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What’s up with Mineral Makeup

By New You Editorial
Posted On Aug 07, 2010

Mineral makeup: The term “mineral” describes products made of all-natural, finely ground elements from the earth without the chemicals, dyes and preservatives found in traditional makeup. When applied, they’re said to give a light, natural, long-lasting glow that is unique to their formulation and application techniques.

But are they better for your skin? While they may offer added cosmetic and sun protection benefits for some skin types and luminosity preferences, others may need to be more selective. While dermatologists have found mineral makeups to be helpful for acne-prone skin, for others, the ingredients can be drying or irritating. Your best bet when selecting which products are right for you is to understand the primary mineral ingredients used in these makeup formulations and to talk with your dermatologist for additional guidance.

The Mineral Lineup

The actual minerals most often found in mineral makeup include mica, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and bismuth oxychloride.

Mica is the main ingredient used in mineral makeup. It comes in various luminosities, ranging from totally matte to highly shimmery.

Zinc oxide reflects the sun’s harmful rays, offering a sun protection factor and anti-inflammatory properties. But, experts caution, you shouldn’t rely on mineral makeup alone for skin protection. This is just an added benefit.

Titanium dioxide also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can have a calming effect on the skin. This may be of particular benefit if you suffer from inflammatory problems, such as rosacea or acne.

Bismuth oxychloride is a byproduct of lead and copper processing. It has a silky feel and is what gives your skin that “glow” that some love and others not so much. While it’s good at refracting light and helps to camouflage fine lines, wrinkles and minor discolorations, it also causes the most common complaint with mineral makeup: itching and rashes.

But not to worry—there are products available that do not contain bismuth.

Hydration Help

If dry skin is your concern, Bare Escentuals Hydrating Mineral Veil is a water-based pure mineral formulation that hydrates and gives a sheer finish and subtle brightness. (And it comes with a brush!)

Available at: www.sephora.com, $49

Glow & Go

Known for its foundation coverage in a power formulation, Colorescience’s Foundation Brush offers today’s busy woman the convenience of taking it with her. The 2-in-1, self-dispensing applicator takes the mess out of mineral makeup and protects with SPF 20.

Available at: www.dermstore.com, $60

Bye-Bye Bismuth

For the mineral makeup virgin, Mineral Hygenics has a startup kit that boasts it’s bismuth-free. What’s more, they give you a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Available at: www.mineralhygenics.com, $59

Mattify Me

If shine and shimmer just aren’t your thing, Jane Iredale’s PureMatte Finish Powder is just what the cosmetic consultant ordered! It absorbs oil and keeps your skin flawless.

Available at: www.skincarerx.com, $36