In our previous article about finding a truly pure mineral makeup, we gave you the four ingredients that are most common in mineral foundation, but if the ingredient list is longer, you’ll want to read on!
There are some pretty common added ingredients, which aren’t strictly necessary, and in some cases are there to provide a particular “feel” to the product, rather than to improve its function.
In fact, many of those ingredients actually cause break outs and can make you look much older!
Listen up, especially if you’re vegan, or not into animal cruelty, because you’re really going to be surprised at some of the ingredients below lurking in many mineral formulas.
Take a read at the ingredients listed below, and really consider whether or not you want these in your makeup.
Ingredients in Mineral Makeup You Should Absolutely Avoid
Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone
While not harmful, these silicones give products great coverage that doesn’t settle into lines or pores, but also places a barrier between the skin and the environment.
While this can be good, protecting the skin from pollutants, it does not allow impurities to leave the skin, and can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
Long term, it just isn’t healthy for the skin if used daily, and there are concerns about the effects of silicones on the environment, particularly marine life.
A preservative that began appearing when the concerns about Parabens reached a fever-pitch, but it isn’t without detractors. Considered to be “practically non-toxic,” but should be very low (last or in the last few) of the ingredients.
In Japan, it is only allowed in cosmetics in very low concentrations. But the real question here is, if the product is really mineral foundation, why does it need a preservative?
These 2 ingredients will just make your skin look terrible
The two offenders below can cause red bumps and acne, while accentuating wrinkles and large pores. Um, no thank you!
This ingredient gets such a bad rap and it seems like everyone tries to avoid Bismuth Oxychloride (BOC). Companies add this white pigment to give a “slippery” feeling to products, and to impart a slightly metallic sheen for a “dewy” look.
Some people are sensitive to BOC and will experience small red bumps and itching soon after contact.
The actual number of people who are sensitive to BOC is small, and there are other explanations for reactions, but there are other reasons to be skeptical of this ingredient.
Thorough cleansing is important with BOC, because the “buffing” that some use to apply mineral foundation can cause this ingredient to clog pores and lead to breakouts.
The sheen that BOC brings to a product can make it difficult for anyone with less than perfect skin to wear–large pores, scars and wrinkles are all accentuated by BOC. If you have great skin and aren’t sensitive to it, there is nothing wrong with having it in your foundation.
Often used as an alternative to Bismuth Oxychloride. It absorbs oil, provides a nice feel and a sheen. As with BOC, those with imperfect skin may wish to avoid this ingredient.
Mineral makeup can turn your skin into a parched wasteland–avoid these culprits!
Dry skin that looks like a dessert is pretty much the opposite having a youthful glow. Unless you have oily, skin these dehydrating ingredients aren’t appropriate in most women’s makeup. Particularly when you’re over a certain age.
Absorbent, provides coverage, and may be used as an anti-caking agent. It is mildly abrasive, and some may find it irritating. It can cause skin to feel drier than normal.
Generally used to absorb oil, also provides a nice feel and increases opacity of product. It is best to avoid if your skin tends to be dry.
A certain “natural” company refers to this ingredient as “Amazonian Clay” in their marketing (e know who it is, ehhhmm…).
Vegans beware…not all mineral foundations are vegan-friendly!
If you are vegan (or just squeamish) you will want to avoid these ingredients.
Animal Sourced Ingredients
- Pearl Powder (from freshwater pearls created by freshwater mussels),
- Silk Powder (made from silk, and harvested by boiling silkworms)
- Carmine (from the Cochineal beetle)
Wait, am I paying extra for that?
While extracts of vitamins and antioxidants are great for the skin, they need to be absorbed into the skin to be truly effective. In mineral formulations, they are dry sit on the surface of the skin, where they are not as effective as their liquid counterparts.
Extracts Such As:
- Green Tea
Some companies may include these so that they can claim that their minerals are “organic.”
Jojoba Esters, Wax or Oil
Jojoba is non-comedogenic and widely considered one of the healthiest oils for the skin, although in a dry powder form and in the small percentages you would find in a loose powder, it may not provide much benefit. If the mineral powder is pressed, Jojoba wax is a good binding agent.
A few things that aren’t as bad as they might sound.
Finally, there are some ingredients people get really freaked out by when they see such chemical looking names on the list, but you should know these are actually OK to use.
Ultramarines and Chromium Oxide Green
Blue and green pigments. Both are restricted by the FDA for use on the lips, but are acceptable for use on face and eyes. If it is in your foundation, do not apply it to lips.
A skin conditioning ingredient that also improves product texture. Derived from coconut oil.
Rice powder (Oryza Sativa) and Corn Starch (Zea Mays)
Both are silky and oil absorbing. Contrary to popular belief, although they are food based starches, they do not “feed” acne bacteria. The forms used in cosmetics are sterilized, and do not need preservatives as long as they are kept dry.
Well there you have it! The good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent.
Has this opened your eyes to looking a litter further past believing the claims of mineral makeup brands?
We sure hope so. Let us know which brands you trust, and which ones you discovered that don’t meet up to your standards in the comments below!