What Is Mineral Loose Powder?

T. M. Robertson

Mineral loose powder is a type of natural makeup made from crushed minerals in their purest form. Unlike regular commercial makeups, mineral loose powder contains no chemicals, dyes, parabens, fragrances, or other unnatural ingredients that could be considered harmful or irritating to the skin. Besides being good for the skin, mineral loose powder can be used on all skin types, even for people who have conditions such as rosacea. With mineral makeup, a little goes a long way, because extra fillers aren't added to the product.

Loose powder, which reflects light, is a popular form of mineral makeup.
Loose powder, which reflects light, is a popular form of mineral makeup.

While the average person may not be too concerned about the chemicals used in her cosmetic products, anyone who has allergies or other sensitive skin conditions is well aware of adverse effects. Since mineral makeups only contain natural ingredients, such as zinc oxides, mica, titanium dioxides, iron oxides, and ultramarines, those who couldn't use regular makeups have viable alternatives. As an added benefit, since zinc oxides and titanium dioxides are the main ingredients in sunscreens, mineral loose powder has built-in sun protection factor (SPF) coverage. In addition, due to the composition of these minerals, they won't clog pores or dry out the skin. Under some circumstances, regular use of mineral loose powder can actually help heal and protect the skin.

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

Many different brands and shades of mineral loose powder are on the market. At first glance, it may appear that mineral makeup lines are slightly more expensive than traditional lines, but comparing by price alone can be deceiving. Most traditional commercial makeups contain a significant amount of fillers, which means much more of the product needs to be used for the same effect. Since mineral makeups don't contain any of these fillers, they can be used more sparingly, while still achieving the same coverage. Although a traditional powder compact may only last a month with daily use, mineral loose powder could last for several months, making it the more cost-effective option.

The packaging for mineral loose powders will vary among different manufacturers, but they are typically sold in a screw-top container with a sifting filter. The sifting filter is intended to keep the unused portion of the powder from being contaminated by bacteria from the constant dipping of a cosmetics brush. To apply the powder, a small amount is shaken through the sifting filter and into the cap. A large makeup brush is then dipped into the powder in the cap and applied all over the face in a circular motion. For areas that require additional coverage, more powder can be applied until the desired look is achieved.

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