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What are the Benefits of Mineral Makeup

NewBeauty magazine has called mineral makeup “makeup with meaning,” and I couldn’t describe it any better. With its numerous skin benefits, I consider mineral makeup to be an extension of skin care.

As a devoted mineral makeup user for nearly 20 years, I have seen its benefits not only in my own skin, but in hundreds of my patients. Working in a dermatology practice, I treat patients with various skin issues, from excessive sensitivity and acne to problems with uneven pigmentation. Many of these patients have experienced challenges with traditional makeup. The dilemma: Aesthetically, makeup helps to cover skin imperfections, but it can clog pores and make many skin conditions worse.

Mineral makeup offers a solution. Since these formulas are composed of inorganic minerals and are also oil-free, they do not support the growth of bacteria—making mineral makeup especially beneficial for patients with acne-prone skin. And because it does not contain sensitizers like perfumes and chemical dyes that may cause allergies, mineral makeup is considered gentle for sensitive skin types.

The main ingredients in mineral makeup are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide—both physical sunscreens that provide broad-spectrum sun protection against UVA and UVB rays. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are considered physical blocks because they “sit” on the skin’s surface and are not absorbed by the skin1. Zinc is an antioxidant and plays an important role in protecting the skin against free radical-induced oxidative damage3.

Interestingly, titanium dioxide has an extremely high light refraction index—even higher than that of a diamond. This light-refractive effect helps to diffuse the appearance of skin imperfections and gives the skin a luminous look.
As far as coverage, mineral makeup creates the most natural finish, which I call a ”non-makeup look.” Though the makeup itself is weightless and practically invisible, it provides long-lasting coverage, leaving the skin with an even, smooth appearance. It feels as though you’re not even wearing makeup!
1. Distribution of sunscreens on skin. J Schul, H Hohenberg, F Pflücker, E Gärtner,  T Will, S Pfeiffer, R Wepf, V Wendel, H Gers-Barlag, K.-P Wittern. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, Volume 54, Supplement, 1 November 2002, Pages S157–S163
2. Effect of topical zinc oxide on bacterial growth and inflammation in full-thickness skin wounds in normal and diabetic rats. Agren, MS, European Journal of Surgery; February 1991; vol 157, no 2, pp 97-101.
3. Evidence supporting zinc as an important antioxidant for skin. Rostan, Elizabeth F, Pharmacology and therapeutics. International Journal of Dermatology; September 2002 vol 41, no 9, pp 606-611.