The Powder Face-Off: Which local loose powder works best for combination skin?

Not to be outdone by other countries, we Pinays have our fair share of beauty secrets and hacks we swear by. One of our fave budget beauty tips is using baby powder or talcum powder. For many of us, it was a kind of initiation into becoming dalaga, being the only kind of "makeup" that strict high schools allowed for wear. Affordable, multipurpose, and effective, it's something that still finds its way into our kits!

ICYMI, Kim previously tested the oil control capability of three popular picks on her oily skin. I have more of a dry-combination skin type, so I wanted to know if these types of powders could work for me as well. I try four de-taktak options that can be easily found in any grocery. Here's what happened!

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Belo Baby Talc-Free Powder (P220 for 65g)

While this rice- and corn starch-based tub was previously tested on very oily skin, I wanted to see firsthand if I could make it work for my own skin type. Yes, I was forewarned that this could prove to be a challenge on non-oily skin, but YOLO!

Belo Baby Talc-Free Powder

Belo Baby Talc-Free Powder

Initially, I was amazed that the tiniest amount produced an instant flat matte finish. However, it also tends to give off a pasty white tint, even with the thinnest amount and especially on the driest areas of my face. What’s more, using it during the summer heat on a T-zone that tends to get dewy and sweaty during makeup application caused my other base makeup to pill and look cakey, most obviously on the pores at the tip of my nose! I’ll chalk it up to the cornstarch content, as I have observed a similar pilling when I used another brand of cornstarch-based baby powder. And while it passed the 4-hour mark without the need to retouch, the pilling just turned me off.

Tender Care Hypo-allergenic Baby Powder

Tender Care Hypo-allergenic Baby Powder

Tender Care Hypo-allergenic Baby Powder With Sakura Scent (P18.50 for 30g)

A sensitive skin-friendly option? Yes, please! While Tender Care leaves behind the typical baby powder white cast effect, it does apply smoothly and wears after around 2 hours before I feel the need to retouch. I decided to try the Sakura-scented variant, because this is their latest release. And while I found the soapy floral fragrance quite pleasant, others might prefer something milder like the Classic variant.

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Bench Daily Spell Magic Powder White (P21.50 for 50g)

From what I’ve seen around the internet, this particular powder is used primarily as a loose setting powder rather than on the body, and rightfully so! I was able to achieve a satiny, translucent finish that wore for 3 hours before I noticed shine on the tip of my nose. I got no discernable strong scent from it, and application was light and even, thanks to the fine milling of the powder.

Bench Daily Spell Magic Powder White

Bench Daily Spell Magic Powder White

I was also able to try the Pink variant of this from before, and I wouldn’t recommend it as an all-over powder, since the pink pigmentation is quite strong and leaves behind a *gasp* strong pink cast.

Gluta-C with Kojic Plus+ Face and Body Powder

Gluta-C with Kojic Plus+ Face and Body Powder

Gluta-C With Kojic Plus+ Face and Body Powder (P74.75 for 40g)

Okay, so I wasn’t sure what to think about a face powder formulated with kojic acid. Would it be drying? Surprisingly, not in my experience! The powder is fine and produces a velvety matte. It leaves behind some white cast in its wake, but a little extra blending helps reduce it. Wear time was at 4 hours before I had to retouch my nose. My biggest issue is probably the scent, which has a strong, classic powdery whiff you’d find in old-timey tubs of beauty powder. I didn’t experience any sensitivity on my dry skin from the kojic acid as it is quite low on the ingredients list.

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So let’s talk comparison. The mattest is most definitely Belo Baby, but I’d have to agree with our previous review that it isn’t made for skin types that aren’t oily. Also, I wouldn’t recommend it to the sweatier folks who plan to use it with multiple layers of bases. (Oil + sweat + pigment = pilling.) Meanwhile, the one that produces an effect closest to actual face powder is Bench Daily Spell, though I recommend you swatch the variants before taking the leap. White seems to be the pretty safe bet.

Do you still have an old-school de-taktak powder you use for your face? Share it with us!