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Know Thy Mineral Makeup

Mineral makeup is nothing new. In Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra used kohl to rim her eyes. Red ochre was a popular choice to redden cheeks or lips around the same time period. In modern times, mineral makeup really only took off after 1976. Why? In 1976, cosmetics companies were suddenly required to put all the ingredients in a product on the label. That seems like a foreign concept in today’s world, but at the time it caused quite a stir. As we’ve discussed in other posts, so many widely-used beauty products contain some truly terrifying ingredients. Mineral makeup made a timely entrance onto the mainstream market as a more natural, safe, alternative to other products.

Minerals can provide rich colors and even coverage, but there are some key differences in how they should be used. Most mineral foundations, for instance, go on as a dry powder rather than a liquid or cream base. Personally, I feel like my skin looks and feels better with a lightweight layer of mineral foundation that still provides the right amount of coverage.

A word of caution: just because it’s a mineral makeup doesn’t mean it’s natural or organic. It also doesn’t mean it has safe ingredients in it. Some manufacturers of mineral makeup still include cheap fillers and additives (some of which are quite dangerous) while marketing their products as a more upscale, holistic version of your makeup favs. As always, read the label! It’s a scary world out there in makeup land.

Watch out for parabens, lead, talc, and coal-based ingredients. In addition, you should be wary of other murky fillers we’ve discussed before like mineral oil or petroleum.

That being said, many mineral makeup products contain great blends of minerals that provide color and coverage without the nasty gunk in so many other products. Some common minerals that we use in our Mer Minerals line are Titanium dioxide, Bismuth Oxychloride, Talc, Kaolin Clay, Zinc Oxide, Mica, Silica and Sericite. These are naturally occurring minerals, and we *never* include fillers that are linked to health problems or poor skin.

Some folks claim that mineral makeup can clear up acne, totally transform your oily skin, etc. While mineral makeup will absolutely help with some skin conditions, it certainly isn’t a cure-all. Diet impacts skin and so does a good skin-care routine that includes proper cleansing and moisturizing. Mineral makeup is just another healthy addition to great skincare.

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