by Emma Peters February 27, 2018

How you ever wondered why “mineral makeup” is supposed to be better for you than your “standard” variety makeup?

Several decades ago, mineral makeup started to show up on the scene with brands like Bare Escentuals launching, creating a rift between regular makeup and mineral makeup. The marketing behind this this would lead us to believe that if it’s mineral, it’s healthier.

Years ago, in my quest for healthy beauty , I was sucked into the mineral-make-up-health-trap too. I believed (because of all of the clever marketing) that because it said “mineral” on the box, it had to be healthier for me and my clients. When I started to do my research though, I uncovered the truth about what’s really in the stuff we put on our faces every day.

Myth- Mineral Makeup is healthier than regular makeup

Actually ALL makeup with any colour in it is mineral makeup. In order to be able to state that a product is mineral makeup, it must contain any of the following. Zinc, Titanium Dioxide, Mica and/or iron Oxides. Iron oxide is what gives foundation, lipstick and most makeup it’s colour. Titanium Dioxide gives coverage and Mica gives texture. So without these you couldn't easily put together something that would pass as makeup.

Whether your makeup is called a mineral makeup or not, healthy makeup is more about what’s not in it.

Here are some of the less than desirable ingredients and why they should be avoided. 

A common cheap preservative used in a variety of cosmetics, these oestrogen mimicking chemicals can be absorbed through skin. A true mineral powder should not contain parabens or any preservatives.

Ive written a lot about the dangers of synthetic fragrances. These contain an undisclosed cocktail of chemicals including Phthalates, that may cause hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity.

Talc is often used to prevent caking in powder products. The issue with talc is the possibility of asbestos contamination making it carcinogenic.

Bismuth Oxychlodide
This is used to create a pearly lustre effect, but is can be irritating to some. It also over emphasises pores and texture like scars and wrinkles. I personally don’t like the grey hue that it can cast on your skin either.

Check out my complete list of cosmetic ingredients to avoid.

How to find the best Mineral Makeup

If you’re looking for a true mineral makeup, look for one with a short list of ingredients. Preferably only the list above, or at least ingredients that you don’t need a dictionary to decipher (showing my age, does anyone actually own a dictionary any more?!)

Beware of companies claiming “Organic Mineral Makeup” because minerals themselves are an inorganic compound, so scientifically speaking, organic minerals are just a marketing scam (or blatant lie). I’d also steer clear of companies that don’t readily display their ingredients, if they’re not upfront with what they use in their products, chances are, it’s not great!

What's your favourite Mineral Makeup brand? Have you had a good look at their ingredients list? I'd love to hear your findings!

Emma Peters
Emma Peters

Emma Peters, organic makeup artist, creative director and founder of Belle & Sage, is committed to leading the conversation around beauty and wellness. With over twenty years of experience as a make-up artist, she knows you don’t have to sacrifice quality for clean.

She’ll help you find the what, learn the why, nail the how, and everything in between.

Letting you know more, wear better, and start making beautiful choices: from the inside, out.

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