When I saw a “real housewife” whip out her brush-on mineral sunscreen on air, I knew it was hitting the mainstream skin care world. These products are applied with a make-up brush or pouf and contain sun protective physical blockers instead of chemical blockers. The most common active ingredients are zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
Powder sun protection has some advantages over the old standard white goopy stuff. It is dry, not messy to apply, and sometimes doubles as a bronzer (depending on what brand you get). It really does seem more chic to whip out a cute little brush and dab away at your
face and neck like Liz Taylor when your al fresco lunch date runs too long. With this Liz image in mind, I invested in one brand to try; Peter Thomas Roth’s Instant Mineral Powder. I have to admit, I did feel very “together” when I pulled out this instead of a goopy tube of sunscreen during an outdoor play date last week. But, I hate to tell you this…I don’t think it’s doing the job. Applying a thin layer of powder which can blow away and not be distributed evenly on the face just doesn’t sit well with me. I have come across some estimates that powder application could be as little as one tenth the amount needed to provide a protective factor of 30. It’s hard to consider a product a sunblock when, in realistic use, it can’t do the job.
I really wanted to be a devotee, but this product just isn’t up to snuff for me to consider it as daily sun protection. I think that as an additional supplement to cream based screen, it has a place. It definitely ishandy if you need something to cut midday shine or give you a slight bump in color.