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Colorescience powdered sunscreen

August 16, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 4 Comments

By the end of my monthly facial with microcurrent and LED, I am pretty chilled out and my powers of observation are much deteriorated, so it took three sessions before I realized my esthetician had introduced something new. She was brushing my face lightly with something and it turned out to be a sunscreen. A brush on sunscreen? Perhaps I was still dozy. Then I remembered that I had been tempted by an ad for Colorescience Sunforgettable ($50) but had never got around to following it up.

This product is not without controversy. However, I'll come back to that after mentioning that Colorescience Sunforgettable is very enjoyable to wear. You know how you just get to the point where you think oh, no, not another cream. A light as a feather, barely there powder is a welcome alternative. It is completely invisible unless you opt for the versions that have a bit of pigment and/or shimmer. It is also very effective, providing long lasting protection.

It should be noted that Colorescience Sunforgettable has what these days is the obligatory seaweed. In this case, it is coralina officinalis and I'm not sure what its role is. I couldn't discover much about it other than once dried it is about 90% calcium carbonate, a good thing for neutralizing the effects of acid rain.

I have had no adverse reactions to this powder sunscreen, despite the fact that it contains bismuth oxychloride. as a potential irritant when come into contact with the skin and/or eyes. Because of its molecular crystalline shape, many individuals experience itching from this ingredient, particularly when they sweat.

The controversial part of this product though is due to the sunscreen actives, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, both of which are in micronized form. The term micronized refers to particle sizes in the micrometer range. Minerals that are crushed to a fine powder of nano-particles may give flawless coverage, but they may also be a bad idea. Early-stage research indicates that the smallest of nano-scale range particles may be able to cross the blood brain barrier. Also micronized titanium dioxide could harm cells. So it is important to note hear that the micronized particle sizes used by Colorescience are of a size that cannot be absorbed.

This is an effective and long-lasting sunscreen that is even waterproof. Easy to carry about in pocket or purse. It is perfect for those on the go. Colorescience is now available in the TIA shop.

Active Ingredients:
Titanium Dioxide (12%), Zinc Oxide (12%)

Other Ingredients:
Bismuth Oxychloride, Calcium, Cilicate, Corallina Officinalis, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer, Iron Oxide, Manganese, Violet, Mica, Titanium Dioxide.

  • March 26, 2012

    by Tracey

    They have removed the bismuth from all of their sunscreens per an e-mail I received from one of their reps last year. If you still experience itching, mica can also be an irritant for some.

  • May 25, 2011

    by Pam

    I wonder if it is unusual to have itching or if the biggest majority do or a small minority or what?

  • August 17, 2009

    by Katherine@SterlingMinerals

    great article and I am so glad you touched on this Marta. Also the reference to the Bismuth Oxychloride is an important one. I think you may have seen my skin care guide since you also tried our products. Thank you BTW for your wonderful review. I also did an article on Micronized minerals and it is important to note that though micronized, the risk of penetrating unbroken skin is unlikely in its' dry form, liquid is a whole other issue with absorption. You can review my article at under the category Mineral Makeup Ingredient Facts.

    Thanks again!

  • August 17, 2009

    by Cristina

    Is this is the same powder that they put in their "orbs"? I find that stuff to be very itchy. I keep an orb in my purse and I do use it as a add-on throughout the day for the protection. But I can't wait to get home to wash it off. I'm always aware of it being on my face.

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