Friday, 4 May 2012

What makes mineral make up different?


After doing some research, apparently not much. 

Both the "mainstream" or regular make up and mineral ranges contain pretty much the same ingredients like titanium oxide, mica, zinc oxide, iron oxides, silica, talc, etc.

But what differs mineral make up from regular one is the lack certain allergens, like parabens, chemical dyes and mineral oil. And those are the reasons which make the mineral make up good for oily and acne prone skin. And sensitive skins. 

Oh and by the way, when I say mineral make up I mean foundation. 

People tend to think that mineral make up is more “natural”? Unfortunately that’s not quite the truth and there's nothing wrong with that. No one actually went to the mine, got your zinc oxide and titanium oxide, milled them and made make up out of them. It just doesn’t work like that. Both of those ingredients are processed in the lab as nothing in nature is that clean that can be used in cosmetics, especially zinc oxide has to be synthesised in the lab.

I wrote about zinc oxide in my previous post and indeed, its calming properties make it suitable for sensitive skins. Together with titanium oxide it also provides some sun protection.

One ingredient you should definitely scan the label for is bismuth oxychloride. While it gives the luminosity to the make up, it's also been reported that women would have acne flare ups and irritation when using make up with this ingredient.  

I’m not denying that mineral make up can look great, in fact some of my favourite products are products from the mineral ranges. But, the whole thing lost a bit of sheen for me when the cosmetics companies decided to jump on the bandwagon and brought up eyeshadows, lipsticks, liquid foundations and other things.

The beauty and the attraction of mineral make up was that the ingredient list was short. But now, once you start making liquid foundations, it became as long as the conventional foundation. Why? 

Well microbes love breeding in the water and without a suitable  preservative the product will not keep. Apart from going “off” it can also infect the skin. So in order to prevent the product being spoiled they put back the same ingredients that they got rid of in the beginning…. Confused?

So when picking mineral product read the ingredients. The shorter the list, the better the product for you, especially if you have sensitive skin. Especially look out for added mineral oil and fragrance. 

If you want to buy liquid foundation, eyeshadows, lipstick etc from the mineral range, by all means go for it, but be realistic. Chances are that you’re buying the normal stuff that is no different from your mainstream make up.While there's nothing wrong with those products, as long as you know you are buying into the hype, all is well.


  1. Just goes to show how easily influenced we all are when we start believing the hype that mineral is better all round.

  2. Wow, spot on Make Up Noise! I went in search for an alternative product that was healthy for my skin and contained minimal ingredients...but this was without much luck of finding a brand I was happy with. I then started making my own mineral make-up powders consisting of just Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide and the iron oxides for colour.

    Fast forward a few years, with lots of research, and cosmetic approval...I have launched my own mineral make-up products, Honeypie Minerals. Minerals are my love and passion! And the benefits are truly amazing. Love Claudia xxx