Mineral powder foundation Mineral powder foundation

THE PROS AND CONS OF MINERAL MAKEUP

By Maria Velve

Mineral powder foundation Mineral powder foundation

Mineral makeup isn't a recent craze. It's been around since the 60s and every makeup company out there has jumped on the mineral makeup bandwagon. Why? Well, because we're getting smarter about what we're putting on our skin and mineral makeup has several beneficial qualities for the skin; good reasons for makeup companies to want to cash in.  However, not all mineral makeup is created equal.

While trying to cash in, cosmetics companies are using fillers to make their products cheaper. For example, any brand can market their makeup as mineral makeup simply by adding some zinc oxide into the formulation, so always read your ingredient labels. I love mineral makeup for many reasons, but it’s not for everyone.  Here are my top 3 pros and top 3 cons of mineral makeup. 

Pros of mineral makeup

1) It's better for you.  Pure powder mineral makeup should contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, mica and iron oxides (they're listed with the letters CI plus a five digit number).  Four ingredients for a foundation? That's pretty good! Keep in mind that other ingredients could be added - Pure Anada uses jojoba seed oil as a binder to keep their pressed mineral foundations into that cake shape.

If you have sensitive skin, allergies or other skin conditions, mineral might be the way to go.  Watch out for mineral makeup mimickers that contain preservatives such as phenoxyethanol.  Powder mineral makeup does not need preservatives; preservatives are a dead-give-away that the product contains fillers. 

2) It's convenient.  Mineral makeup can cut out the need for multiple products. For example, you don’t need to powder mineral makeup and you might not need concealer because coverage is buildable. You just need to build up the product and the coverage in those areas where you need it most. Loose powder mineral makeup can also be mixed with your daily moisturizer to create a custom tinted moisturizer - that's definitely convenient! Mineral makeup also offers some sunblock protection, but should never replace your sunscreen; more on this later.

pretty mineral makeup look

3) It's natural-looking.  Minerals have natural reflective qualities and these are passed on to your skin.  Think of its mineral ingredients as consisting of thousands of little mirrors bouncing light off your skin; your skin will give off a natural glowy radiance. Who wouldn't want that? Remember to always apply mineral powder foundation with downward swirling strokes, starting from the top of your face and making your way down.  Remember those thousands of little mirrors earlier? Well, they have edges. Downward strokes help keep them pointed down to give you a smoother, more natural application.

Cons of mineral makeup 

1) May contain nanoparticles.  You need to do your own research for this. This list has most brands, so check it out to see if the brand you're using contains nanoparticles or uses micronized particles. I'm happy to see that Pure Anada is on the list. Micronized particles are not the same as nanoparticles.  A micron is a thousand times larger than a nanometre, so please don't freak out if that's what your mineral foundation contains.  Micronized particles are essential in mineral makeup because they allow the product to be more tightly packed when applied which creates a smoother, silkier application.  A good rule of thumb is to pay more attention to the coverage of your mineral powder foundation. If it completely disappears on your skin (you hardly get coverage), then it probably contains nanoparticles.  

2) May clog pores, accentuate problem skin and fine lines. Please do not sleep in your mineral makeup. I know I said that mineral makeup is better for your skin than conventional, but proper skincare does not change.  It’s quite the opposite actually. Pure mineral makeup does not contain any moisturizing ingredients, so you should not skip on your daily moisturizer and hydrating serum. You should always remove your makeup at the end of the night and exfoliate two or three times a week.  Also, ensure that you have the proper tools and knowledge on how to apply mineral makeup (see my instructional video below). If you have mature skin, powder makeup of any kind is not the best match for you.  Use a liquid foundation with moisturizing ingredients.

makeup brushes

3) It's not a 4-1 product. Because of its convenience as a multi-purpose product, some have called mineral makeup a 4 in 1 type of product.  You can definitely shave a few seconds off your make up routine because you don't need a finishing powder and you might not need a concealer; however, if you have dark circles a concealer might still be needed because you’re not going to get the coverage you want.  Furthermore, you cannot skip the additional sunscreen protection for your skin because minerals offer some protection.  Minerals contain a physical sunblock (as opposed to a chemical block in conventional sunscreen), but it's not adequate for prolonged sun exposure.  Experts recommend at least an SFP 30 if you're out playing in the sun.  The mineral makeup on top of your sunscreen would definitely give you added protection, but you still need to apply sunscreen.  

 sunscreen on leg

Final Thoughts

Mineral powder foundation can be a great choice for anyone suffering from sensitive skin or allergies to certain cosmetic ingredients; it’s also a fantastic multi-purpose product for all minimalists out there.  However, keep in mind that it might not work for everyone.  You definitely need to have a strong skin care regimen to ensure your skin is moisturized, so the application is flawless.  Because its reflective qualities, mineral makeup will accentuate imperfections on your skin if you have them, but it will also give you luminosity if that’s what you crave.