A Mineral Miracle?

Photo: istockphotos.com/pederk
The truth about mineral makeup

The only type of “natural” makeup (foundation, eye shadow and powder) in market today is mineral makeup. And it is considered natural because it is created from finely ground minerals from the Earth. Powder mineral makeup can be created without the use of preservatives or dyes, which is great for everyone, especially people with aggressive acne or other skin conditions, like roseacea. “Traditional” makeup, for the most part, contains petroleum-derived ingredients, waxes and synthetic colours, which, in my opinion, should not be part of your beauty regimen.

Problem is, many large cosmetic companies are cashing in on the “mineral makeup” trend, so some products can be gimmicky. These large corporations will add many other undesirable ingredients to their formulations which can make them toxic or, at the very least, unhealthy.

How do I know which products contain all-natural ingredients?

When you’re looking for a mineral makeup, there should only be these few ingredients on the label:

  • Titanium Dioxide – naturally occurring oxide of titanium. Used as a tint and for its high refractive index (also in sunscreens).
  • Zinc Oxide – aka ZnO; in the scientific world, this inorganic compound* is found in the Earths crust, but most commercial zinc oxide is produced synthetically. *this just means it does not have a biological origin because it is a mineral
  • Iron Oxide – chemical compounds made of iron and oxygen. Gives the colour to mineral make up.
  • Mica – a group of aluminum silicate minerals that, when crushed into a fine powder, give mineral makeup a nice shimmery, glowy look.
  • Kaolin clay — this is a natural filler. What you want to avoid is bismuth oxychloride. A by-product of lead and copper refining, it is used to give a pearlescent glow and for its binding properties in mineral makeup. It can clog pores due to its “heaviness” as well as irritate skin because of its molecular shape.

Do you apply mineral makeup the same way as regular makeup?

There are four steps to applying loose mineral makeup, whether it is foundation, eye shadow or concealer.

DIP. SWIRL. TAP. BUFF and repeat until you have the desired coverage! Dip your brush lightly into the mineral makeup, swirl onto a large flat surface (usually the lid of the makeup jar), tap off the extra powder and buff onto your skin. “Build” layers until you have the desired coverage or depth of colour. Another key element is to have a good quality Kabuki brush. Check out Youtube to find some great instructional videos!

I made the switch to mineral makeup about a year and half ago and I love the stuff! I find it comfortable to wear, natural looking, economical and it lasts a long time — in the container and on the skin.

I purchased my mineral make up from Meow Cosmetics online and my 30 g jar of foundation has lasted me well over a year! The company offers sample sizes for only $1, so you are able to find your perfect shade.

I also found some great “cottage” businesses on Etsy that are creating some really nice mineral products as well!