Seems like nothing is sacred these days. Not even mineral makeup, the darling of the cosmetics industry and something that us green & healthy folks consider a step above conventional cosmetic products. But alas, it turns out there’s a thing or two to watch out for when choosing a mineral makeup brand. I’ve been confused/concerned about this for awhile now and finally took the time to sort out a few things. Hope this helps you too!!
Here’s what you definitely don’t want in your mineral makeup:
Nanoparticles – Minerals ground into teeny-weeny particles so small they can be absorbed into the skin and enter the bloodstream, leading to health problems, including lung cancer. (Not to be confused with micronized ingredients, which from what I have read, are larger than nanoparticles. Micronized minerals are found in most mineral makeup products and appear to be safe to use.)
Parabens– Pure mineral makeup lines do not contain parabens….but now that the big brands are in on the mineral scene, you never know what they might slip in there. Like this ‘mineral’ blush from Revlon that contains parabens and nano-sized titanium dioxide and is rated an 8 on the Skin Deep cosmetics database!!
Bismuth oxychloride – A byproduct of lead and copper refining that can cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin.
Dimethicone – A silicone-based emollient that does not allow skin to breathe. Basically it’s like coating your skin in plastic wrap. Yuck!!
Talc – Some brands use talc as an an inexpensive filler. It cheapens the product and is dangerous to inhale.
Confused about which brand to buy? Believe me, you are not alone!! Here are a few brands that I’ve either tried myself or that have come highly recommended:
- Simple Beauty Minerals – Lisa Liguori, owner of this tiny, web-based company does the research so you don’t have to! All of her mineral cosmetics are guaranteed to be free of bismuth oxychloride, parabens, petroleum derivatives, phthalates, synthetic fragrances and nanoparticles. Lisa sent me a few items to try including a foundation, a cheek color and my fav – eye shadow in champagne ice. I am loving this light color with just the right amount of sparkle. I even use it to add shimmer to my cheeks and neckline.
- Juice Beauty – As you probably already know, I’m a big fan of Juice Beauty. When I placed an order recently to stock up on a few fav products, I decided to treat myself to their Glowing Cheek Color in Pink. It’s made with a combo of fruit extracts and minerals and I’m impressed by the number of certified organic ingredients on the list. At first I was worried that the pink would be too bright for my fair skin but it goes on very light and gives my skin a healthy, pink glow. Love it!
- Alima Pure – Although I’ve never tried it, this brand has a strong following. Started by a mother who wanted to protect her daughter from toxic cosmetics, Alima Pure is free from all the bad stuff listed above and I’ve heard it rocks!
- Everyday Minerals – A lot of people love this line but I haven’t tried it myself. It is vegan (meaning they don’t use any animal-based pigments, like carmine) and free of dimethicone, bismuth oxychloride, fragrance, silicone, lake dyes and parabens. Looks like pretty pure stuff and well-priced too. Check out the try-me-free program where you can get free samples with any purchase!!
- Miessense – Having raved about miessence skin care, I would love to try their mineral makeup. A very pure line that does not contain any of the nasties written about above. In addition they choose not to use titanium dioxide because it is an unstable ingredient that must be coated with additional ingredients to be safe. Prices are a bit higher ($20 for 6gm) but the quality is way high.
- Jane Iredale – Some of my Facebook readers recommended this line that appears to be sold mainly in salons (or online). However, many products contain dimethicone and prices are getting up there ($42 for 10g of foundation).
- Bare Escentuals – One of the pioneers of mineral makeup, Bare Escentuals is now sold just about everywhere. I used to use their Clear Radiance blush and I thought it was a great product. So I was bummed to discover that it contains bismuth oxycholoride. I don’t appear to be sensitive to that ingredient but I think I’d rather choose a line without it in the future.
What mineral makeup brands do you use? What are your most important considerations when purchasing a mineral makeup line? Product quality, Ingredients, Price??
Note: I updated a few things on this post on 6-6-13 to reflect some new information and products I’ve tried.
(Disclosure: I received free samples from Simple Beauty Minerals in exchange for my honest opinion. There are a couple of affiliate links in this post. Any purchase you make helps keep this blog in business. Thank you!)
Image credit: Daniel*1977 via flickr