What is Mineral Makeup?

by Paris B on · 20 comments

in Discussions,Mineral makeup,Musings

Mineral Makeup

Everyone’s talking about Mineral Makeup. But what is it really? Does anyone know?

Well, I flexed my fingers and hit up Google and the information online about Mineral Makeup is simply overwhelming!

What is Mineral Makeup?

In a nutshell, Mineral Makeup is makeup created from the most basic of natural ingredients mined and ground from the earth with no perfumes, talc, alcohol, dyes, mineral oil or preservatives. The most popular mineral makeup item is mineral foundation.

The main ingredients in mineral makeup is are minerals such as mica, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide. A “pure” formulation of mineral makeup will not contain any talc or fragrance or additives.

Can Mineral Makeup be used in place of sunscreen?

It is the use of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that has given mineral makeup the reputation for being able to protect the skin from the sun. Can it really? Is there enough sun blocking product in the thin layer of mineral foundation we apply on our skin to protect the skin from the aging effects of the sun?

To a degree, I suppose there is some sun-blocking properties in mineral makeup, but I personally would not put all my trust in using only mineral foundation as a sun block or sunscreen and will also invest in using proper sun screen prior to applying makeup.

Is Mineral Makeup better for your skin?

Some people say yes and some report breakouts. For some, mineral makeup works so well for them that they actually find their skin looking better than before. This is especially so for those with very sensitive skin as fragrance or chemicals in conventional makeup may irritate the skin and cause breakouts or irritation.

For others, they might even react to the ingredients in mineral makeup and have problems with their skin. A very common reaction I’ve read about is itchiness. Many people report that their skin feel itchy after applying mineral foundation and this could be due to any number of reasons; the primary reason being incompatible ingredients with the skin. Viva Woman has a good list of potential irritants in mineral makeup that is worth looking at.

A very common ingredient that causes skin itchiness or reactions is Bismuth Oxichloride, which is present in many brands of mineral makeup. Bismuth Oxichloride is a pearlizing agent that gives the “glow” associated with using mineral foundation and also commonly used to bind or bulk up products. If you have rosacea or sensitive skin you are advised to avoid products containing Bismuth Oxichloride as it can cause itchiness or even cystic acne. (source)

Should I use Mineral Makeup?

I’d say its a case of one woman’s holy grail is another’s nightmare. :) You won’t know until you try it to see if it works for you. If it does and your skin benefits from it, that’s wonderful! If it doesn’t and your skin reacts to it, you’ll know that mineral makeup isn’t quite for you. The good thing about mineral makeup is that many brands sell sample sizes so you can test it out to see if it works for you or not.

That said, it is also worthy to note that many online mineral makeup stores are small companies and I have sometimes found that quality can differ from order to order and colour too. This, and the hassle of color-matching is the reason why I personally do not use mineral makeup at this time. It is not to say that I’ll never use it, but at this point of time, I’m not.

If you want to know more about mineral makeup, a good blog to read is The Mineral Makeup Blog. It is all about mineral makeup and the many brands available both online and commercially and its truly an education in itself!

Previous post:

Next post:

[ 16 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

prettybeautiful December 23, 2008 at 10:21 am

i have used mineral foundation, it felt light on my skin. Un/fortunately, it didn’t make a difference to my skin. so, i am not going crazy all over it and it is optional for me


December 23, 2008 at 11:39 am

it didn’t really piqued my interest, in fact i think it’s kinda troublesome cuz it’s in powder form? that’s what i see in most mineral line. and i think with me being a clumsy one, will spill each and everything!

pressed items are still for me. haha!


sesame December 23, 2008 at 12:48 pm

I used to swear by MMU because I like the natural look. But since having the breakout, I’m a bit more wary. Plus you need to layer them in order to achieve a flawless look. A bit more time consuming actually.


Nikki December 23, 2008 at 2:59 pm

MMU works on me on some days and some days it doesn’t..so I still go back to the liquid/cream/pressed make-up and some days I’d go for a more natural look with MMUs….thanks for this post :)


Natalie December 23, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Frankly, I do not know what is it really. Still doubtful about it and have no idea which company to choose. And I agree with plue that with the powder in pot, I will mess up everything. hence, not appealing to me, not so far.


Connie December 23, 2008 at 6:21 pm

oddly enough, I’m not using MMU for the skin caring benefits.. I just like the look and feel of it as a natural foundation. :-/ so, not really crazy over it. still prefer liquid anytime.


Cyndi December 23, 2008 at 10:02 pm

I started to notice MMU when my skin had really bad breakouts. Guess what? I am one of their biggest fans now. It doesn’t cause my skin condition to be worse though i don’t think it helps repair my skin. It is probably the only make up item suitable for my sensitive and acne prone skin. Plus, it looks natural when applied. Love it so much, thumbs up!


Stephanie December 23, 2008 at 10:38 pm

I have extremely sensitive skin, and therefore tried MMU, but it made my skin worse than before. They were not any normal break outs, they looked like break outs but were reddish bumpy welts. I thought it was just a phase my skin was going through, but after I stopped using MMU completely my skin cleared up. Funny. I don’t know what in MMU I could be reacting to yet to be honest. I’m currently using Chanel Mat Lumiere and Chanel loose powder but am not experiencing any side effects from them *Touch wood*.


vonvon December 23, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Haha!! This is the question that has been lingering on my mind lately after seeing so much hype about Mineral make up. had wanted to email you to request that you write something about it here………but voila……there you go…Thank you so much for writing this. hehe…is it some form of telepathy?


ParisB December 24, 2008 at 10:43 am

@prettybeautiful : Ditto! Some formulas actually don’t agree with me and I got tired looking for colours that matched.

@plue: Its not troublesome really and is quite easy and quick once you get the hang of it. However, I do prefer pressed powder.

@Sesame: Yes it is more time consuming but I think it may not be for everyone due to its ingredients.


ParisB December 24, 2008 at 10:45 am

@Nikki : You’re welcome. I prefer sticking to my pressed powder because of portability but sometimes yes, it can be a little thick.

@Natalie: What it is is ground minerals. The smaller companies tend to be more “pure” while the commercial ones tend to have additives. That said, most are available only online and not in Malaysia which is a pain

@Connie: You must have found your colour match then!


ParisB December 24, 2008 at 10:48 am

@Cyndi : That’s great to know it works for you! :)

@Stephanie: Mineral makeup does do that to people. I reckon it might be the ingredients that doesn’t suit everyone. Glad to know Chanel works for you!

@vonvon: I’m glad this post was of help to you!


ms.peach December 24, 2008 at 12:14 pm

I’ve been hearing a lot about mineral makeup too! Could we use the normal makeup remover to remove mineral makeup? Shouldn’t be a problem right? Or is there a special makeup remover for it? Thanks!


ParisB December 24, 2008 at 12:24 pm

@ms.peach : From my experience, it removes with normal makeup removers. I use cleansing oils as part of my everyday regime but I’ve never heard of anyone using a special remover just for mineral makeup yet :)


Fiona December 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm

i just started using mmu! i have doubts about its sunscreen properties too, cos usually i only use a very small amount of minerals and i doubt there’s enough sunscreen to protect the skin anyway. anyway i think minerals look lots more natural but don’t cover everything, good for everyday use!


ParisB December 24, 2008 at 5:03 pm

@Fiona : Yes its natural if you don’t slap it on too thickly but the little we use is also my concern with the sunscreen element.


Let's Talk ~ Share your view

No SEO names, rude comments or advertising in comments. Please read the comment policy if new.

Share your latest blog post

Previous post:

Next post: