Just because winter is almost here doesn’t mean you should sleep on SPF powders. Think of them as a powder sunscreen that you can apply to your face, particularly if you dislike the somewhat greasy and sticky feel of suncreams.
It’s a popular misconception that you can’t get sunburnt in gloomy, cloudy weather – and let’s face it, that describes 95% of UK days between the months of December and February. A broad-spectrum SPF that suits your individual skin type is always worth the investment, especially when you consider that its main job is to minimise sun exposure, protect you from sun damage and reduce the chances of skin cancer.
If you’re not entirely sure what SPF is and why it matters, don’t worry. It’s fairly simple. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and measures the level of protection a skincare product will give you against harmful sun rays and infrared radiation. And while it might sound a bit over-the-top, you should ideally apply SPF all year round, regardless of whether it’s summer or winter.
The British Association of Dermatologists generally recommends using a minimum of SPF 30, which should block out 97% of UV rays. But if you’re not too sure, just remember that the higher, the better. Of course, you can go for SPF 15-rated SPF powders too, so long as you layer them with foundations, lotions and moisturisers that have protective properties too.
“SPF application should be a vital part of your routine, even when it’s cold and cloudy, in order to avoid damage to the skin,” says Dr Rita Rakus, renowned cosmetic doctor. “Age spots are an obvious long-term sign of sun damage, although they don’t tend to appear until your 30s – they are darker, discoloured areas of skin. Another sign of ageing that goes hand-in-hand with sun damage is wrinkles; prolonged exposure to sunlight damages the fibres that prop the skin up to keep it firm, causing the skin to appear aged.”
Best SPF powders at a glance – our top picks:
- Best SPF powder overall: Supergoop! (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder SPF 30, £28, Cult Beauty
- Best lightweight SPF powder: Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 50, £45, Dermacare Direct
- Best loose SPF powder: bareMinerals Original Loose Mineral Foundation SPF15, £33.50, Sephora
- Best long-lasting SPF powder: Clinique Almost Powder Makeup SPF15, £33, Sephora
Some people consciously skip out on SPF as part of their daily routine due to the fear that it will cause skin problems like blemishes and breakouts. “Many people think of SPFs as thick white creams that sit on the surface of the skin and give you a pasty white cast but there are now a number of products from budget to luxury that absorb beautifully into the skin, providing both moisture and protection, some even incorporate a tint to rival many tinted moisturisers.”
Thankfully, that’s where SPF powders come in. Generally they work just like a setting powder by sitting on top of your makeup without absorbing into the skin. This means that your pores won’t get clogged, reducing chances of breakouts. Plus, they tend to use natural mineral ingredients, which are great for your skin.
Below, we’ve put together a full edit of the best powder sunscreens that you can sweep across your skin for worry-free sun protection. There’s options for every budget, preference and skin type, so feel free to add them to your daily skincare routine and pop one in your handbag for a quick touch-up during the day. Now, get out and enjoy that glorious sunshine – responsibly, thanks to your new mineral powder sunscreen.