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Could your mineral makeup be making you sick?

 {Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

When Bare Escentuals introduced their first line of mineral makeup in the 70s, it began what they coined “The Mineral Revolution.” Other makeup companies followed their path, producing their own versions of a healthier and more “natural” makeup. Today, mineral makeup is all the rage as it claims to be the healthiest and safest makeup for your skin. But how healthy is it, really?

While many forms of mineral makeup eliminate the need for unhealthy chemical preservatives, they still contain many of the same key ingredients as those in liquid and cream makeup. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are two of those ingredients that can have harmful effects over time. Titanium Dioxide is actually unusable for makeup and beauty products in its natural form, as it contains a variety of toxic elements such as lead and mercury. It has to go through a vigorous stripping process before it reaches our makeup containers. Even though it is “cleansed” of its toxins, that’s still something to think about the next time you pick up your makeup brush.

Another issue with mineral makeup is that, in its powder form, it is impossible not to inhale the dust particles during application. Using mineral makeup over time can lead to upper respiratory issues and lung disease due to the inhalation of the common mineral, Mica.

Could Your Mineral Makeup Be Making You Sick?
{Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

As if that isn’t enough, those same two ingredients that seem to be the shining stars of the majority of our makeup and beauty products (Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide) have caused cancer growth in rats in lab studies.

Cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson said it best in the Web MD article, The Low Down on Mineral Makeup;

I’d like someone to show me a zinc oxide mine. It doesn’t exist. Zinc oxide is synthesized in the lab.

The bottom line is, just because it says “mineral” and is marketed with alluring words like “natural” and “healthy“, doesn’t necessarily mean it is.
If you use mineral makeup, a safer alternative than swirling it onto your skin with a makeup brush is using a makeup pad and gently pressing it on. This can help eliminate the inhalation of some of the dust.


Visit our SHINE section for more beauty tips


Web MD: The Low Down on Mineral Makeup

Dr. Oz, The Price of Beauty


  1. my sister and i used to argue about this. she’s a bare minerals devotee and it always made me break out. granted, i have sensitive skin but how could something so “healthy” and “natural” cause me any concern. really glad this is out there now. finding non-toxic full coverage makeup is close to impossible.

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