Mineral-based makeup is a combination of zinc oxide (an anti-inflammatory), titanium dioxide (a natural physical sunblock), mica and bismuth oxychloride (natural light reflectors) and iron oxides (for colour). "In 30 years, these five ingredients haven't changed," says Dr. Joan Baijnath, owner of Avanya Natural Mineral Cosmetics. "What has changed, however, is the manufacturing process. In the '70s, many companies were still making mineral makeup in home blenders. But now a jet milling process breaks down the minerals into tiny microns, giving these products the consistency of ultra-fine powder." The new lightweight formulas have eliminated the thick, white undertones and disco-ball sparkle previously associated with mineral-based makeup. "The colours are still intense, but now a little goes a long way," explains Tracey Beaudry, director of operations for SpaMedica. "Also, the number of shades available is more realistic, reflecting the wide variety of skin tones in today's diverse population."
The good earth
Women with sensitive skin and conditions like acne and rosacea respond particularly well to mineral-based makeup. The products are free of fragrances, talcs, dyes, waxes, oils and parabens (preservatives), so formulas won't clog pores or cause breakouts. "Parabens can do a real number on your skin, especially if you're trying to reduce inflammation," says Beaudry. "And, because the minerals don't harbour bacteria, there's virtually no risk of allergies." Beaudry recommends applying mineral-based makeup like any non-mineral foundation, blush or eyeshadow. "As the makeup goes on, it combines with your skin's natural oils for a smooth, natural finish and a foundation that won't melt or smudge," she says. Now that's rock-steady!
Image courtesy Geoffry Ross
(clockwise from bottom)
• Sally Hansen Line Smoothing Mineral Lip Treatment in Tourmaline, $13. At drugstores across Canada.
• Avanya Mineral Foundation in Porcelain, $39. www.makeup.com
• bareMinerals Blush Compatibles in Pink Ice/Ginger Spice, $28. www.sephora.com
• Physicians Formula Magic Mosaic Multi-Colored Custom Blush in Nude/Warm Nude, $13. At drugstores across Canada.
• Youngblood Lipstick in Coral Beach, $19. At Absolute Spa across Canada, www.absolutespa.com
• Youngblood Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow Quad in Cabana, $45. www.absolutespa.com