Natural Mineral Makeup
Out with the Old
In with the New
Natural mineral makeup is one of the latest trends in skincare, and is becoming more popular everyday.
You might have thought that cosmetics do not penetrate the skin and consequently, have no regulations about what manufacturers put into their products.
Did you know?
There is no independent assessment on the safety of chemical substances used- even though there are rising levels of concern about potential harmful effects on both health and the environment. Manufacturers are not required to prove ingredients to be safe. At present 99% of the substances that have been used for years are only tested by the manufacturers. Only 11% of the 10,500 chemical ingredients in shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, cosmetics, and baby products have been assessed by the F.D.A. and the government cannot mandate safety studies of cosmetics.
Lack of Awareness
Despite growing awareness of the benefits of eating organic food, wearing organic cotton and swapping harsh cleaning products for more natural ones not all women consider the contents of their make up bags.It is estimated that women absorb up to 2kg of chemicals through toiletries and cosmetics every year. For a woman wearing lipstick, she can consume nearly 2lb of it in her lifetime!
There are strict EU regulations regarding organic food but cosmetics can be labeled 'organic' despite containing an alarming array of chemical preservatives and only ONE per cent organic ingredients.
Likewise, the term 'natural' has no legal definition in the cosmetics industry. This means that companies can call their products organic/natural and, unless you read the ingredients fully, it could be totally misleading.
Labels to Look For
Look for brands that are members of the IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements). These include the Soil Association, the Organic Food federation, Ecocert and the Biodynamic Agricultural Association.
When you buy a product like this, you can be guaranteed they will contain the maximum amount of organic ingredients (95% for the Soil Association and 70% for others). It will also have been produced with minimal processing, contain few preservatives, no parabens, petrochemicals or GM (genetically modified) ingredients with minimal impact on the environment.
Companies you can trust
There are a handful of companies that produce either 100% genuinely natural cosmetics and carry a certified label to prove it, or are certified organic. They also adhere to strict environmental, ethical and fair trade ethics.
1) Dr Hauschka (http://www.drhauschka.co.uk/) lists all the ingredients of their products on each website page. Their products were created out of a deep anthroposophical understanding of nature and the Human Being. They use genuine Dr Hauschka product users as 'models' and give heaps of advice and information on their excellent site.
Ranges: foundation, powders, eye liners, eyeshadows, mascara, lipstick
2) Green People (http://www.greenpeople.co.uk) formulated the UK's first certified organic lipstick.
3) Miessence include an ingredient glossary along with toxic ingredients to look out for on their site. They stock a good range of cosmetics with no synthetic chemicals and all the ingredients are 100% certified organic.
Ranges: foundation, concealer, powder, lipstick, blusher, mascara.
4) Terra Firma Cosmetics
Organic Cosmetics: Afterglow Cosmetics offers naturally moisturizing organic lip gloss & lipsticks free of parabens, dyes and petroleum.
Beauty marketers are rushing to mine the trend with more foundation, blush, eye shadow and other cosmetics with natural-sounding "mineral" formulations and ingredients such as titanium dioxide, mica and potassium. The products with finely ground minerals are being promoted as sheer, "natural" looking and less irritating to skin than chemical-based products.
What is natural mineral makeup?
Minerals that are ground into fine powders and sold in loose or pressed form. Natural mineral makeup promises natural-looking coverage that protects against sun damage, won't clog pores, stands up to a steamy summer day, and has no fragrance, dye, talc, oil, or preservatives.
Natural mineral makeup cosmetics have been around for years, but recently have been shaking up the cosmetic market. A division among this new cosmetic alternative has developed between large traditional companies offering substandard product at a reasonable price and new companies offering true natural mineral make-up at a premium price. Mineral Cosmetics have been in existence for over 20 years. Typically there application was medicinal.
Dermatologists or very exclusive salons would recommend mineral cosmetics to clients after surgery or for people with extremely sensitive skin and/or other skin ailments. Beginning in the late nineties and at the turn of the century, people started to become more self-aware of natural alternatives in every aspect of their life. Green living has transformed into the latest trend in the past five years. As a result, mineral cosmetics are becoming mainstream.
Among the array of products designed to protect the skin from harmful sun rays, mineral-based creams for years have been replacing their chemical-based counterparts. Now natural mineral make-up is aiming to knock the competition out of the field.
"Natural mineral makeup promises to be free of additives such as oils and perfumes. That makes them very tolerable," said Britta John of a German association of perfumeries in Bielefeld. "These days almost every woman has a problem with her skin," said make-up artist Janette Schwericke of Berlin. Make-ups that are without preservatives and fragrances are especially desirable.
It's old hat in the US. More than 10 years ago, Jane Iredale released a make-up series based on titanium oxide and zinc oxide. She advertises her line with the arguments that it is especially healthy for the skin and well-tolerated. Iredale began her career as a casting agent in Hollywood and she knows well the concerns and needs of people who tax their skin daily with cosmetics.
Titan dioxide and zinc oxide are derived from black ilmenite or titan irons and provide the best coverage of white pigments. Studies conducted thus far show it to be completely nontoxic and is also used as an additive in products such as toothpaste and cough drops. As titan dioxide particles reflect light, they serve well as an immediate sun screen with UVA and UVB protection.
Popularized via television infomercials, natural mineral makeup products - foundation, blush, translucent powder, eye shadow - have worked their way from upscale cosmetics retailers to mainstream discount, drug, and grocery stores. Along the way, it has evolved. Originally all the natural mineral makeup products were loose powders; more recently, pressed natural mineral makeup powders have been developed that are less messy and easier to use for touch-ups.
Trend of the Future
Also driving the trend is environmental awareness, says Emily Massa of Sephora. "There's more awareness of the products we use in our homes, the energy we consume, the water we drink, what we're ingesting, what we're throwing away. It's the same thing with cosmetics," says the Sephora Pro Beauty Team expert.
Miss Massa says that women with any skin type can wear natural mineral makeup, but that it's especially good for those who have skin allergies and sensitivity, because it is all-natural.
It's also good for oily skin and for anyone on humid, sizzling days, because it will absorb moisture, she adds.
"Sometimes women who have used a solid foundation want to try the natural mineral makeup powder because they see the before and afters, and they say, 'Well, I can still see my freckles.' This is more for someone who likes a soft, more natural look to their makeup," she says. "It's more of a sheer to medium coverage."
That doesn't mean it's only for young women with enviable complexions, though. It's for everyone, with all different skin types.
According to Mrs. White, the primary ingredients in mineral makeup are the same from one line to another: titanium dioxide (a non-chemical particle that scatters light and offers sun protection), zinc oxide (from zinc ore, offering sun protection and some anti-bacterial properties), and mica (another mineral, for color and texture). In addition, she says, bismuth oxychloride provides color and "pearlization," and dimethicone enhances spreadability and waterproofing.
"Learning how to put the product on is really important," stresses Miss Massa of Sephora. But once you understand the process, application is fast and easy.
Mineral makeup is usually applied with a short, fat brush called a kabuki. Shake a bit of powder into the jar lid or sifting compartment and work it into the brush. Tap off the excess and brush it on your face - buffing in a circular motion, with a light touch.
Then, using a smaller, tighter-bristle brush, apply more powder to areas where you need more coverage, such as broken blood vessels or blemishes. Go back to a large brush to apply blush and translucent powder.
If you have severely dry skin and want to wear natural mineral makeup - allow time for your moisturizer to be absorbed into your skin before applying mineral makeup.
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