What is Mineral Blush?

Marjorie McAtee

Mineral blush, or mineral rouge, is one of the many mineral makeup options available on the market. Mineral makeup claims to be made only from natural minerals and ores. Proponents of mineral blush and other mineral cosmetics believe these products are better for the skin, especially sensitive or acne-prone skin. While mineral cosmetics may have benefits for some people, experts warn that the benefits may not extend as far as manufacturers claim. The manufacture of such products is often largely unregulated, and, while certain manufacturers of mineral cosmetics may live up to their claims, others may not.

A woman has mineral blush applied to her cheeks.
A woman has mineral blush applied to her cheeks.

Mineral cosmetics are popular among many because their manufacturers claim that they are made only from all-natural mineral ingredients. Mineral cosmetics are said to be less likely to irritate skin and clog pores, and they're even said to offer some protection from UV rays. Manufacturers sometimes claim that mineral cosmetics are gentle enough to wear 24 hours a day. Mineral blush can be a good alternative to traditional blush for people with sensitive skin, or skin conditions. Dermatologists warn, however, that not all mineral blush products are the same, or of the same quality.

Mineral blush causes less skin irritation than regular blushes.
Mineral blush causes less skin irritation than regular blushes.

A quality mineral blush product is usually hypoallergenic. People with skin conditions might be able to use this type of blush without fear of exacerbating their illness. While manufacturers often claim that the minerals in the blush offer sun protection, few brands can actually live up to this claim. Most dermatologists recommend applying a quality sunscreen before applying makeup, even if that makeup does offer legitimate sun protection. Most experts also agree that skin should be cleaned thoroughly at night, despite some manufacturers' claims that mineral makeup is safe enough to wear 24 hours a day.

Experts sometimes point out that many of the key ingredients in these cosmetics, such as mica, have long been used in cosmetics, so their use in mineral cosmetics is neither innovative nor unusual. While some manufacturers do endeavor to produce mineral blush and other mineral cosmetics free of potentially harmful or irritating ingredients, others do not. Some products advertised as mineral cosmetics may still contain the parabens, fragrances and dyes that can irritate or harm skin. Consumers are generally advised to read product labels carefully when selecting a mineral blush.

Ingredients consumers might be advised to avoid in a mineral blush include bismuth oxychloride, parabens, and ferric ferrocyanide. Those with sensitive skin may wish to avoid products containing added fragrances or dyes. Acne sufferers are generally advised to select a non-comedongenic product that will not clog pores.

Mica has long been used in cosmetics.
Mica has long been used in cosmetics.

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