The Dirt on Mineral Makeup


I am 31 years old, and I have been careful not to abuse my skin in the sun. My skin seems to be dull, and my makeup seems to flake on my skin after 5-6 hours. My friend said I should change to mineral makeup. What makes mineral makeup different from other types of makeup?


Mineral makeup is a key word in today’s cosmetics. It is a popular style of makeup. Mineral makeup is made from “all natural”, finely ground minerals from the earth without any fragrances, preservatives or dyes.

Mushrooms are natural, and some of them are poisonous. One must put “natural mineral from the earth” in perspective. Most of the mineral ingredients have been in popular make-ups for years. The main ingredients have been in foundations for decades. There is no science that substantiates health benefits of mineral makeup. There is no evidence that mineral makeup is more pure, safer or better for sensitive skin. However, since they contain no fragrances, binders, dyes or preservatives, they eliminate the problem of sensitivity or irritation from these ingredients. Some brands of mineral makeup contain the sun protective ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. However, I still recommend using a sunscreen under mineral makeup.

The important ingredients in mineral makeup are zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, bismuth, mica, and other micronized minerals. The Personal Care Products Council has no set regulations regarding mineral makeup. Any makeup containing minerals as a primary ingredient can be marketed as a mineral makeup. Some mineral make-ups contain ingredients that are not “natural minerals.” People should read labels and not be fooled by “all natural or all mineral formulas.” Again, there are many present-day cosmetics which contain these ingredients, but are not called mineral makeup.

Most of the brands today use similar ingredients but have proprietary formulas. Some minerals can cause irritation in certain individuals. Bismuth is an example of a mineral ingredient which causes irritation in a few individuals.

Mineral makeup is appropriate for clients with acne or acne rosacea. Loose powder foundations and blushes are light, finely ground, loose minerals that are applied with a soft brush. Mineral makeup is non-comedogenic (will not clog pores). However, it is important to avoid agents with known irritation potential. Bismuth oxychloride in high concentrations can cause acne and skin irritation.

Mineral makeup is water soluble and does not clog pores. It is easy to apply smoothly and evenly. There are differences in brands, and there will be individual variations. This means that smooth, even, long-lasting appearance in one person may produce drying, poor skin color match, and accentuation of wrinkles in another. Bottom line, mineral makeup is not a miracle, and buyers need to be educated. Major brands provide the most reliable products at the present time.

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