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mineral makeup

The Magic of Mineral Makeup

Waving a magic wand for healthy, flawless skin may sound like a fairy tale wish; however, it is completely possible with a swirl of mineral makeup and a foundation powder brush. In seconds minerals can take problematic, dull, uneven complexions and normal skin to gorgeous radiance. For clean beauty and ingredient-conscious makeup wearers, the plus about minerals is that it’s all-natural, sourced from the earth, and features minimal ingredients. 

Mineral makeup is available as a loose powder or pressed foundation, eye shadows, blush, lip color, primers, and mascara. Our discussion is primarily about mineral foundation. When it comes to healthy mineral cosmetics, it’s all about what’s NOT in the formula!

mineral makeup

What is Not Included in Clean Mineral Makeup?

The benefits of clean beauty products are that they’re non-toxic and don’t affect the environment. Clean mineral makeup doesn’t include the following ingredients or processes:

  • No parabens
  • No talc
  • No gluten
  • No allergens
  • No pore clogging comedogenic ingredients
  • No SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)
  • No PEG (Polyethylene Glycol)
  • No synthetic fragrance
  • No animal testing
  • No FD&C dyes
  • No formaldehyde
  • No phthalates
  • No fillers

What’s in Mineral Cosmetics?

Minerals used in makeup generally contain three star ingredients; iron oxides (color), zinc oxide (repairs and soothes), titanium dioxide (sun protection). Some compositions include controversial bismuth oxychloride and mica. Best Reviews describes bismuth as a natural heavy metal that may create irritation for reactive skin types. Depending on the size, mica can produce excessive shine and may clog pores. Additionally, if your mineral makeup has mica, confirm that ingredient is consciously and responsibly sourced. Check-in with the Responsible Mica Initiative and determine if your products are approved. There is a child labor issue with mica mining, which many organizations are currently trying to end and reform.

mineral makeup

Mineral Vs. Chemical Cosmetics

Each mineral dons a special quality that, when working together, provides enhancements conventional makeup of the past can’t match. Often chemical-based foundations look caked, mask-like, unnatural, can clog pores, exacerbate breakouts, and irritate sensitive skin. You won’t find these issues with mineral makeup which is why countless plastic surgeons, estheticians, and dermatologists retail mineral-based cosmetics within their practice. The nourishing ingredients in mineral formulations are sometimes used immediately after skin procedures by dermatologists and skin care specialists to speed healing, protect, and camouflage redness. Mineral makeup’s corrective coverage and healing properties are unsurpassed and medically recognized.

The difference with mineral-based foundations is the smooth, skin-like veil finish that’s lightweight to the wearer and undetectable to the world. Wearing minerals garners a healthy glow in a believable, natural color range. This feat is accomplished similar to airbrushed makeup effects where droplets of pigments lay on top of each other, allowing a diffused finish. Mineral makeup consists of tiny crushed rocks that rest on the skin in layers, offering the same diffused look as airbrushed makeup.

The Process & Safety

The process of transforming minerals into usable particle size is called milling. You may have heard of the term “triple-milled.” Many clean beauty mineral companies “micronize” their ingredients making it less hazardous than nano-particle-sized minerals. A nano-particle size is one-billionth of a meter, as described by CVSkinLabs. Nano-particles can be inhaled and filtered into the epidermal layer of the circulatory system. Asthma and allergen-sensitive individuals need to prevent inhaling fine dust from mineral makeup. Micronized minerals are about 12-15 microns larger, which offers more safety as indicated by Micronized minerals will not rest in fine lines and wrinkles; the skin feels breathable and looks silky. 

If concerned about loose mineral powder dust, a simple alternative is pressed mineral foundation! Mattifying full, buildable, or Dual finish (foundation and finishing powder) are attributes of pressed minerals. Compacts are easy to apply wet or dry with a powder foundation brush or sponge and fit easily into your everyday carry bag for daytime touch-ups which may be minimal.

Mineral Perks

The staying power of mineral makeup is yet another accolade. Some mineral brands boast of 8-12 hour wear with just one application. The water-resistant quality of minerals means you can exercise and keep your flawless glow. All skin types, especially oily skin, will revel in the minimal application needs of loose and pressed minerals. Shine and oils vanish with a light dusting of moisture-absorbing mineral foundation. The zinc oxide calms, cools, and heals the skin, which is great for rosacea and inflamed acne skin types. These micronized particles do not promote bacteria, and there’s no expiration date; after all, they are tiny crushed inorganic solids!

Natural UVA/UVB sun protection ranges from about 12-17 SPF depending on the titanium dioxide percentage in the cosmetic. Non-makeup wearers may want to venture into a makeup-no-makeup look mineral foundation and lip product for the sake of skin protection and nourishing elements. Minerals tend to be very forgiving as far as coverage and shades. The demarcation lines prevalent with conventional cakey foundations and liquids are MIA when using dry minerals. The same categories exist when color matching; Warm, Cool, Neutral. Iron oxide content grants a rainbow of color opportunities for all skin tones and inspiration for creative looks.


Tools for application make a tremendous difference. Loose minerals are easily applied with a fluffy foundation brush over the entire face and neckline and into the decollete. Applying in a circular motion will heat the minerals and bring more staying power on the skin. Pressed minerals can be applied with a fluffy foundation brush, wet or dry sponge, or a stiff kabuki brush. 

Use the edge of the sponge or brush in all the nooks and crevasses of the face. Using damped sponges or brushes will create fuller opaque coverage. To cover blemishes and problem spots, simply change to a concealer brush and pack the minerals on the area, then blend. Accessory brushes for eye makeup, blush, and lips should be constructed with synthetic fibers that hold pigment well and are easy to wash and sanitize.


A cocktail of skin enhancers and subduers are involved in today’s mineral cosmetics mixology. 

  • Anti Aging: Pomegranate, Peptides, Vitamin C, E, White Tea, Algae
  • Oily/Problematic Skin: Kaolin Clay, Niacinamide, Silica, Lysine, Cucumber
  • Dry Skin: Murumuru Butter, Shea Butter, Lactic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe

Clean beauty mineral makeup is a healthy cosmetic that can offer a multitude of skincare benefits and a beauty boost!

mineral makeup

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