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One of the latest skin care trends to take the cosmetics industry by storm is mineral makeup. The concept is that, by applying a special "all natural" makeup, you can look great while improving your skin. Allegedly, mineral makeup is free of chemicals and instead, uses natural minerals to nourish your skin. As you may imagine, there is a fair amount of hype in the claims. Like many beauty and skin care products, brilliant marketing has a way of directing attention away from obvious flaws.  

Separating Advertising From Truth  

First, mineral makeup does use natural minerals as primary ingredients. These include titanium dioxide, mica, and zinc oxide. What manufacturers do not proactively mention is that these same minerals have been used as main ingredients in makeup foundations for many years. While mineral makeup does actually use them, the fact that they do is not noteworthy.  

Second, cosmetics companies have either directly communicated, or allowed others to do so in their stead, that mineral makeup does not use chemicals of any kind. In fact, that is not accurate. Technically, every ingredient used in a cosmetics product is a chemical, regardless of whether it is considered natural or not. What's more, some ingredients that are used in most mineral makeup products, such as bismuth oxychloride, are decidedly unnatural. Bismuth oxychloride is a chemical compound that results from mixing lead, copper, chloride, and bismuth.

A Closer Look At Active Ingredients  

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are often used in sunscreens to offer protection from UVA and UVB rays. Their inclusion in mineral makeup (which cosmetics companies are happy to point out) can be beneficial. However, the role they play in offering protection against sun damage depends upon the concentrations in which they're used. A sprinkling will not do - you need to check the listing of ingredients to make sure they are included as active ingredients. If they are not, they won't provide significant protection against UV rays.

Mineral Makeup Is Not A Skin Care Solution  

There is a noticeable lack of unbiased data that proves the efficacy of mineral makeup as a skin care solution. While useful as a foundation for those who suffer from rosacea (because it covers blemishes without using fragrances or preservatives), unless formulated in concentrations required to afford sun protection, there is little evidence that it will provide sufficient protection from sun damage.

If you enjoy the results of applying mineral makeup, and many women do, then continue using it. But, don't consider it a replacement for a well formulated broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen with effective sun filters like [Link Removed] to reduce signs of premature aging caused by sun damage.

As with any make up or cosmetic, there aren’t any magic solutions.  

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 


Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 14, 2008
    • I tried it and it broke me out sooooo badly.  I spent 200 dollars on it and it was the worst make up ever.  It took me three weeks to clear up.  

      I love make Lancome, as it goes on so naturally and it keeps my skin young and clear.. I dont see how any powder or ground up mineral or rock could even compare to the fabulous skin care products, of Este Lauder, Clinique, Lancome..Stila, to name a few.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chi10 wrote Nov 15, 2008
    • I also tried mineral makeup. I also spent quite a bit on it, later to realize I’d have a reaction. I wouldn’t consider my skin sensitive normally, but the mineral makeup made me itch. I’d test it out before investing too much money.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Nov 15, 2008
    • I wear Bare Escentuals and have worn it for years. I love it. I have never had a problem with it and it makes my skin look fabulous.
      Being a woman of color, it can be hard to find a foundation that does not have a strong yellow or red base, with BE I have not had that problem.
      My mother also wears it, actually, she is the one that convinced me to try it.
      Before BE I wore Revlon Colorstay. I also liked wearing it, I had no problems with it. But with BE I have better control over how heavy or light the foundation goes on my skin.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Nov 15, 2008
    • Mineral makeup is all I’ll wear. I’ve had makeup reactions all my life, except with minerals.

      I like Bare Escentuals, but my budget is more for Physician’s Formula. I actually won the mineral makeup giveaway here at Fab40 a couple of weeks ago and am just waiting for it to get here!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Nov 15, 2008
    • I love BE, Feather, I am hooked on it. I’ll have to try Physicians Formula, I’ve seen it before at my local store.
      I also wear BE eyeshadow, mascara and eyebrow powder. I would say 98% of my make-up is BE.
      When I see Leslie (BE CEO)on HSN, I get nervous and have to change the channel! LOL!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindy Stewart Penkoff wrote Nov 15, 2008
    • Because of my psoriasis and rosasea I am very sensitive to anything on my skin.  Bare Escentuals gives me the coverage want and the sun protection.  Trust me I have been out and gotten burned everywhere BUT my face.  I swear by it and have every woman in my family and at least half my friends using it now too.  They all say the same thing.  I even use it to get tid of an occassional break out on my skin by applying it with a flatg brush on the effecteds area before bed.  Within 2 days it’s gone.  

      BE saved my social life.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Daphne wrote Nov 15, 2008
    • I've been using mineral make up for over a year now...LOVE it.  Avon is the brand i use...love the results and  the price!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      AnneMarie Kimberling wrote Nov 15, 2008
    • I love mineral makeup - especially in the summer.  I use a moisturizer that has SPF 8 so that helps with the sun burn...  I’ve tried several minerals... While I love Arbonne, my budget wouldn’t allow it... I tried some other cheaper ones, but didn’t care for them...  Now I’m using Ulta brand - and I’ve found that I really like it....  I wish Estee Lauder had mineral makeup...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chi10 wrote Nov 15, 2008
    • It looks great. I’m kinda bummed it didn’t work for me.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 15, 2008
    • Bare Essentials is what broke me and my daughters out.. Its just not right for everyone.. But hey.. try it .. some do like it.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kathy Palomo wrote Nov 16, 2008
    • I have tried BE but it gave me a tingly sensation that I did not care for. I now use Mary Kay minerals and love it.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Nov 17, 2008
    • Thanks for all the comments. What’s interesting to note is that there are as many different opinions as there are individuals, which proves that in skin care (as in life) that one thing won’t necessarily work for everyone.  

      Sharmani



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Leeann wrote Nov 25, 2008
    • Bobbi what make up do you use. I can’t wear mineral makeup,it breaks me out too.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Glyndathegood wrote Jan 18, 2009
    • A little late to the discussion, but here’s my $.02:

      I have rosacea, though not severe, and have shunned all cosmetics and facial products for years.  Over the past year I have found the only products that work for my skin (which is also rated “combination” with the rosacea occuring on my cheeks) - 1) Mary Kay’s TimeWise set of 3in1 cleanser, Day and Night applications (with the daytime application being an SPF30 formula), and moisturizer; and 2)Minerologie’s mineral makeup (which I spent the $ to have professionally blended and am SO glad I did!)

      My skin is doing fabulously, although I have to admit that I don’t wear makeup daily.  However, I’m religious with the Mary Kay regime and I do drink 2 litres of pure water daily which I think helps keep toxins on from staying close to the skin surface and potentially causing breakouts.

      Ciao!

      Lynn



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kpg19 wrote Apr 1, 2009
    • This was a great article! I was wondering about mineral make-up. I’ve used Clinique for years and have been very happy with their products. Clinique products were the first products I used that actually helped me get my skin issues under control in my teens. I’ve been faithful to them ever since!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tina Sickinger wrote May 21, 2009
    • I know this is a fairly old post, but I just saw it and had to respond. I’ve never used BE, but I did start using Mineral Elements awhile back, and at first I really liked it. It seemed to give my skin a natural glow without all the heaviness of liquid makeup. In time, however, it started to break me out and in looking closely at the break-out, I noticed that the powder makeup seemed to make the fine lines and wrinkles stand out more on my face than the liquid makeup does. I guess I just have more fine lines and wrinkles than you guys do. Has anyone else noticed this?



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