Pure Mineral Makeup?

Often advertised as 'pure and natural' as part of the hype surrounding pure mineral makeup, it can be easy to forget that some brands include ingredients that are not pure and can even be potentially harmful.

Let's take a look at some of those potentially harmful ingredients:


Many pure mineral makeup brands make a point of being talc-free and here’s why:

- Talc can be a problem because it dries out the skin and can cause irritation or allergic reactions.

- Talc is under suspicion as a cancer-causing agent.

- Talc is also a cheap filler ingredient.

The fact is talc is also a mineral, so a talc-based powder could be considered a pure mineral makeup … interesting huh?

Bismuth Oxychloride

Bismuth Oxychloride can accentuate pores making them look bigger instead of concealing them.

It can cause irritation, itching, rash and those dreaded ‘breakouts’.

Two of the most common complaints are itching and the ‘glow’ bismuth gives. I personally like a bit of a ‘glow’ but then I do not have oily skin.

Incidentally, at least one mineral makeup company proudly advertises bismuth oxychloride as a pure ingredient in their foundations. They state most of their customers love their product and have no issue with this ingredient.

As always, it’s all about what works for the unique you!


A common ingredient in many makeup formulas and has been linked to breast cancer.


The use of nanoparticles in cosmetics has been described as the potential modern-day equivalent of arsenic creams popular in the Elizabethan Court.

The European Union has passed laws making it mandatory for all products containing nanoparticles to say so on the label. Unfortunately for us in Australia there is still no requirement for manufacturers to label their nanotechnology products.

But what are nanoparticles?

A nanoparticle is a piece of material so small that its size is measured in nanometers or billionths of a meter. A typical nanoparticle is 1/1,000 the width of a human hair.

Nanoparticles are so small they can infiltrate the lungs and intestinal walls, giving the toxins free access to the body.

As usual with these issues, on one hand experts show concern for the serious effects whilst at least one nanotechnology expert says research had shown nanomaterials did not penetrate intact skin and the risk associated with cosmetics was often exaggerated.

Ah yes, I recall those ‘exaggerated’ claims for Thalidomide.However, I digress.

Currently there is no answer to the question as to whether nanoparticles are safe yet an uncontrolled experiment to study the effect of nanpoarticles on the environment and the human body is already underway across our planet.

Titanium dioxide is one of the most widely used nanoparticles found in cosmetics, sunscreens, food packaging, household cleaning products and appliances, paints, dirt repellant coatings for windows and many other applications – phew!

The use of nanoparticles in mineral make up improves its application and appearance. Pulverising the minerals to nano-size gives the cosmetics a smoother, more glowing appearance.

When buying pure mineral make up look for products that don't use nanoparticles or "micronised" particles. "Non-Micronised" particles are larger than nanoparticles so are safer, until the next study of course.

Look for a mineral make-up that doesn’t contain dyes, fragrance, preservatives or bismuth oxychloride and lists only a handful of ingredients - especially if you have sensitive skin.

A ‘pure mineral makeup’ may be all mineral, part mineral or contain less than 1% mineral as part of the finished formula.

Hmm, using this logic, practically all make-up could be considered mineral … interesting.

Shop smart and don’t buy the marketing hype.

Read the list of 'pure' ingredients or ask the consultant.

You owe it to yourself!

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