Rocks and Minerals part 2

Posted by Ron Jean on 6/26/2013 to Ingredients

Minerals and Mineral Make-up


Minerals have always been part of the composition of Make-up. Oxides form pigments and sun screens, silicates add water and slip, carbonates create mattifying effects. The benefits of minerals with  skin compatibility have certainly been demonstrated through the years. A look at any make-up today will reveal a list of many varied minerals. 


Recent trends have created a category of make-up called “ Mineral make-up” which on further inspection, this term is being misused as liberally as the word Spa. Purists refer to Mineral Make-up as being pure minerals without any oils. They are in powder form but can also be pressed into a cake form. They are applied layer upon layer on a moist skin till the desired coverage is achieved.  Because of recent popularity of minerals such as Titanium Dioxide, and Zinc Oxide, many companies have capitalized on this trend to feature minerals in their products and calling themselves “Mineral Make-Up”  despite the fact of having much more to their composition than just minerals. 


The Solid mineral components are incorporated into various formulas and emulsions to produce the desired make-up that will be easier to apply than just powder, have better customer appeal, and to which other ingredients such as moisturizers and other skin texturizing products can be added. Minerals are solids. Although a great marketing term, in the strictest scientific sense, a Liquid Mineral is a contradiction in terms. 

A look at the 4 main categories of make-up will reveal the relative abundance or lack of minerals in their composition.


1.     Nail products : Polymer bases with pigments. Minerals not necessarily present.

2.     Lip products. Lipsticks, Glosses and Pencils, often made with waxes, oils, solid gels, may contain minerals primarily for pigments.

3.     Eyes Products: Covering the range from eye shadow, mascara, eyeliners.  They may be powders, pressed powders, treated powders, with or without oils, waxes, or polymers. The powders constitute the mineral composition. Minerals, especially oxides are often used for pigment.

4.      Face Products.

Powders: These consist of powders (often treated) either loose or pressed to be applied on the face layer by layer.
Foundations: May be powders, pressed powders, water based, gel based, oil based or wax based with suspended pigments and minerals.


Many make up formulations bring benefit to the skin and complement skin care ( the benefits of minerals Plus the addition of  other skin caring ingredients added.) .  At the other extreme, there are many make-up products that are occlusive, clogging pores, and even prevent the skin from properly breathing; all contributing to improper skin care, even in the presence of good minerals. For best results , look for a make-up that contributes to or is compatible with good skin care and not merely the fact that they contain minerals !!
Buyer beware, ask a professional therapist.
Want the benefit of color without using make-up?  try a tinted day cream.  some contain mineral pigments  but others have all the benefits of a skin care day cream and the tint is obtained through the colored water phase of the emulsion. Instead of using clear water for the water phase, they use a water liquid the color of dark tea. when mixed together with the oil, the resulting tinted day cream provides slight color to the skin but with very limited coverage as compared to a mineral containing product.
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