to be enough to block out unrelenting sun rays, so whip out the products’ slide-up brushes and arm yourselves with powder puffs – they’re on your side when it comes to waging war against sun damage.
Read on, because we’ve rounded up the best powder sunscreens in Singapore!
Best powder sunscreens in Singapore
DERMA E Essentials Sun Protection Mineral Powder
The ideal powder sunscreen for sensitive skin, Derma E Essentials Sun Protection Mineral Powder contains skin-soothing ingredients like green tea, chamomile, and vitamin E.
The infused antioxidants help to calm the complexion and fight free radical damage at the same time as it shields the skin from harmful UV rays. It’s something that your sensitive skin will thank you for.
DERMA E Essentials Sun Protection Mineral Powder retails for S$22.78 on iHerb.
Mineral Fusion Mineral SPF 30 Brush-On Sun Defense
Mineral Fusion’s Mineral SPF 30 Brush-On Sun Defense is a lightweight powder that doesn’t feel like an extra layer over your makeup.
Besides offering sun protection, this powder sunscreen also sets makeup and mattifies the skin for a soft-focused, filter finish. It’s also infused with antioxidant sea kelp extract to double your skin’s defence against harmful UV rays for radiant, youthful skin.
Even though the Mineral SPF 30 Brush-On Sun Defense claims to be a totally translucent mineral powder, some reviewers have reported that it leaves a light cast, especially on darker skin. If you’d embrace a “tone-up” powder sunscreen, then you won’t mind this one at all.
Mineral Fusion Mineral SPF 30 Brush-On Sun Defense retails for S$30.75 on Amazon.
Supergoop! (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 35 PA+++
Supergoop! is the name we trust when it comes to our sunscreens, even when we’re talking about its SPF products in powder form!
The (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder Broad Spectrum Sunscreen is a non-nano, all-mineral powder that shields and mattifies your skin in one fell sweep. Non-nano just means that the particles are larger, and (supposedly) not too small to enter the bloodstream.
Aside from the iconic yellow on Supergoop!’s packaging, you can also look forward to the easy-to-use twist and lock feature that prevents your powder sunscreen from spilling all over – you’ll get to reapply your SPF in a totally fuss-free way.
Supergoop! (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 35 PA+++ retails for S$49 on Sephora.
Nature’s Apothecary Sunscreen Powder Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Nature’s Apothecary Sunscreen Powder blocks the sun using zinc oxide mineral powder, which, on the one hand, is reef-safe (in other words, beach-worthy) but, on the downside, leaves a white cast.
This powder sunscreen in particular is notorious for leaving an obvious powdery cast over your skin. Since it doesn’t come with a brush applicator, the powder also tends to pile up (in a larger amount) on the skin, which is no help when it comes to avoiding a ghostly white complexion.
Our tip? Sprinkle the sunscreen over your skin and then rub it in. You’ll still get the UV protection that your skin deserves, just with a less obvious powdery cast.
Nature’s Apothecary Sunscreen Powder Broad Spectrum SPF 30 retails for S$27.87 on Amazon.
Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Translucent Sunscreen Powder
Hawaiian Tropic’s Mineral Translucent Sunscreen Powder is a cut above the rest for those who enjoy a little tropical fragrance that’s reminiscent of white-sand-blue-skies beach days, though, for the same reason, it might not be the best choice for those with sensitive skin.
Giving an almost transparent finish on the skin, this sunscreen can be used under makeup as a primer, over makeup as a setting powder, or over sunscreen (alone) to mattify a greasy finish.
Be careful to put on the powder evenly and skip an overly thick layer, or your makeup might turn out cakey after.
Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Translucent Sunscreen Powder retails for S$26.04 on Amazon.
Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Airbrushing Pressed Powder SPF 30
Unlike the other powder sunscreens on our list, Physicians Formula’s Mineral Wear Airbrushing Pressed Powder SPF 30 comes in translucent, creamy natural, and beige, giving you extra options for blurring the imperfections on your skin even as you protect it from the sun.
That means you can skip foundation entirely and use it on bare skin – over regular sun lotion of course, or on top of your base makeup for extra coverage.
The compact also comes complete with a brush to let you powder that SPF all over your face with ease.
Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Airbrushing Pressed Powder SPF 30 retails for S$15.26 on Amazon.
Orbis Sunscreen Powder SPF 50+ PA+++
Japanese brand Orbis’ Sunscreen Powder features a wonderful refillable compact that lets you reach again for your sun protection powders even after you’re through with your first.
You’ll have to assemble the separate items right from the beginning, and the parts include the Orbis Sunscreen Powder Case (S$11), Pressed Powder Puff (S$5), and Sunscreen Powder of your choice for either a natural or lucent finish (S$29).
Since this powder sunscreen is infused with hydrating rosemary extract, it’s a worthy choice for those who experience tight and dry skin, especially from powders, throughout the day.
Orbis Sunscreen Powder Lucent (Refill + Case) retails for S$27.29 on Amazon.
You can also purchase each item separately on Orbis’ official store on Shopee. The Sunscreen Powder retails for S$29 and the Sunscreen Powder Case for S$11 on Shopee.
Larkly 30 SPF Mineral Powder Face Sunscreen
When it comes to mineral sunscreen, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the ingredients that remain in the spotlight.
These minerals physically block UV rays to protect your skin from sun damage – it’s unlike the ingredients used in chemical sunscreens, which work by absorbing the light rays and releasing them as heat.
Larkly 30 SPF Mineral Powder Face Sunscreen features a double-power blend of the two sun-shielding minerals, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, as well as an antioxidant-rich mix of green tea extract, black licorice root, and resveratrol for extra-soothing skin benefits.
This powder sunscreen is also refillable, allowing you to do more to save the sea. Fitting, considering you’re wading through its clear sun-lit waters wearing the Larkly 30 SPF Mineral Powder.
However, reviewers do note that the brush is on the softer, flimsier end and, because the packaging doesn’t allow you to slide the compact up to cover the brush fully, it can be difficult to put the cap back on without the bristles getting in the way.
Larkly 30 SPF Mineral Powder Face Sunscreen retails for S$52.23 on Amazon. The refill retails for S$28.01 on Amazon too.
Colorescience Total Protection Sheer Matte SPF 30 Sunscreen Brush
This OG powder sunscreen brush doesn’t only shield the skin from UVA and UVB rays, but it also protects against pollution, blue light, and infrared radiation, all of which also contribute to free radical damage to the skin.
On top of its formula being non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and suitable for sensitive skin, its brush bristles are also antimicrobial, so your acne-prone slash sensitive skin will stay calm and comfy.
The hefty price tag is what might turn some of us away, but for a tried-and-true powder sunscreen, we say it’s worth the purchase.
Colorescience Total Protection Sheer Matte SPF 30 Sunscreen Brush retails for S$61.53 on Amazon.