Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder Sunscreen

What’s a good sunscreen for sensitive skin?I get this question all the time. I recommend a product that covers both UVA (the type of radiation that causes wrinkles and some skin cancers such a melanoma) as well as UVB (the type of rays that cause skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma).

Many chemical sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB use chemicals such as avobenzone and oxybenzone which can be irritating and can cause allergic reactions in some patients.

Sunscreens that contain metals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide however provide excellent long lasting protection and are not irritating to your eyes or skin and are unlikely to cause an allergic response.

A product that I recommend is Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder Sunscreen SPF30 it has high concentration of titanium dioxide (15%) and zinc oxide (10%) and goes on as a powder. If you are one of my patients or just enjoy reading this blog, then feel free to write to me to tell me what products you use and why.

I do not receive any compensation or freebies from products or companies mentioned on this site (I’ve got a job that happens to pay well). My recommendations are based on my knowledge of sound cosmetic and skin care principles and feedback from my generous patients.

24 thoughts on “Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder Sunscreen”

  1. I have very fair skin, and have been disappointed by all high SPF sunscreens thus far. They always say “non greasy formula,” but they lie. It makes sense that something that blocks the sun has to have substance to it – but I feel like I have Vaseline on my face when I put on block higher than 15. Yuckie. Maybe this product (since it “goes on as a powder”) is better? Do you promise I won’t be a greasy mess if I buy this, Dr. Benabio? 😉

  2. Recently I seem to be doing very well with PCA Skin Care’s Protecting Hydrator SPF 25, which has good UVA and UVB coverage. It does contain Avobenzone and Oxybenzone, however I have never had an issue with irritation due to those ingredients. I love that I can use it as an every day moisturizer, it has great coverage and I don’t turn into a greasy mess!

  3. I like Paula Begoun’s line of sunscreens. I use her Extra Care Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30+. It has these active ingredients: Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate) 7.5%; Oxybenzone 5%; Octisalate 5%; Titanium Dioxide 3%; Zinc Oxide 2%. You can view her products at her website, She is a chemist, as well as a make-up artist, so she really understands ingredients. She an excellent article at her website on what to look for in a sunscreen.

    I do have a question for you, Doctor:
    The product you’re suggesting has higher levels of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Would this sunscreen be more effective if its ingredients are in higher percentages, regardless of the fact that both are SPF 30+?

  4. This Peter Thomas Roth product is excellent. Sunscience also make a similar mineral power sunscreen. Wonderful, not greasy and provides excellent sun protection. Like mineral make-up, it is a something completely different than what we’ve all come to expect. This is also very good for use on children as it is does not contain chemicals that are absorbed by the skin.

  5. Not sure how effective this is yet…however, the big benefit is when you have already put your make-up on & you end up at your kids baseball game later in the day, it’s great to have something you can put on OVER your make-up that doesn’t make you greasy. As a matter of fact, it’s like putting on loose powder!

  6. I have read that titanium dioxide may be implicated as a cause of brain cancer. Therefore, for the past couple of years I have made a point to avoid anything containing this ingredient. I have stuck only to zinc oxide (micronized). Can you comment on this, please?

  7. despite having dark skin, (and Dr. Oz saying african americans don’t need it) I use it, and have gone through many that turn skin all funky shades of white, some greasy, and this recommendation is the best to date, not much color on dark skin and can use my skin powder mixed with it– thanks Dr.D
    …p.s. so do african americans really need sunscreen?in africa nobody wears it and no high incidents of skin cancer?

  8. Christi F says:

    I’m thinking some of the people who’ve posted above don’t really have chemical sunscreen sensitivity, because anything that starts with an “O” has made me break out huge pimples that turn to scabs and make me look like I have karposi’s sarcoma/fever blisters. My plastic surgeon employer thought I was making it up until I relented and put on the Obagi product he promised was safe for sensitive skin.

    I live in FL, and thus far had put up with greasy, acne inducing goop that smelled like hippie…or wore big, huge hats. I ordered this sunscreen after reading this blog, and after spending the weekend on the beach I am pleased to report no new breakouts! I don’t have to wear sticky goop or crazy lady hats, and wait until after 4 to join my friends. I am free!

    One teensy problem…I’d guess this stuff is more SPF 15. I did get a bit of sun on my chest. I put the PTR on one hand and the Dr. Hauschka standby (SPF 23) on the other, and the Dr. Hauschka hand was a little more protected. Still, 15 is good enough given the likelihood of better compliance especially now that I’m aware of the problem.

