Legend has it that in the mid 1970s, a little beauty revolution was born. It was dubbed 'mineral makeup' - a new type of cosmetics made of all-natural, finely-ground minerals from the earth without any of the chemicals, binders, dyes and preservatives commonly found in traditional makeup. Despite its glowing goodness, it wasn't until some 30 years later that mineral makeup burst onto the beauty market, with cosmetic brands quickly jumping onto the mining wagon and coming out with their own lines. Is mineral makeup here to stay or is it just glittering hype?
bellabox digs deep to find out.
The Golden Age of Beauty
Image courtesy of newbrahmin.com
The idea of mineral makeup isn't exactly new; men and women have been painting their bodies with 'earth colours' since life BC. The Egyptians used naturally occurring minerals not only as protection from the harsh elements, but also in the pursuit of 'divine beauty'. Clever Cleopatra didn't need synthetic eyeliner to achieve her exotic eyes - she simply used a mixture of kohl and iron oxide.
Fast forward to the 20th century, when cosmetic chemists started to create purer forms of what we now know as ‘mineral makeup'.
Image courtesy of dinosaursrock.com
As the name suggests, 'mm' contains a wealth of minerals from the earth. But what minerals exactly and what do they mean to non-rock crawlers like us? After some drilling, we found that the most common minerals used include titanium dioxide, zinc and iron oxide and mica, each with their own special powers.
Titanium dioxide is commonly found in the sand between our toes at the beach! It has the ability to deflect ultra-violet rays and is used as an active ingredient in sunscreens. It also has anti-inflammatory capabilities and provides broad coverage to the skin.
Zinc oxide is titanium dioxide's side-kick - it also contains skin soothing properties and is a part of your SPF routine.
Mica is a little bit sneaky, as it is naturally occurring but needs to be reformulated when used in cosmetics. Mica is used in large particles to provide shimmer or in smaller particles to render products matte and absorbent - great for greasier skin.
Iron oxides is the villain of the piece is a weird way - it is commonly known as rust! Primarily used as a colourant, all iron oxides used in cosmetics are synthesised in a lab - not picked up from rusty nails...
Hit The Stock Market
Image courtesy of beautycarebasics.com
In today's beauty world, mineral makeup is available in almost every type of makeup product, including foundation, primer, eyeshadow, bronzer, blush and lipstick. Undoubtedly, the most popular type of mineral makeup is mineral foundation, commonly in the form of a loose powder that is buffed into the skin using a fluffy brush.
So what makes mineral better? Mineral foundation feels lighter on the face compared to traditional liquid foundation, which can often look and feel heavy and cakey. The minerals give off a translucent finish and a natural glow. But don’t be deceived by its powdery potential - mineral foundations are often very pigmented, so a little goes a long way! And remember, you can always build coverage with more applications.
Fans of mineral makeup are not only drawn to how it looks, but also what it can do for problem skin. Natural ingredients and a lack of chemicals and preservatives means mineral foundations are less likely to clog pores and is suitable for people with sensitive skin. Due to the anti-inflammatory qualities of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, it is also ideal for sufferers of acne and rosacea.
However, like most cosmetics products, mineral makeup has its critics. There are those who complain that mineral foundations are drying and can accentuate wrinkles. Some experts claim that mineral makeup has no special health or beauty properties, while others report that because mineral makeup frequently eliminates classic irritants, it is considered 'purer' and can be kinder to the skin.
Those who use mineral makeup should be savvy when it comes to selecting the brand. Just because a product claims to be ‘mineral’ doesn’t automatically mean it’s free of irritants. A common nasty to look out for is bismuth oxychloride, a natural ingredient found in many mineral cosmetics. It is considered a pearlising agent and produces a high and unnatural shine. It often causes irritation and allergic reactions.
That’s why here at bellabox, we love the gorgeous Savoir Faire Mineral Foundation. It is made entirely from naturally occurring minerals and vitamins and contains no harmful chemicals such as talc, bismuth oxychloride or parabens - the way a true mineral foundation should be!
So what do the bellabox team think? It is definitely worth exploring for gold in the mineral market - don't take the easy option though - do your research and dig as far as you can to find out the true diamonds in the makeup mine!