Natural mineral makeup refers to cosmetics that are free of carcinogens, colors and pore fillers. It is usually composed of a mixture of pure pigment and minerals such as iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide, which soothes irritated skin. Unlike makeup containing fillers, it is less likely to exacerbate skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema. Some brands claim to act as a concealer, foundation, powder, and SPF protector all in one product.
First available in retail stores during the late 1970s, natural mineral makeup was marketed as makeup that was pure of the preservatives, synthetic dyes, fragrances and chemicals found in regular cosmetics. Although it claimed to be good for the skin, many customers felt that it ultimately did not look good due to its dryer, “cakey” texture. Some people also felt that the makeup accentuated wrinkles in the skin, and added an unflattering “ashy” undertone. After receiving a poor reception from the public, mineral makeup became difficult to find in stores throughout the 1980s.
A renewed interest in natural products and the new-and-improved texture of natural makeup prompted it to become popular during the 1990s. The natural mineral makeup products of today are available from a number of different companies and at a wide range of prices. One of the most popular forms is loose powder, which is applied using a large, fluffy brush that is dipped in the powder and swept over the face. The minerals in the powder are said to reflect light off the skin, creating a mirror effect that generates a flawless appearance. Certain makeup brands also claim to be water-resistant, preserving the skin’s glow whether the wearer is swimming or walking in the rain or snow.
The average natural mineral makeup product has an SPF of 15, and its anti-inflammatory properties are considered kinder to sensitive skin when compared to regular makeup. The claim by some brands that the product is so pure that the wearer can sleep in it has been debated, however. As any cosmetic which contains minerals as its main component can be marketed as natural mineral makeup, some brands may also add synthetic fillers, preservatives, binders, colors, and other chemicals in addition to natural minerals.