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Why Use Mineral Make-up?

Key ingredients that distinguish Mineral Make up from run-of-the-mill drug store makeup

For centuries, people have been using makeup to enhance their looks and bring out their beauty. Long before mineral makeup begun being commercially manufactured, people were using conventional drug store makeup. These two types of makeup can be a bit confusing, unless you know what differences to look out for. The major difference between mineral and conventional makeup is the ingredients.

Conventional makeup contains emollients, chemicals, fragrances and preservatives. Mineral make up does away with these. On the other hand, mineral makeup contains minerals such as iron oxides, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and mica. These minerals are ground up into small particles to create makeup. When buying mineral makeup, its not enough to have a product labeled “mineral-enriched”. It is advisable that you take a close look at the ingredients contained in the product. You want to ensure that it contains the minerals mentioned above. Zinc oxide is particularly helpful and soothing for people who suffer from acne and it can help to reduce inflammation and irritation. The lack of filler ingredients such as cornstarch, talc, magnesium stearate and bismuth in mineral makeup can lead to less pore-clogging, meaning fewer breakouts.

Zinc oxide is approved as a skin protectant, while titanium dioxide works perfectly as a safe broad spectrum sunscreen. This has been researched, tried and tested. Therefore products that contain these two minerals will definitely be beneficial to any skin type.

Why is it so popular?

The mineral make-up trend is being driven by a desire for "cleaner" products. Cosmetics were seen to have become a by-product of the petrochemical industry and there was growing concern about allergies and intolerances. Mineral make-up generally contains less chemical-based ingredients such as parabens, fragrances, binders and synthetic dyes, which can help eliminate some of these problems.

The mineral trend started out as the preserve of small brands, but the surge in popularity saw a flurry of new players enter the market, including major cosmetics brands.

The benefits

The major benefit of mineral make-up is that it generally does not clog the pores, allowing the skin to "breathe" naturally. As such, it is less likely to aggravate an acne condition or cause flare-ups. Cosmetic surgeon Dr Van Park says: "Ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have anti-inflammatory properties. Zinc oxide is especially good for skin that is irritated, sensitive or has recently undergone cosmetic laser procedure or peels. It's also good for people suffering from rosacea and acne."

These ingredients are also commonly found in sunscreens, but this does not make mineral make-up an alternative to sunscreen, even though most mineral products claim to have a sun protection factor of at least SPF15. Dermatologist Dr Phillip Artemi says: "A separate sunscreen application is still vital because there is only a secondary benefit from the sunscreen properties of mineral make-up." NasCia Naturals Liquid Foundation has an SPF of 25 and our BB Cream has an SPF of 30. Our Pressed Foundation has an SPF of 15.

The critics

Like everything, mineral make-up has its fans and its critics. One recurring argument is that traditional make-up manufacturers always included minerals in their formulations. Some doctors report that Mineral make-up is not a miracle product, but a make-up alternative." It is reported that non-mineral cosmetics also include minerals but often also contain fragrances, binders, synthetic dyes and preservatives.

There have recently been concerns about bismuth oxychloride in mineral cosmetics causing skin irritations. It is a common ingredient in both traditional and mineral make-up because it gives a silky feel and helps camouflage fine lines and minor discolorations. Dr Lee-Mei Yap, from the Dermatology Institute of Victoria, says: "To date, there is no strong scientific evidence that bismuth oxychloride, a by-product of copper and lead processing, causes skin allergies and irritation." NasCia Naturals does not use Bismuth in any of our products.

Skin conditions that could greatly benefit from mineral makeup

People suffering from acne and rosacea skin conditions often have a hard time finding the right skin products to use. They often have to settle for products that could end up further aggravating their conditions by clogging or enlarging their pores. This is why it is of utmost importance that they pick out makeup that will help them soothe and alleviate their conditions.

Because mineral makeup is lighter, the likelihood of pores clogging is almost nil. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease the discomfort that comes with acne and rosacea conditions. In fact, zinc oxide is a primary ingredient in our baby bottom balm for this precise reason and mineral makeup is often reported to soothe and calm acne.

Tips for buying

So what should you be looking for when buying mineral make-up?

  • Check reputable websites and magazines and talk to friends who use mineral make-up.

  • Explore a few brands and try samples.

  • Check the ingredients list. Products should be fragrance and preservative free and should contain titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mica and iron oxides as "star" ingredients.

  • If you're not sure of an ingredient, look it up on the Cosmetic Safety Database website,

  • Products should not contain parabens, fragrances, binders or synthetic dyes.

  • Compare the net weight of products. Don't be fooled by a large container with hardly anything in it.

  • Ingredients should be listed on all cosmetic products. I recommend avoiding any company that does not list ingredients of cosmetics they sell.

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