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Mineral Makeup Benefits And Facts

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Is There Actually a Benefit To Wearing Mineral Makeup?

The benefits of mineral makeup are excellent for skin and have been endorsed by many dermatologists.  This is due to the fact mineral powders use minimal ingredients to keep the makeup as gentle as possible, especially if you are dealing with sensitive skin issues.  A great mineral based product leaves out the synthetic chemicals, such as preservatives, dyes and lakes, bismuth oxychloride, fragrance and many other possible irritants found in liquid foundation and some mineral makeup brands selling pressed powder.  The reduction of these chemicals should not be confused that somehow mineral makeup is chemical free, because it is not.

A major benefit of using an excellent mineral makeup, is the ability to wear your makeup after a surgical procedure, micro-dermabrasion, chemical peel, or removal of varying types of skin cancer.  Laser resurfacing comes with a caution

Minerals can and will soothe irritated skin and inflammation caused by many factors that are related to sun damage, but also includes aiding skin's recovery with acne, rosacea, etc. while softening the effects of scarring from years of cystic acne.  Plus, if you are needing to protect your skin while it heals, the added benefit is getting a certain level of SPF (sun protection factor) without the stinging caused by liquid sunscreens.  There is nothing more painful than using synthetic sunscreen products while your skin is going through a healing process.  However, please be aware that mineral powders cannot hold an SPF rating as per the FDA and the level of sun protection is subjective to how much you apply.  Using additional sunscreen is always recommended.

Does Organic Mineral Makeup Exist?

When searching for the best mineral makeup product to purchase, be aware there is no such thing as organic mineral makeup.  The basis for finding a great mineral based foundation for instance, should not be equated with whether or not it is "organic" in it's description.  Mineral makeup is precisely how it is developed using inorganic ingredients, with some of them in today's world being synthetically created in the lab instead of being mined.

Are there organic ingredients infused into mineral powders?  Absolutely!  But the more important question should be, is there a benefit with using any mineral makeup brand containing organic ingredients.  With certain ingredients, the answer is "yes".  With others that are purported to be using organic antioxidants in order to provide an anti-aging benefit, not so much.  Mineral makeup that is "natural" on the other hand, can be described with a certain amount of accuracy in the realm of science. 

What does natural really mean when it comes to choosing mineral makeup brands?  The term natural is often used to define mineral based products as being more wholesome or not made by humans.  Science however shows us that natural has a much broader meaning.   Natural can be any element in the physical sense, whether man-made or not.  You may not be as sure of mineral makeup being "natural" (in the everyday sense of the word), but in science it is based on a minimalist ingredient list comprised of minerals and other inert ingredients that are definitely safer and more wholesome for the body.  This aids in prevention of putting unnecessary makeup ingredients on the skin which can cause other problems or symptoms which make us feel and look unwell.

Is Mineral Makeup Good For Acne Prone Skin?

When making a decision on what works best, a pros and cons list might help when comparing makeup brands.  Finding the best one, whether it is a liquid formula or powder formula, when dealing with acne prone skin or cystic acne can be challenging.  There are key factors in determining which mineral makeup formula will work best for this skin type and why it is safer and gentler to acne sufferers.  For the most part minerals are quite safe for acne skin, yet there are certain ingredients which should be avoided.  One in particular is Bismuth Oxychloride, which has been known and reported by many women as causing the worst reactions to their skin.  This includes inflammation, redness and flareups of acne or cystic acne which is painful beyond belief, including the psychological pain of dealing with the aftermath cystic pimples can cause to the face, one of which is destruction of collagen which leads to scarring.

Key points when using minerals and shopping for the best brand of mineral powder is easier than you might think.

  • Loose powder mineral makeup formulas are crucial for healthy skin due to clean application every time
  • Before going to sleep, removal of your minerals at bedtime is best since oil and dirt has accumulated all day on your skin and if left on, may enlarge your pores
  • Ignore product marketing being promoted as non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic since these terms are irrelevant and are not proven or recognized by the FDA
  • Avoid pressed mineral makeup powders since this will eventually become a dirty application every time you use it
  • Preservatives in loose minerals only contribute to other skin issues and are completely unnecessary
  • Ingredient lists are vital for purchase knowledge and should be displayed openly at point of purchase, including websites
  • Sterling Minerals provides a comprehensive, proprietary blend of soothing mineral foundation formulas for 3 specific skin types, and our Mineral Makeup Ingredients are crucial to keeping your skin healthy

