Natural Sunscreen: Does Powder Sunscreen Really Work?

chemical-free sunscreen, powder sunscreen, SPF 30Many people wonder if a natural sunscreen really works… and what’s the deal with this powder? Our Powder- Me SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen is chemical-free and very water resistant; it is effective immediately because it is a physical sun block, not a chemical one; kids love it because there is no icky greasy feel; it contains clay that actually calms and nourishes the skin while the Titanium Dioxide protects… I could go on and on (I love this stuff!).


But as we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s the proof: one day last spring, my friend went out to work in the vegetable garden. It was hot and he took off his shirt. My Powder-Me SPF was on the porch, but I had never explained to him how to use it. So he just tapped it all over his back without blending.

Did I mention the clay is soothing and calms inflammation? My friend was really happy about that when he applied it (properly) that night.

  1. This product is really amazing. Living in Florida I use it every day (sunny or not). It’s by far my favorite JI product.

  2. Looks like a great product!    Since it is water resistant,how do  you remove it at the end of the   day?    Thanks for the picture, impressive  coverage..appears this product  will be my next purchase!

  3. I LOVE THIS STUFF!! It’s the only thing that my kids let me put on them when we are not at the beach! Perfect for amusement parks,zoo,baseball games, etc. They love it and I do too. While at Universal Studios, my kids just stood while I applied it when we were waiting for a ride. Alot of the moms who passed by asked about it. I think I sold a few that day! Can’t rave enough!

  4. Hi Jahra,  That’s a great question!  Since it is nourishing to the skin, non-chemical and calming, you really don’t need to worry about removing it. However, it is simple enough to remove if you wish with soap or gentle cleanser and warm water, or the Magic Mitt.

  5. Hi Angelica,  To followup–    I bought the product, and its  awesome! Very easy to apply,  and stayed on beautifully.    Thanks for a great sun protection  product!    Posted @ Tuesday, May 31, 2011 6:50 PM

  6. HI,   I battle miserable so many skin aliments. Does Iredale offer a moisturizer to use before I use the PurePressed Base?  Thanks. Nancy

  7. Hi Nancy,  I’m sorry to hear you are having issues with your skin. While we do not make a plain moisturizer, we do make a tinted moisturizer, Dream Tint, which provides light moisture, as well as a hint of coverage and SPF 15. It layers really nicely with PurePressed Base. Another option is our Liquid Minerals, which is chock full of anti-aging ingredients. It has no SPF, so be sure to add your PurePressed Base on top. If you need a more potent moisturizer, ask people you trust for a recommendation, and then research the company and read the ingredients.

  8. I love the mineral pressed powder! A fabulous product with the bonus of sun screen.    Living in steamy Florida has its makeup challenges and Jane Iredale has them conquered!

  9. Hi Jean,    I hope you’re keeping cool there in Florida! Thanks for your lovely comment. Here is another tip to beat the heat: keep your Hydration Spray in the fridge. Mist whenever you need a refresher throughout the day.  Enjoy your summer!

  10. Love JI products and I will not purchase any other makeup products again.     Question about the “Powder-Me SPF SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen Tanned” does it have to be used directly on the skin? Or can you use it as a setting powder?    I have very bad Rosacea, and actually use circle/delete to cover the ‘butterfly’ affect, so it is the first product that goes on for me, followed by Latte PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation.         Thanks Nicole

  11. Do I have to reapply the powder throughout the day even not under excessive sun exposure? I tend to wear this daily as my skincare routine.

  12. Love JI products and I will not purchase any other makeup products again.     Question about the “Powder-Me SPF SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen Tanned” does it have to be used directly on the skin? Or can you use it as a setting powder?

