Making the Most of Mineral Makeup: What is Mineral Makeup Anyway?

True mineral makeup is made from all natural minerals found in the earth that are finely ground into powders that you brush on, or are combined with other natural ingredients to make eye pencils, lipsticks, and cream or liquid blushes as well some forms of liquid or cream-based foundations. But by and large, most mineral makeup comes in the form of loose or pressed powders.

The main ingredients in these formulas is typically mica, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and pigments derived from iron oxides –all of which can be naturally produced. Mica is a mineral found in many rocks around the world. It is typically recovered from mining scrap, then ground up to create a fine powder that is later added to makeup. Zinc oxide is present as zincite in the earth’s crust. Metallic zinc is melted, vaporized, then cooled and made into a useable form. The process to produce titanium dioxide is considerably more difficult, as it must be purified using other minerals or chemical reactions.

With regular makeup, the main ingredients are typically derived using extensive chemical conversion processes often handled within the factories themselves. As a class of cosmetics, most mineral makeup is safer not just because it comes from naturally occurring materials, but also because most mineral formulas leave out the irritating synthetic dyes, preservatives, and fragrances that abound in traditional cosmetics. That alone can make a big difference in how makeup behaves and feels, especially if you have sensitive skin.

One of the best-kept secrets about mineral makeup is (in addition to being a lot more skin-friendly) it also makes you look better than most traditional cosmetics! The mica helps reflect light, which can minimize fine lines and dark circles under the eye, even out your skin tone, and effectively camouflage blemishes and hyper-pigmentation. The minerals actually combine with your skin’s own natural oils to help minimize flaws, giving your skin an almost “dewy” look (assuming you’ve selected the right colors for your skin tone).

Because most mineral powders sit on the surface of your skin rather than being absorbed, they won’t clog pores or leave skin feeling greasy or oily –creating that dreaded “shine” on your forehead. They also manage to stay on far longer than most traditional makeup.

Some of the other inherent benefits that come from using mineral makeup are sun protection from the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (the most effective natural sun blocks available), and in some cases, soothing anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce puffiness.

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