Can powder provide enough UV protection?

Silky White Magic Face Powder

My curiosity was piqued when I saw these Silky White Magic Face Powder at Guardian which are positioned to offer oil control and UV protection. They look quite cute and are selling at only S$1.95 per bottle. I took a quick look at the ingredients and noticed that apart from talc, they do have titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which are ingredients for sun protection. However, there was no way to determine their concentration and SPF level. But even if the concentration or SPF is high, face powder alone CANNOT provide us with adequate UV protection.

When scientists test facial powders to determine SPF (as mandated by the FDA), they typically assume that 2mg of product will be used per cm2 of skin. The average face is about 600cm2 (although that varies from person to person, of course), meaning that a person needs to apply about 1.2g of facial powder to get the SPF stated on the product’s label. (source).

Bottom line is, we can never apply that much of face powder! In fact, the Silky White Magic Face Powder is not much different from any loose powder with SPF but I was a little concerned over the positioning as according to their website, Silky White Magic Face Powder which is a range of face powder designed especially for girls aged 12 to 18 is described to “come with UV Protection to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Perfect, for outdoor activities.”

Well, all I can say is it is definitely not sufficient on its all. You’ll still need to apply your gel or cream sunscreen prior to putting this powder on. In fact, I recently started applying the Loose Mineral SPF Powder from MAD Minerals Mineral containing only mica, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, thanks to Jess of Yours Essentially. This powder is positioned to offer ADDITIONAL sun protection and that is fine by me since I can only apply a little of it each time.

So the Silky Girl Magic Face Powder is just good for additional sun protection. Although I haven’t tried it, I believe the powder can offer some amount of oil control and minimize shine from the face. Great to be applied over your layer of sunscreen!


  1. Tine says:

    Nah, I think it’s a gimmick, that’s what it is. Better to put on an extra layer of real sunscreen, y’know, the ones from a tube or bottle ?

    Tine: Yeah, sunscreen is a must!

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