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Mineral makeup is often thought to be the best natural makeup, but not all mineral makeups are created equal.

Here we take a look at ingredients found in mineral makeup to help you choose the best
natural makeup for your skin.

What are the basic ingredients found in pure mineral makeup powders and foundations? True mineral makeups are based around these key ingredients: Mica, Zinc, Titanium and Iron Oxides, Ultramarines and Tin oxide. (Our Flawless foundation contains a tiny amount of kaolin from clay to assist with oil control and a matte finish.) These are all guaranteed to be free from harmful nano particles or micronised particles.

What are the ingredients in a 100% natural mineral makeup?
Mica, Zinc, Titanium and Iron Oxides, Ultramarines and Tin oxide are all found in 100% pure mineral makeups and there is no need for much else in your formulation. You will notice that often an ingredient list says + or - some ingredients. This is because within a range, different mixes of each ingredient are used to achieve different blends and colors.

What ingredients could be added that are safe?
Other ingredients such as Kaolin (from clay) or other botanical ingredients can be added and are considered safe. It is important that Kaolin is added in tiny quantities only and this can be beneficial for oily skins and to achieve a matte finish. Generally, a formula without kaolin is best for dry skins. Sometimes a mineral makeup product will contain rice or corn starch. Even though these ingredients are considered safe, they are not always added for the benefit of your skin and the appearance of your makeup on the skin.

What ingredients could be added that are not safe to my skin?
Many people find bismuth oxychloride irritating and prefer to avoid this ingredient. Other ingredients to avoid if you are seeking a natural product are parabens, talc, rice and corn starch. Magnesium stearate is not considered a necessary ingredient in high quality and professional mineral makeup formulations.

Why do some minerals contain ingredients that are not safe and beneficial to the skin?
When we choose a makeup we want it to look good, wear well and be good for our skin and health...right? What motivates a large company?
Often profit is a large factor - so ingredients that are cheap are used and also ingredients that will extend shelf life are added so that there are minimal losses on out of date stock. Pure minerals are the expensive products, whilst talc is considered a cheap filler.

My skin is very sensitive - what are the ingredients to look out for?
Sensitive skins should choose a mineral makeup with no bismuth oxychloride, talc, preservatives and corn starch. Some skins also are very sensitive to Mica. ECO minerals Flawless pure mineral foundation is suited to most skins, even very sensitive skins. Ask for a sample first if you have very sensitive skin - when in stock we will happily provide a complimentary sample for you.

What are nano particles - are these safe and natural?
Nano particles are tiny or micronised particles in which an ingredient - natural or synthetic - is found in such tiny particles that the health and safety of these is questionable. There are many articles on nano-particles and the potential health hazards of these on the internet.

ECO minerals does not use nano-particles in ANY of our pure mineral makeup products - we do not agree with using nanotechnology in our makeups and we simply do not need them to create a professional and beautiful product that is long wearing and looks and feels amazing.

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Our Customers tell us our Mineral Makeup is the best. ECO minerals 100% Natural Cosmetics are Vegan and Cruelty Free.

What is Mineral Foundation Makeup?

Mineral foundation makeup has been around since the 1970s and is an ideal, if not perfect alternative to the plethora of chemically produced foundations. Increased consumer knowledge and a wish to use naturally sourced products has dramatically increased demand in recent years. Increasingly informed and aware women are realising the benefits of using all-natural products that have very little or no artificial ingredients.

Mineral foundation makeup uses naturally occurring safe and natural minerals (inorganic matter other than animals or plants), such as: iron oxide, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and mica: kaolin clay in particular is recognised by dermatologists as the best mineral foundation for oily skin. These are easy to apply, light as a feather to wear and both gentle and healing for your skin.

Is a Mineral Foundation Better Than Conventional Chemical-based Makeup?

In a word, "Yes, Yes, Yes"! The benefits of using the best mineral foundation instead of conventional makeup are many and includes the healing and removal of annoying and unsightly skin conditions. One of the most quoted differences is the absence of damaging "filters" such as chemical preservatives, binders, talc and chemical dyes. But, more importantly, a mineral foundation combines harmlessly with the top layer of your skin to produce a smooth and natural looking glow.

Conventional makeup simply masks imperfections on the skin, hiding them from the eye, but doing nothing to cure the underlying problem. These chemically produced foundations can clog your pores and stop you skin breathing naturally. This will prolong and make worse dryness, redness and blemishes. This inevitably forces the wearer to apply even more, thereby exacerbating the problem at the expense of your beauty, health and purse. Informed women are happy to tell you that the best mineral foundations produce a healthy, smooth and flawless looking skin. It also helps to prevent bacterial growth and has a much longer shelf-life, so you do not have to keep buying more.

