Hi Stephen! I love your work, I’ve been using the Bioderma Photoderm, partly because of your recommendation

…but I can’t seem to get rid of the white cast. I know you shouldn’t mix mineral powders with sunscreen, but is there any reason I can’t mix unadulterated cocoa powder with it to create a tint? Thanks for any thoughts!


I’d really advise against this. Part of the protection offered by sunscreen is how evenly they can distribute the sunscreen chemicals on the skin.

Think of a crowd of people with umbrellas in the sun. If they’re all evenly distributed, very little sunlight will hit the ground…but if they’re clumped together, there’ll be more areas where the sunlight can pass through.


Sunscreen chemicals work in a similar way.

By mixing something like cocoa powder into a sunscreen, you can create areas of high sunscreen chemicals and low sunscreen chemicals – creating uneven coverage. Manufacturers use mixers with high shear and force to make sure everything is distributed properly.

If you’re getting a white cast, I think the best way to fix it is to apply your sunscreen…allow it to dry (15 minutes), and then apply a foundation or tinted powder on top!

Bioderma (and many other sunscreen brands) also makes tinted versions of their sunscreen, so you don’t have to worry about the white cast or uneven mixing!

I personally also use their mineral sunscreen compact, it comes in two shades (Claire/Fair and Doree/Golden). I’ll sometimes use the Fair all over, and Golden as bronzer/contour. Shiseido also offers a UV Protective Compact in 9 shades, that you can layer on top of your sunscreen. Hopefully you can find a shade that works for you, if not, a foundation powder with SPF like BareMinerals Ready SPF 20 Foundation will work as well.

I’ve shared an experiment before about titanium dioxide and pigments destabilizing avobenzone, however this is more important for manufacturers as the degradation takes course over a long period of time (1 week in the experiment) and requires constant UV exposure.

P.S. I wouldn’t recommend using a compact as your only sun protection, you still need the recommended 2mg/cm2, and it’s more difficult to gauge how much you’re applying when it’s coming off of a pan!

Hope that helps 🙂