  13. This product was recommended to me by a pharmacist for my sensitive skin. I specifically requested something that I could use for activitities at higher altitude. Today I tested the product on a sunny day on Mt Rainier at 8600 feet of elevation while skiing and suffered a serious sun burn. I reapplied this product on my face and neck several times throughout the day (at least 5 times) and both areas are completely burned. I applied it on my arms maybe twice throughout the day and suffered a very, very bad and painful burn. The results of using this product are as if I had used no sunscreen at all. My friends used a regular sunscreen today and got no sunburn or not even redness. This is a horrible, dangerous product that doesn’t work as suscreen at all!

  14. Hi Radka,    I am so very sorry this happened to you! Powder-Me SPF has been tested rigorously to ensure that it works. With an SPF 30 you are protected for 30 times the normal amount of time it takes you to burn without protection; so, if you would normally burn in 5 minutes, this would protect you for 2.5 hours. Due to the high altitude and the reflection from the snow, skiing and snowboarding on Mt. Ranier would increase your normal sensitivity to sun quite a lot. While reapplying helps to protect your skin, if you have been perspiring, it will not extend the time you are covered. It is possible your friend did not burn because their skin type is different. While we are not sure what may have been the reason, we are so incredibly sorry you had this experience with Powder-Me SPF. If you purchased this on our shop Web site, we would be happy to offer you a refund. If you purchased it elsewhere, we would like to send you some other products to try that we hope you have a much better experience with. I look forward to hearing back from you.    Best,  Joanna    Posted @ Monday, April 23, 2012 4:05 PM

  15. Hi Joanna,   thanks for your response. I don’t think I was perspiring a whole lot and I was wearing a hat so there was definitely no sweat coming down my face. My friends are also, white, fair skin type of people. They used Neutrogena SPF 70. I have to say this is the worst, most painful sun burn I have ever suffered, over a large area (arms). Day two and the pain is worse than yesterday, I got blisters around my mouth that popped. Given the misery I am going through right now, I am rather hesitant to try any other products from this brand, to say the least.

  16. Hi Radka,    Again, we are so sorry you had this experience. We are glad the pharmacy was able to return the the product for you.    Best,  Joanna

  17. LOVE this product and how beautiful my skin looks and feels (though my skin is far from perfect). I also bought (medium light) Dream tint and the combination is so much better than I was expecting.     Interestingly, even though Translucent is too light for my skin (the new shade, Golden, was not available), it somehow blends with the Dream Tint and my own skin color and loses its whitish cast. Would love to try the new color someday!    Quick question: How can I clean the applicator when that eventually becomes necessary? Would your brush cleaner work or will I need to replace the applicator instead (hopefully that is not the case)?    P.S. I was out all day in the sun for a garage sale and have no sunburn. So glad I didn’t have to put a concoction of chemicals on my face for protection! Even the organic sunscreens make my skin react. So glad to have found this product.

  18. Hi April,    We’re so glad you love the Powder-Me SPF! To clean the applicator, we recommend that you remove the sponge and gently wash it with our TrulyPure Shampoo & Conditioner or a mild soap. Gently squeeze it to remove any excess water and then let it air dry completely. Cleaning the sponge will cause it to deteriorate over time, so if you still have product and are in need of a new sponge please do not hesitate to contact the personal shoppers at our e-commerce site and they will be able to send you a new sponge. You may reach them at    Joanna

  19. Hello,        I am very excited to try your powder sunscreen. Would you mind telling me when to apply it? Or the correct steps? First moisturize, then apply the sunscreen or the pressed / loose mineral powder? Or would you apply the pressed / loose mineral powder then the sunscreen? OR would the Golden colour eliminate the use of the pressed / loose mineral powder?         So excited to try this out for my sensitive skin:)        Cheers,    Joeleen

  20. One last question… would you mist after application to “set” it as you do the loose powder?        Cheers,    Joeleen

  21. Hi Joeleen,     You can apply Powder-Me SPF before, after, or in place of your foundation, whichever you prefer! Also, it is not necessary to moisturize before, but you can if you want to. It is also not necessary to spritz with hydration spray. We have a wonderful video that shows the application process. If you would like to watch it, you can find it at this link     Please let me know if you have any other questions and how you like it!     Joanna