    Thank you so much!

  9. Patients are more compliant with cream zinc sunscreens if their skin is thoroughly resurfaced, free of dead skin and ideally moisturised. A good zinc sunscreen is also an ideal base for coloured powder. Retinoids and glycolic acid 8-20% work well.

  10. For K Crow who is concerned about the possible link to cancer – a quick google search brought up this article from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (

    Long story short: titanium dioxide is classified as a **possible** carcinogen to humans. Studies seem to show that when high levels of the product are breathed in by rats cancer has occurred and similar results have be found in humans who work in dusty environments.

    Translated into the everyday person’s life, titanium dioxide isn’t that big of a threat. Unless you’re applying the product like a mother in the 50s applying baby powder, you should be fine.

    So I wouldn’t ostracize a product like this – just don’t breath it in when you put it on.

  11. I have just started using the Peter Thomas Roth mineral sunscreen and i’m so excited about it – not only is it a convenient and non-greasy sunscreen – it is an excellent powder – my makeup now stays put all day AND i have full coverage from the sun.

  12. What is a good UVA/UVB MOISTURIZER that you recommend using? I have freckles and sunspots and am on the verge of bleaching and/or lasering them out! I try to wear moisturizers with high SPFs everyday to prevent darkening my skin or obtaining more spots. Do you have any suggestions?

  13. Christina says:

    For those who are having issues with a greasy sunscreen, I advise putting it on before you put on any moisturizers.
    I thought my sunscreen was SUPER GREASY because I always put it on after my usual moisturizer and eye cream, reasoning that that way, it’s the top most layer to protect my skin from the sun (it was a physical and chemical sunscreen)!

    FALSE. I put it on first, and then applied my usual creams, and it was definitely MATTE. It was crazay but it works!

  14. As someone who lives in a city with the highest rate of sun cancer in the world, I’ve tried lots of sunscreens, in all price brackets, over many years. I’m still looking for the perfect product – non-greasy, easy to apply, does not leave marks on my clothing/handbag, can cope with temperatures over 30C.

    My tips:
    1. Price is important-applying sunscreens properly throughout the day uses up a lot of mls.
    2. Apply sunscreen straight after your morning shower-don’t forget to include arms, chest, ears and back of neck. Wait a few mins before applying any other skin products.
    3. Keep your fav sunscreen product in the car and handbag-apply to backs of hands and face before driving into the sunshine.
    4. Experiment with lots of products to find the one that suits your skin best (see price tip).

    Current fav products: Nivea Sun Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF30; Dr Hauschka Sunscreen Cream; Ego Sunsense 30+ Ultra Lotion SPF20

  15. What is the efficacy of powder sunscreen? Is it as effective as creams?

  16. I am very fair and live in Florida. This Roth powder is the best. I highly recommend it.

  17. i use L’oreal 60 FACE stick. it was my solution to the above problems with gloopy wet sunscreen, i use it!
    it is NOT greasy, stays on and is the least thick and sticky sunscreen ever.
    it is the best one to use on my child’s face as it wont run into her eyes.
    it doesnt say UVA UVB on the small tube. no rub, fragrance free.
    its hard to find retail

    active ingredients:
    tianium dioxide
    avobenzone parasol
    drometrizole trisilozane

  18. Candace Crouch says:

    How can I get samples of the powdered sunscreen. I need a password to order products.

  19. hi,
    actually my skin is dark also it gets tanned very easily..
    now a days am using neutrogena ultrasheer sunblock is it good,
    also i want to make my complexion clan and clear.
    pls,suggest me which product i should use.

  20. I have been using the Peter Thomas Roth powder sunscreen, for a couple of years on myself and my 2 young children. I can’t describe how happy I was to find a product that I could use so easily and quickly, doesn’t feel greasy at all (it is a powder after all) and my kids don’t fight me to put sunscreen on. I do find that it isn’t quite as effective as lotion sunscreens, but I am very unlikely to lather lotion sunscreen on so it is better than nothing. Also I still have to use lotion sunscreen when we go to the pool, but on a daily basis this is great to have. I keep one in the car and one in my purse. As far as lotion sunscreen, I think Badger is very good. I also like Alba Botanica for kids, it smells great and is easy to apply, but it is chemical-based.

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