The goodness of mineral makeup was first discovered a thousand years ago. Minerals from earth helped the ancient Egyptians protect themselves from the harsh sun.
There are thousands of varieties of mineral makeup available in the market. Some of them are matte, some have golden and silver shimmer and the rest are sparkling. The makeup ingredients are common minerals such as zinc, mica, titanium dioxide and iron oxide. Each of these minerals has unique properties that benefit the cosmetics. For example:
- Zinc gives opacity to the makeup products and enables the makeup products to conceal blemishes and other skin flaws. It also deflects the harmful UV rays away from the skin.
- Mica provides silky, non-irritating filler that helps to reduce the visibility of wrinkles on the face.
- Titanium dioxide is the common ingredient for all mineral makeup and just like zinc provides opacity and deflects UV rays from the skin.
- Iron oxides provide different colors to the makeup such as red, black, yellow, orange and maroon, to name a few.
- They stay for a longer time than the ordinary makeup and give a smooth touch and feel to the skin.
- Mineral makeup doesn’t easily wear off or sweat off; a person wearing mineral makeup can even swim in the water for long hours without getting their makeup smudged or washed off.
- It is good for those young girls who have a sensitive skin that often develop allergies, irritation and rashes with the commonly available cosmetics.
- The titanium dioxide and zinc oxide present in the makeup helps the skin to calm and soothe, they are also very potent sunscreens as they deflect harmful UV rays.
- Zinc oxide also contains anti-microbial properties and is safe for patients undergoing or recovering from laser treatments and plastic surgery. They are free of oils and hence do not clog pores of the skin. The skin can easily breathe with the mineral makeup on it.
Unlike other makeup, mineral makeup is applied only in small amounts on the face with the help of makeup brushes. They are applied to the skin in circular motions and moderate use of them helps to maintain a natural and fresh look all day long.
The benefits of mineral makeup are numerous as they are mostly natural and are composed of such minerals that are healthy for the skin.
Although the mineral makeup products are marketed as ‘specially formulated for sensitive skin’ it must be noted that many people with sensitive skin do develop skin rashes as these products can induce contact dermatitis. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that ‘a number of products contained preservatives and fragrances known to be cosmetic sensitizers included in the North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) standard series’. Fragrance, potassium dichromate, colophony, and quaternium-15 are some of the allergens present in many mineral makeup products. Researchers advised people allergic to potassium dichromate to avoid using products listing chromium oxide green.
According to Dr Mehmet Oz, mineral makeup powder may not have any adverse effects now but long term use can lead to inflammation and lung disease.
There are many companies and brands providing mineral makeup, but some of the popular brands are Bare Minerals, Sheer Cover, Every Minerals and ColorScience along with the top notch cosmetic companies such as Maybelline, Avon, and Cover Girl.