  22. Hello there! I will be a new licensed esthetician in a couple of weeks here. And I will be continuing on to a 6 month medical esthetics program, where Jane Iredale is the makeup line I will use and learn all about. For even as much as I have read and have been educated on SPF, I admit to still getting confused. In regards to this product I see where the active ingredient is titanium dioxide 17%. From what I have read titanium dioxide does not provide sufficient UVA (aging rays) coverage as zinc oxide does. While someone may not burn from using a strong UVB protectant they are still susceptible to UVA damage, which culminates over time. Will you please clarify the UVA coverage for me? Also, I would love it if you would create a pressed powder broad spectrum intended for sun protection (as this one), or even just a loose powder without the connected sponge applicator. I do like to clean my sponges and brushes every day and I just don’t like the sponge delivery that well (on any product). Thank you for your help and I hope my question makes sense – I still have a lot to learn and am looking forward to learning more about Jane Iredale products – I use the Ivory Pressed Mineral right now.

  23. Thanks so much for your prompt answers to my question. In regards to Julie’s recent post she brings up some very valid concerns. I am interested to see how you respond to her questions.    Cheers,  Joeleen

  24. Hi Julie,    Great questions! Thanks for your patience as I turned to our Director of Education for her insight on this. We do not use zinc oxide because we are using a new proprietary form of titanium dioxide. The ingredients we use in Powder-Me SPF do provide full UVA/UVB protection with an SPF rating of 30. All of our SPF products are tested in an independent lab that provides their rating. This testing has also proven that our Powder-Me SPF is broad spectrum with a high UVA protection and our PurePressed Base, Amazing Base and Dream tint are broad spectrum with a medium UVA protection.    If you do not like using the sponge, we suggest you use the Kabuki Brush to apply it all over your face and/or body, it works just as well :)! Please let me know if that helps to answer your questions.    Best,  Joanna  Posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 12:16 PM

  25. Thank you so much for getting back to me. I just now figured out how to navigate back to this blog. Please, please consider repackaging the Powder-Me-SPF to a pressed formula or in a simple loose powder formula. If you read through the comments and reviews on this site and on, you will see I am not alone in wanting this change. No one else has done this, so I am hoping Jane will be the first!!

  26. Hi    I have been using powder me for several summers, and now I use it on a regular basis. In summer, I use it as a base under my mineral make-up (powder base), in winter, as a finisher over my liquid foundation. I’m glad a new shade is on, because I used to mix the 2 available shades. I also think the packaging is very bad, The sponge is not convenient for face : I use either the flocked sponge or a kabuki brush. My concern is the application has to be perfect so my blonde skin is perfectly protected…

  27. I personally have no problem with the sponge application. In fact, I find it WAY easier to apply than loose powder or pressed. It’s just so easy to swipe across my face and if there are any spots where more powder has deposited than other spots, I simply use my Kabuki brush to blend. Two seconds and done. With pressed powder, the application can get really heavy really fast. That means going through the product faster and having to buy it more often. Costly. With loose powder, the effort to get the right amount on the inside lid, swirl, apply, repeat is far more cumbersome than simply using the sponge applicator that comes with the Powder Me. I truly hope that if you do re-package the product you give buyers a choice since I love it the way it is now.

  28. Hi April – thank you for sharing why you prefer the sponge applicator. I will retrack my wish for a new delivery design and just ask for an option to choose either the sponge or pressed. Pressed would be my preference, actually, and not the loose. Do you feel you get enough SPF coverage? Like Nathalie, I worry I don’t apply enough to block the sun…yet, I don’t want it to look cakey or like I have way too much on. Do you wash your sponge daily? Every other day? Weekly? I also worry about bacteria and getting it in the product from the sponge, if this makes sense.