Coverage is also important for women who suffer from bouts of acne and this is why we do provide the 3 different formulas which includes getting good coverage without caking on the skin or around the pimple or scar.  We provide tons of information on our website, where pretty much we have no unanswered questions so far.  The information is all based on issues brought to our attention by many women having similar problems over the years.  Keeping things transparent about ingredients and what they will actually do for the skin is all based on science when deciding to use Sterling Minerals.  No marketing nonsense or half baked truths, but showing how each and every ingredient is utilized and the reason why it is included in our mineral makeup formulas.

Does Mineral Foundation Work For Oily, Dry, Combo, Normal Or Aging Skin?

Can loose mineral makeup powders truly be versatile enough to accommodate all skin types?  For the most part yes, however with a small caveat.  Not all mineral makeup can be all things to every woman wishing to use minerals in their makeup regimen.  It really boils down to formulations which address different skin types.  Brands with a single formula can work well, but they actually only work well on women with oily to normal skin.  If your skin leans combo or to the dry side, or is beginning to have the fine lines and wrinkles as you mature, then a single formula will not work for your skin type. 

Bare Minerals, the leader in the mineral makeup industry, is an example of this problem.  You will either love it or hate it, or after years of use, it is no longer working the way it used to.  Why?... because as we age, our skin changes.  Collagen for example, keeps us looking young, but once this diminishes over time, our face becomes more drawn and the years of sun damage and environmental pollutants take their toll on our skin.  After Leslie Blodgett sold the Bare Escentuals company to Shiseido, the brand has gradually moved away from Leslie's pure and safe trademark of her signature brand to an expanded, more mainstream chemically filled product, including all the things we try to avoid to keep our skin healthy.  Some of which are dyes, lakes and talc.

Although you may try to search for a mineral makeup brand that has the least amount of ingredients, this may actually put your skin at a disadvantage of getting something that works well without accentuating the tiny imperfections or contributing to aging the skin or drying it out further.  All the different brands want to be the best in their industry, us included, but it takes a better product to perform and offer true solutions to varying skin types.  For instance, we are the only company which offers a proprietary blend in 3 mineral foundation formulas giving you the performance you are looking for.  It isn't enough to offer mineral makeup formulas that are devoid of problematic ingredients, or keep the formula to the very basic 4 ingredients. This type of makeup will be self limiting to the certain skin types we have mentioned here.

When searching for the best mineral makeup foundation, it will be crucial for the minerals to be present of course, but the mineral powders must also provide coverage, staying power, additional benefits, and do so without drying out skin or causing further irritation.

What Ingredients Are Typically Found In Mineral Makeup?

  • Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide - sun blocking agents, one or both included.  We prefer Rutile form of TD (non nano)
  • Mica - bulk filler
  • Pigments - coloring of minerals
  • Silica - a desiccant for oil control
  • Perhaps Bismuth Oxychloride - very popular for dewy (shiny) look

This is a typical ingredient list for a basic mineral makeup powder, and some seem to claim if the mineral powders go beyond this list of ingredients, it is not a true mineral makeup.  Nothing is further from the truth since any makeup brand can contain the main sun blocking agents Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, thereby making it technically a mineral makeup.  What needs to be determined is how far from the original intent of the formulation do these two ingredients end up on the list.  Near the top of the list they will act as a very strong sunscreen agent.  At the bottom of an ingredient list, they are essentially nothing more than a pigment and will provide little to no sun protection.  This is why ingredient lists on mineral makeup brands and other cosmetics matter.

As far as the unfounded claim using ingredients other than those listed above in a basic formula of mineral makeup creates something completely different from natural and true mineral powders, is at best a myth and one we will dispel.  Unfortunately, the term "filler" ingredient is used as a negative in mineral makeup formulas and that somehow reduces the benefits one looks for in an excellent mineral brand.  One thing is for sure, without a so called "filler" otherwise known in true form as a bulking agent, the basic formula loses benefits such as staying power, lubricious quality, oil control, texture (gritty to silken), or a smooth finish (dewy, matte, translucent)

These are some ingredients you may find in some of your high end mineral powders and the list can be endless.  Price point doesn't always define ingredient lists.

