Mineral Matters

We’ve got the answers to your mineral make-up questions

What is mineral make-up?

The popularity of mineral make-up is showing no signs of waning as more and more consumers are drawn to its promise of chemically-light coverage and skin enhancing benefits. With so many brands now offering products under the ‘mineral’ umbrella, it can be hard for customers to define what mineral make-up actually is and identify the real deal. Jane Iredale, CEO and Founder of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, says: “Today ‘mineral’ has become a marketing term, so we have to be very careful about what we now think of as mineral make-up. We used to define it as a powder that was made of concentrated pigment that contained no talc, synthetic preservatives or FD&C dyes [colours approved by the FDA for use in food, drugs and cosmetics in the USA], and that has sun protection. Because there are no rules about what goes into mineral make-up, you need to be a savvy ingredient list reader. The minerals, which need to be at the top of the list, should be things like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, boron nitride, mica and iron oxides. If you don’t see these at the top of the list, or if it contains talc or nylon or anything that is considered filler, it’s not mineral make-up. Additionally, I would define authentic mineral make-up as having no parabens or chemical dyes, and a registered SPF rating.” One ingredient with the potential to cause customer confusion is bismuth oxychloride. Although it’s synthetically produced, it’s formulated with bismuth (a naturally occurring non-heavy metal and a by-product of lead and copper refining), chloride and water. It may also be worth noting that many brands claim this ingredient can cause skin irritation, due to its crystalline structure that can ‘scratch skin’, so it may be better avoided by those with extremely sensitive skin. If your customer is especially dedicated to reducing the amount of synthetically produced chemicals in their products, make them aware of this ingredient and recommend alternative products that don’t include it if necessary. Having all the available information should help the consumer to make an informed choice.

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