Is Mineral Makeup Better for your Skin?

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A lot of women swear by mineral makeup, but it’s become more than just the latest beauty trend. In fact, some proponents of mineral makeup swear by its good-for-you skin benefits. Still others claim there are no health benefits to using mineral makeup.


Whatever side of the spectrum you’re on, I will present both sides of the argument so you can make an informed decision about whether you believe mineral makeup is better for your skin than traditional products.

Mineral Makeup “Activists”

There are many people, experts and others alike, that tout the skin-perfecting benefits of mineral makeup and believe that it’s much better for your skin.

According to WebMD, dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD believes “[because mineral makeup] is non-comedongenic, [it] won’t clog pores, and it’s not going to aggravate an acne condition or cause a flare-up as easily as some traditional makeups can.”

Kathryn Frew, MD, a dermatologist in New York City, tends to agree. In the same WebMD article, Frew asserts her belief that “certain mineral makeups can have a calming effect on the skin, [which is] particularly important if you suffer from inflammatory problems.”

To understand why someone would believe that mineral makeup is better for your skin, let’s take a look what what it’s made of. In its purest form, mineral makeup is exactly what it says — makeup made from pure minerals found in the earth. They are then ground up (”pulverized”, if you will) and sold to you, the consumer.

However, not all mineral makeup is the same. While most mineral makeup is free from artificial colors, preservatives, talc, and other chemicals, not all companies stick to this formula, hence the reason why there are some people who claim that mineral makeup is essentially no different from traditional makeup formulas.

Is Mineral Makeup Truly Better?

Dermatologic and pharmaceutical chemist Ben Kaminsky would tend to disagree. Kaminsky, quoted in the previously linked WebMD article, believes “mineral makeup is just a genius marketing plan — a new way of selling women the same ingredients that technically have been in makeup for years.”

However, there’s one ingredient in particular found in most mineral makeups that gives some people a reason for pause — bismuth oxychloride, the compound that gives mineral makeup its shimmer. According to Makeup Talk, this mineral can lead to allergic reactions, skin irritation, and breakouts in the vast majority of women who use makeup with it as an ingredient.

The Cosmetic Safety Database also has a few interesting studies published on this inorganic compound, and while they rate it relatively low on the safety scale (the higher the rating, the more dangerous the chemical is), there have been reports of toxic reactions.

If you’re concerned about bismuth oxychloride, there are several mineral makeup that does not contain this ingredient. Products from Everyday Minerals are free of talc and bismuth, and Sheer Minerals will never include this compound in their products. Surprisingly, the most popular brand of mineral makeup (Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals products) contain bismuth oxychloride, as do products from RAW minerals.

Whether you swear by mineral makeup or feel it’s not much different than traditional makeup, this article should be able to help you form a more concrete opinion about the skin perfecting benefits (or lack thereof) of using mineral makeup.

There will always be proponents who swear by what they feel is an ingenious invention in the makeup world, but others will continue to disagree with some of these claims. Whichever camp you fall into, I hope this information gives a clearer picture of both sides of the argument!

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