Why is it that health writers so frequently answer a straightforward question with, “It all depends?”
Because individuals vary so much physically and emotionally, and because products differ in the ingredients and science behind them, not to mention the way they are marketed, the answer to many health questions truly is, unfortunately, “It all depends.”
This can be frustrating for readers and writers both. So, though we may be headed for that inevitable answer in examining mineral makeup, let’s see if we can uncover some information to provide food for thought along the way. Here’s some of the popular lore surrounding mineral makeup and some observations that may be of value.
Mineral Makeup is More Pure
The loose powder foundations and blushes that most people think of as mineral makeup contain finely ground natural substances such as zinc oxide, mica and titanium oxide. Many brands have few or no ingredients found in other cosmetics that can irritate skin—such as dyes, fragrances and preservatives. Dermatologists generally do believe mineral makeup is gentler on the skin and sometimes recommend it to sensitive patients.
On the other hand, noted Dr. Omeed Memar in a 2006 article in the Chicago Tribune, there’s no standard definition for what makes a mineral makeup. And because the cosmetic industry regulates itself, you may not get a lot of information about which minerals, in what percentage, a particular product contains. Any company can claim its products are mineral-based, even if they contain just a small amount of minerals. And there’s no stopping a manufacturer from adding any ingredients they want and still calling the product a mineral makeup.
Mineral Makeup Feels Light and Looks Natural
Investigating the advantages of mineral makeup last year, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute reported that mineral makeup sits lightly on top of the skin and is not absorbed. Therefore, a good product will feel lighter than many traditional liquid-based cosmetics. The researchers did note that it can take a little longer to apply mineral makeup.