I don’t understand why powdered sunscreens aren’t more popular. There isn’t another layer of cream to slap on. No chalky residue. Less likely to irritate. And they work. What’s not to like. Perhaps people think that something that looks like mineral makeup can’t be a real sunscreen. Well powder sunscreens not only work well, they are even waterproof. Anyway, you can tell that I was predisposed to like Jane Iredale’s Powder-Me SPF ($45).

This is a powder sunscreen with titanium dioxide providing SPF 30 protection with a base of montmorillonite clay. A nice touch is the addition of pomegranate and pine bark extracts. The antioxidants in the extracts may, one hopes, counteract the free radical damage that can potentially be done by titanium dioxide

Titanium dioxide doesn't just reflect rays, it also absorbs them. And this means that, like chemical sunscreens, TD is a photosensitizer, absorbed by the skin and resulting in an increased production of free radicals. But the thing is, that the same seems to be true of zinc oxide, according to a recently published study. And there are similar, as well as additional, issues with chemical sunscreens. So that being said, I go along with a titanium dioxide sunscreen for lack of a better alternative. Plus, I think that a powder sunscreen may have particles that are too large to be absorbed by the skin and do harm.

My free sample of came of Jane Iredale Powder-Me came in “Golden”. There are also versions in “Translucent”and “Tanned”. The pot comes with a large sponge that can used as an applicator. Powder-Me can also be applied with a brush or the fingers. My first attempt at application with sponge left my face daubed with orange patches. With practice, I found that it requires a light touch and that it can be easily blended with the fingers. Personally, I would prefer the translucent version, but I have got used to the honey hue that Powder-Me gives my skin.

What I really like about Powder-Me is that, with the exception of the aforementioned tint, it doesn’t look as if I am wearing powder at all. It will be put to good use this summer.

Ingredients in Golden

Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) 17%. Ingredients: Mica (CI 77019), Montmorillonite, Boron Nitride, Aluminum Hydroxide, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Pinus Strobus (Pine) Bark Extract. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

Ingredients in Translucent and Tanned

Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) 15%. Ingredients: Mica (CI 77019), Montmorillonite, Boron Nitride, Isopropyl Jojobate, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).