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Is Boron Nitride Safe In Mineral Makeup Products?


Ingredient Confusion Is Prevalent On The Internet

There are days you just want to say HUH?...WTH.  We get it, and it is why we are constantly working diligently to clear up any confusion on certain ingredients used in mineral makeup and skincare.  The majority of the misnomers and skewed interpretations are put out there by many bloggers, forums or other mineral makeup and skincare competitors.  It is a continual effort by many to convey dangerous misinformation, except they really don't understand the chemistry of ingredients.  They are only perpetuating the problem of undue panic being caused to others through spreading the scary rhetoric. 

We deal sincerely with every woman's concern, fret, and paranoia brought about by those who enjoy skewing informational data and trying to take ingredients, whole or in part, and make them sound as bad as getting the Bubonic plague. 

Through the continuing education provided by our science based articles and references to Personal Care Truth (where Katherine is also a published expert) and their ongoing science based research publications, we are creating a constructive dialogue between client and manufacturer over ingredients used within the beauty industry.  Personal Care Truth since their launch in May of 2010, has had over 12 million visitors and growing.  This is very telling and conveys that consumers are tired of the fiction and are only interested in the facts in their search for safe skincare and makeup products.

Boron Nitride Concern Was Conveyed To Us Based On An "Opinion" Article

We had a client who was worried about our use of Boron Nitride in our mineral makeup because she had read a blog article in regard to the possibility of it increasing testosterone levels in her body.  Of course, this is a blog that was written by another cosmetics company with absolutely no science based research, yet infers that boron nitride is somehow dangerous to apply to the skin.  Fortunately, there is absolutely no correlation of boron nitride as this article tried to imply the mineral "boron" as being one in the same.

This cosmetic reseller lambasted Boron Nitride under the pretext it was unsafe for use on the skin strictly to suit their own marketing agenda.  Fabrication of convoluted facts or half baked truths based on a certain ideology which targets any ingredient they dislike, is not the same as presenting the science.  Their design is strictly self promotional and frankly irresponsible and detrimental to the consumer.

The inference in the article, is it can also be absorbed through the skin in topical application for a mutually described benefit or counter benefit, depending on your point of view.  However in all subsequent data, "boron" is strictly referenced as a dietary supplement. 

Trying to extrapolate the oral component into a supposed problem for a topical cosmetic ingredient is not based on any actual peer reviewed science.   Plus the fact is, as a finished ingredient Boron the mineral and Boron Nitride are not remotely the same thing at all!  It is clear, once boron nitride is created out of a chemical synthesis it becomes an entirely new ingredient, changing the composition of borax (boron), which is used in the manufacturing process. 

Now what we tell our customers that locate these seemingly obscure articles, fact check and then check some more, and always challenge the data that is presented, especially in any article created by an "anti chemical" blogger or a self promoting cosmetics company with an axe to grind against the synthetic chemical industry or as a marketing tool.

What Is Boron Nitride In Reality?

Hexagonal Boron Nitride is an inert, inorganic mineral that is a compound made from Boron; an essential plant nutrient, and is an ultra-trace mineral which is found in fruits and vegetables which is taken up from the soil they are grown in.  It is found in abundance in the Mineral Ore, Borax, which through synthesis with Nitrogen creates Boron Nitride.  BN powders have been found and shown in Independent Laboratory Studies to be extremely safe for use in cosmetics worldwide.  Furthermore, it has been shown to NOT be bio-accumulative or to be an environmental toxin.  Also, with extensive research on this ingredient, there is absolutely no scientific data reflecting any toxicity or ill effects to the face or body when used as a cosmetic ingredient for topical application.

How Did This Cosmetic Reseller Think That Boron Was The Same As Boron Nitride?

Boron by itself is used in oral supplements for health benefits and may be a catalyst to increasing testosterone, yet no actual human studies have been performed to equate the two.  However, this is an element found in body building supplements on the premise this ingredient will do just that.  So increasing testosterone is in and of itself, not a "dangerous" issue, but a desired effect by some.  But it is clear that cosmetics are geared toward women, so to make this association is grasping at straws in an attempt to elevate a concern over something that simply is not even relative.  Plus, there are also parameters by which to use this supplement, and safety and efficacy is not yet proven.  Medline Plus published a brief article on Boron and it relays how and what it does.  They are affiliated with PubMed, National Institute Of Health and the National Library Of Medicine.

Essentially, Boron is required by your body in trace amounts for proper metabolism of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.  Boron also helps brain function, healthy bones, and can increase alertness.  As boron is not yet considered an essential nutrient for humans, it is not clear whether deficiencies occur.  However, diets that are low in fruit, vegetables, legumes, and nuts provide less boron than diets that contain more of these foods. 


It's found in raisins, prunes and nuts and are generally excellent sources of boron.  Fruit (other than citrus), vegetables and legumes also typically contain significant amounts.  Actual amounts vary widely depending upon boron levels in soil where the food is grown. 

If one is truly concerned about boron elevating testosterone (yet to be factually proven) then one could surmise these otherwise extremely healthy foods should be cut from the diet. 

However, the removal of the anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic benefit these antioxidant rich foods offer for the human body would pose detrimental issues more grave than an insignificant trace element of boron, whereby opening us up to far more dangerous assaults on our bodies.

As far as the scary details that this person tried to create without the science to back it up, we can only apologize for others that do their level best to resell skincare and mineral makeup products under the marketing guise of "unsafe" or "toxic" ingredients, perpetuating a negative campaign. 

For us this is an unethical practice and not something we will ever do as we continue to strive for keeping it scientific and real.