  29. Hi Julie,    Thank you for sharing your concerns with us and I will definitely pass on your suggestion to our product development team. The sponge has been proven to allow the perfect application, so you shouldn’t have to worry about whether you will get enough coverage if you are applying it correctly. Here is a link to our video showing the correct application of Powder-Me SPF Minerals are actually inert, which means they cannot hold bacteria. However, we do recommend cleaning your sponge periodically. If you use your Powder-Me SPF daily, you may want to clean your sponge once a week. If your sponge begins to wear and you need a new one before you run out of product, please feel free to contact our personal shoppers at 877-869-9420 and they would be happy to send you a replacement sponge. Please let me know if you have any other questions!    Joanna  Posted @ Tuesday, June 19, 2012 12:02 PM

  30. My step-mother lent me this for our holiday as I have a 5 month old daughter – can you explain how to use it or direct me to the instructions part of the website? Thanks!

  31. Hi Anna,  For children under 6 months of age, as with all sunscreens, we recommend you ask your doctor before applying. If you are applying it to yourself, and if the jar is brand new, be sure to unscrew the top and remove the plastic insert. Screw the top back on and “pop” or pat the sponge firmly on your exposed skin in overlapping circles. Then, with the sponge or your hand, smooth the powder over the skin to blend. We also have an application video here:  Enjoy your vacation!

  32. May I know what type of Titanium dioxide in Powder-Me SPF® SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen ? Is it Micronized minerials that you use?        Posted @ Saturday, August 25, 2012 4:56 PM

  33. Hi Miranda,  Thanks for the great question and the chance for us to discuss this further. Our minerals, including the Titanium Dioxide in Powder-Me SPF, are micronized but not nano. Micronized minerals are minerals that are finely milled to a small size. Our micronization process results in minerals that are sheer and smooth and provide natural coverage. However, micronized should not be confused with nano sized which is considerably smaller than micronized. The use of nano sized particles in cosmetics is controversial because some believe that there is a lack of evidence as to their safety, while others feel that this is not a concern. At jane iredale we have chosen not to use nanoparticles in our products and all of our products, including our sunscreen products, are nano-free.  I hope this answers your question (and then some!). Happy safe-sunning!

  34. Hi.. Im from Dominican Republic, very sunny weather.. I have been looking for a sun protection, i dont wear make up and i dont like the SPF lotions.. I want to try the SPF translucent. I wonder if could work on my skin tone.. My skin tone is kind of Beige, creamy, im not that light but im not dark tone. Thanks

  35. I love reading all the answers and questions! I learn so much. I also wanted to address something that was said back in June, just in case the poster still comes back to this site. Nancy Uxa was asking about a good moisturizer. Nancy, if you’re still reading these posts, I just wanted to tell you about my experience working as an esthetician with Jane Iredale products. They really do help to start making the skin healthier with use. But for our skin care line that we carry at the spa we use Pevonia Botanica. They use natural ingredients that are gentle and have several different lines to address all sorts of skin conditions. We’ve found that the combination of Jane Iredale Skin Care and Pevonia Botanica has been amazing! Time and again, we have seen hypersensitivity, rosacea, acne, and other miserable skin conditions calmed and, in some cases, like mine, reversed.  I hope you’ve been able to find something to help you already, but if not, check out Pevonia Botancia – For sure, keep using your Jane Iredale products!

  36. Also, I wanted to say thank you to Julie for your enthusiasm! It’s always great to see new estheticians reaching out to find answers and safe products. We also got some great answers from your digging! I for one am now convinced that I need to be pushing Powder Me SPF in my own practice! Thanks again to everybody.

  37. Hi Claudia,    It sounds like Powder-Me SPF may be the perfect solution for you. Because your skin tone is creamy beige, you may want to try our Powder-Me SPF in Golden, as translucent may show up and be too light. We would love to send you a Powder-Me SPF in Golden to try! Please e-mail your contact information to me at and we will be sure to get one out to you :).

  38. I am using Dream Tint and would like to buy powder from JI.
    Just wonder if the Powder-Me SPF can be used as a “loose mineral powder” after applying Dream Tint on my face. Thanks.

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