You like to maintain naturally healthy skin…but nothing quite completes your look like a little blush and eyeshadow.
You’re wary, though, of cosmetics that may contain stuff you don’t want on your face. The good news is that there is another option: makeup made from pure minerals.
“Mineral makeup is a return to technologies that have been in use since ancient times,” says cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer.
Reasons to Try Mineral Makeup
Why should you use mineral makeup? Here are a few good reasons.
Mineral Makeup Lets Your Skin Breathe
For some women, using regular makeup can lead to ugly breakouts. That’s because skin can be very picky about what you apply to it; anything that’s too heavy can block pores and lead to pimple development.
Mineral makeup is whisper-light, making it a popular choice among women with sensitive skin. This lightness also means that you can (not that youshould) occasionally wear your makeup to bed on those just-too-late nights—without paying a price the next morning.
Mineral Makeup Feels Better
Not only can heavy makeup ingredients promote breakouts, they can also make your face feel like it’s been attacked by an oil slick.
A lot of women have found that mineral makeup does not create an uncomfortable mask-like or greasy feel, even a number of hours after application. And mineral-based products are especially helpful if your complexion is oily to begin with.
Mineral Makeup Is Better for You
While skin presents a formidable barrier to the outside world, it isn’t totally impervious: You can actually absorb a considerable number of substances through your skin, including chemical ingredients found in regular makeup.
Mineral makeup contains mostly finely pulverized minerals and natural coloring agents. Hammer notes that what such makeups are generally “preservative free, and since they have very low odor, they are often also fragrance free”—and thus free of two major irritants.
In fact, zinc, a common ingredient, helps soothe irritated skin and provides some protection (along with titanium dioxide) against the sun’s UV rays.
Mineral Makeup Helps Reduce Infection Risk
One of the lesser-known, and definitely unappealing, aspects of regular makeup is that it can practically become a petri dish for microorganisms such as bacteria, mold and yeast.
Minerals are by their nature inorganic, which makes them less hospitable to microbe growth. (Some brands do include tiny amounts of preservatives.) Of course, this assumes you’re following such beauty hygiene basics as washing your hands before working on your face, using clean brushes and maintaining a sanitary cosmetics storage area.
Mineral Makeup Allows You to Look Your Best
Mineral makeup’s previously mentioned benefits wouldn’t mean much if it wasn’t able to accomplish all makeup’s primary mission: making you look your irresistible best.
Fortunately, mineral makeup delivers. Minerals are known for refracting light; this gives your face a glow while making fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable. Many brands supply a complete line of products—including blush, bronzer, concealer, eyeshadow and foundation—which allows you to achieve a full range of skin effects.
Tips for Applying Mineral Makeup
When buying mineral makeup, look for the real deal—products labeled as "mineral-enriched" may contain ingredients you don’t want.
You also need to choose a shade that will enhance the appearance of your skin. In general, that means going a shade or two darker than liquid foundation, since minerals tend to reflect light; try testing on your jawline near the neck.
Once you get your makeup home, here are ways to apply it or the best results:
- Cleanse and, if need be, moisturize right before applying, allowing your skin to dry completely; make sure your hands are also clean
- Always use a brush, preferably one specifically designed for use with mineral makeup, and work in good lighting
- Apply in thin layers, carefully checking for coverage each time; you don’t want to apply too thickly
- Dip the brush into the powder, then gently gently push the bristles against the back of your hand to move the powder into the brush; tap the side to remove any excess
- Use firm, circular motions, moving from the T-zone out; buff to a smooth finish
- For a seamless look, work your way down to your chest; make sure you cover the areas under your chin and near your ears
- If you need to, use a concealer on blemishes or dark areas
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.