  • Rice Powder
  • Methicone Treated Mica
  • Boron Nitride
  • Pearl Powder
  • Silk Powder
  • Arrowroot Powder
  • Tapioca Starch
  • Cornstarch
  • Oat Powder
  • Kaolin Clay
  • Other Mica (colorant, treated or untreated)
  • Bismuth Oxychloride
  • Silica
  • Talc

Every one of these filler ingredients serve a purpose to creating a nice, soft feeling to the face depending on the formula you choose.  Beyond that it is about how each individual ingredient is used or not used, or if it is one to avoid or seek out in the final formulation, and of course, it's respective ratio to achieve the lasting benefit you might want in your mineral foundation, as a for instance.  Believe it or not, even pigments such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide can be considered a bulking agent (filler) depending on it's use.  As far as their use as the primary mineral ingredients in your makeup, without these other "fillers", aka bulking agents on this list, you would have a pretty tough time getting the main minerals to go on nicely or blend smoothly, or worse yet, not adhere to the skin without causing more irritation.  Thereby, making these filler ingredients quite necessary for the ultimate in smooth application.

Short of adding ingredients which are unnecessary or just plain weird, those additional types of bulking agents are basically serving no other purpose except to make a certain brand sound better than it really is.  Or the other side of the coin, it would not have the mineral powder performance you might look for without many of the finer filler ingredients on the market.

Those ingredients you may wish to avoid in any makeup or skincare when you can

Are There Good Or Bad Mineral Makeup Ingredients?

What you want to see in a list of ingredients; Minerals of course near the top which are typically comprised of a Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide combination.  These two main ingredients of mineral makeup products are what assist with giving some protection against the sun's harmful rays.  But with that being said, we still always recommend supplementing your mineral makeup application with a good facial sunscreen underneath which is also free of silicones and preferably without the synthetic sunscreens which absorb rays instead of refracting them.  Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are categorized as sun blockers since they refract light.  One company in particular we like for working well with our mineral makeup is Goddess Garden Organics.  They use great moisturizing ingredients with the active ingredient Zinc Oxide which will help with an improved sheerer application.

When it comes to these two main minerals, there are many bloggers that want to assume these are still in their purest form being directly mined from the ground (au naturale) and warn of them containing heavy metals.  However, what we see on the market today are synthetically created in a lab to make sure they are free from heavy metals and impurities.  So rest assured, these are clean and pure in today's mineral makeup brands, and yes, Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are not only minerals, but are chemicals as well.  But most importantly, to keep your skin healthy, your main focus should also be on whether or not the mineral makeup is micronized, aka Nano sized or non-micronized, aka no Nano particles.

Then there can be Mica added in many different ratios, along with whatever coating it is chemically treated with to improve performance since Mica has poor adherence as a stand alone ingredient.  Mica as a general rule, gives bulk to the mineral powders, yet without a surface treatment will perform poorly in any mineral makeup causing melt out or disappearing from the skin as the day wears on.  Some women claim they have an allergy to Mica so they avoid what generally may be an excellent brand, because it may actually be the surface coating causing skin to react.  Since Mica is an inert ingredient, having a chemical reaction on the skin would be impossible.  Irritation on the other hand from Mica may be another concern, and it is why using Methicone treated Mica offers wonderful benefits to skin, especially mature, aging skin.

Some makeup brands include Bismuth Oxychloride which for many women creates skin issues, especially those with acne, cystic acne and rosacea.  To be sure, this ingredient is so far removed from what is taken from the ground, and goes through a major chemical refinement. This is not something we would recommend for skin or much less think it is beneficial for skin suffering from acne or rosacea.  Another problem with this ingredient is, once you remove it from your mineral makeup regimen and your new found makeup is now free of it, the Bismuth Oxychoride unfortunately, can continue to cause ongoing skin irritation and intense itching for some time to come.  Minor itching can be normal as your skin begins to heal, so be patient with this type of itch as long as it is no longer intense, which is a good thing.

We don't want to forget mineral pigments which are also created in the lab to keep them free from heavy metals and impurities.  Since the FDA regulates pigments (colorants) in cosmetics, there is no room for error here in any company being allowed to use something outside the scope of what it is deemed safe for use.  For instance, Iron Oxides are what are typically used as pigment for minerals along with Ultramarines, and are determined safe for use in cosmetics, with one caveat; Ultramarines are not safe to use in lip color.

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