Mineral Makeup: The Natural Choice

April 26th, 2011

Mineral Makeup: The Natural Choice?

Scanning the labels of many cosmetics and skin care products reveals a host of synthetic ingredients: parabens, urea, sodium lauryl sulfate, and a variety of dyes and fragrances. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned over the potential health effects of these ingredients, and are turning to natural alternatives. One of the most popular natural cosmetics is mineral makeup, which one company claims is “so pure you can sleep in it”. Scanning the list of ingredients in mineral makeup may be puzzling, since the same ingredients have been used in many other cosmetics for decades. Is mineral makeup truly a natural and more healthful choice?

Mineral makeup is primarily used for foundations and blushes, and is praised for its ability to cover up blemishes and to last for long periods of time. It is also touted as hypoallergenic, preventing acne and eliminating skin irritation due to its pure ingredients, which won’t clog pores. It can even act as a sunscreen, with an SPF value of 15.

The main ingredients in virtually all types of mineral makeup include mica, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide. These are minerals which occur naturally; they are also minerals common to many foundations and other cosmetics, not just those marketed as mineral makeup. It’s important to look at the other ingredients to determine how pure and natural a certain mineral makeup product may be.

Some products marketed as mineral makeup contain, along with the main ingredients, synthetic additives such as preservatives, fragrances, and dyes that might irritate the skin. Therefore become aware of what these other mineral might be. A good source of information is http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ (Skin Deep). Here you can find what those other ingredients are and if they could irritate your skin or worse.

Some mineral makeup contains synthetic ingredients; some do not, but contains natural ingredients which could irritate sensitive skin. Keep in mind that in most countries there is no legal standard for labeling cosmetics “pure” or “natural”, nor is something pure or natural necessarily beneficial. Rather than buying mineral makeup because these terms are on the label, it’s important for consumers to examine the list of ingredients and research them to make informed decisions about the products they buy.