Mineral Makeup 101: Miracle Makeup, or Mostly Hype?


The first mineral makeup powder foundation came out in the 1970’s, but has gained popularity in recent years. Most women who use it swear by it, and wouldn’t dream of switching from their mineral brand of choice. Strangely enough, though, there is very little concrete information about mineral makeup.

Unless, that is, you know where to look. We did some research on the mineral makeup movement, and discovered some interesting information. For starters, mineral makeup can have some surprising skin benefits. It can also be good for anyone who can’t wear normal makeup due to adverse reactions.

Unfortunately, however, not all mineral makeup is created equal. The key to getting the right mineral makeup is to take a careful look at the ingredients list. Because what is – and most importantly, what isn’t – in the mineral makeup you get makes the difference between buying something that’s good for your skin, or just regular makeup in sheep’s clothing.

The Many Skin Benefits of Mineral Makeup

The largest proponents of mineral makeup appreciate how, if made correctly, it doesn’t cause all of the adverse allergic reactions on their skin that regular makeup does. Anyone who suffers from rosacea or eczema can especially benefit from wearing mineral makeup because of how gentle it is on their skin.

The key to this lies in the short, simple ingredients list. Most makeup contains chemicals that can have a harsh effect on the skin. These include parabens, preservatives, chemical dyes, mineral oil, and chemical fragrances. For anyone who suffers from sensitive skin or a chronic skin condition, these additives will only make things worse – and end up creating more skin blemishes than they fix. Which is ironic, because that is the exact opposite of what makeup is supposed to do.

Mineral makeup also contains natural sunscreen to protect your skin from photo damage. Zinc Oxide and Titanium oxide obscure light rays, keeping these radioactive ultraviolet particles from causing damage to your skin cells. However, it should be noted that these protective effects are somewhat mild. Anyone who plans to be out in direct sunlight for longer than 10-15 minutes at a stretch should also invest in a moisturizer with a high SPF of at least 30 or above.

Separating the Good from the Bad: Avoiding “Fake” Mineral Makeup

With the popularity of mineral makeup, it should come as no surprise that there are lots of companies trying to make a quick buck by labeling their makeup products as being mineral-based, even though they still contain many of the same harsh chemicals that true mineral makeup tries to avoid.

Technically, these companies are allowed to get away with this business practice because they do contain the same ingredients that mineral makeup does. The truth is that you can’t make any makeup without including the basic ingredients present in mineral makeup – therefore, technically, all makeup qualifies as “mineral” makeup, even though it may still contain the same skin-irritating ingredients that true mineral makeup usually avoids.

For the makeup purists out there, true mineral makeup can only really come in the form of a dry powder. Any form of liquid or cream will undoubtedly contain preservatives, which might irritate the skin. Liquid and cream makeup are breeding grounds for bacteria, and without some sort of preservative, it is much easier to get a skin or eye infection from contaminated products.

To be fair, though, many legitimate mineral makeup companies do make liquid and cream makeups. And just because they have to include preservatives to prevent against harmful bacteria doesn’t necessarily mean that these makeup products are bad or of a lower level of quality. However, as a consumer, you’re going to want to take a close look at the ingredients list. If it contains anything that you know will trigger an irritation, or if it contains similar ingredients to makeup which has caused a bad reaction for you in the past, it might be best to stick to powdered formulas.

Keeping Expectations Realistic

This is especially important for anyone who is thinking about switching to mineral makeup. There is nothing wrong with trying something new, and if you feel your current makeup is irritating your skin in some way, then making the switch could be a smart choice.

Unfortunately, there isn’t anything miraculous about mineral makeup that will out-perform better than regular makeup. It will perform about as well as most other powdered makeup, and you may notice slight improvements.

But at the end of the day, feeling beautiful on the inside is the most powerful form of attractiveness there is!