Mineral makeup also outperforms its rivals when used in hot, humid climates and in wet environments. The minerals bond happily with the skin producing an effective, glowing and long-lasting barrier without forming unsightly lines or wrinkles. We have more than our fair share of very hot and humid days so it is wise to choose the best mineral foundation Australia can offer, ECO Minerals are more than happy to help you choose the right product for your skin.

Do I Have To Apply Mineral Makeup Differently To Conventional Makeup?

There are a few essential points to keep in mind when applying mineral makeup, the most important is to properly prepare your skin first. As we all know, makeup will look best when the underlying skin is cleaned and properly moisturised. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and then moisturise with a moisturiser that is suitable for your particular skin. Make sure this is applied evenly for best results and, just as important, make sure you allow enough time for the moisturiser to be completely absorbed, usually around thirty seconds.

You will also find you need to use less mineral makeup than with conventional products. So tap a small amount into the lid, we do not recommend dipping the brush into the container as this can put too much on the brush. Swirl your brush around the lid to get an even coating and then give the brush a few taps to remove any excess.

Apply the foundation to your skin with small, circular motions, starting with your cheeks and jaw line and working your way around to cover the rest of your face. Again, you are seeking to apply an even layer of foundation. If you think the first application is not enough, feel free to add more layers as required.

Is Mineral Make-Up Better For My Skin?

Continuing studies have shown that mineral makeup is very much better for your skin and has healing properties that can help prevent and cure damaging skin problems such as rosacea and acne. ECO Minerals foundations do not contain artificial colourings, oils or preservatives that can clog pores and irritate the skin. In particular, we completely avoid perfumes, known to cause irritation and allergies in some people.

The source minerals use to make our products are naturally occurring mica, zinc oxide, iron oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. This makes them your ideal choice if you suffer from skin conditions such as acne, eczema and rosacea. If you are sensitive to strong sunlight the reflective qualities naturally found in titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, already used in some sunscreen products, will act as a sunscreen and will produce a calming effect on your skin.

Mineral makeup is also non-comedogenic. This means it does not clog your skin pores and cause blackheads to form, or even worse, induce acne and other damaging skin conditions. Mineral based foundations combine with your skin rather than simply creating a covering layer. Mineral based foundations produce a result that is both healthy, attractive and healing. Our customers have said that wearing our products is a delight and they feel as if they are not wearing any makeup at all!

What Does "Non-Comedogenic" Mean.

To begin, let us break down the word into its different parts: a comedo is a type of pimple or lesion. “Genic” something relating to a gene, it is used here in the sense of creating a condition. There are different types of pimples which vary in their appearance and their original causes.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology a comedo, or pimple, is the mildest form of acne, and is caused by clogged skin pores. Your pores are tiny openings in your skin which house hair follicles. These are very small sacs which contain a hair root. It is in these sacs that pimples can form.

Sebum is an oily secretion from your sebaceous glands. When you sweat this combines with the sebum and helps to moisten and protect your skin. If you produce too much sebum, it can become mixed with dead skin cells and bacteria which in turn clog up your pores and inhibit its naturally protective function. A blackhead is when the comedo is open at the skin’s surface and the plugged follicle is darkened by a build-up of melanin. A whitehead is caused by a closed comedo.

Non-comedogenic (or non-acnegenic) cleansers usually do not contain oil and break down excess oils on your skin without removing moisture and nutrients that your skin needs.

"Non-comedogenic" cleansers contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or sulfur. Benzoyl peroxide is often used because it kills the bacteria that cause acne. Salicylic acid is not anti-bacterial, but it does help unclog your pores by dissolving excess oils in your hair follicle sac, it can also reduce the shedding of dead skin cells thereby helping to keep your pores un-clogged. Sulfur helps to remove excess oil and dead skin cells and can help to remove whiteheads and blackheads. Natural ingredients, such as mineral oil, are non-comedogenic because their effects are gentle enough to be harmless.

It is important to remember that there are no formal regulations requiring a company to fulfil certain actions in order to be able to call a product "non-comedogenic". So some of the labelling you see might not be completely accurate: much better to stick to ECO Mineral products.

Safe or Unsafe Ingredients.

There is a continuing debate in the makeup world about which additives are considered safe and which ones should be left out of makeup products.

The most common additive to mineral based makeup is Kaolin, a naturally occurring mineral that is noted for it very fine particle size and pure colouring. The tiny size of these particles mean that they scatter light which enhances its white colour. Kaolin is a Chinese word meaning "High Ridge", and comes from the mountain in China where it was first used for making high quality porcelain pottery.

Kaolin is added only in the tiniest amounts and is beneficial both for oily skins and for producing a smooth, matte finish. If you have a dry skin it is better to choose a product with no Kaolin because it can increase dryness.

Bismuth oxychloride for some people can be irritating. It is completely synthetic and is a by-product of tin, lead and copper refining. Used as a common filler ingredient in cosmetics, it is a heavy mineral. Regular and repeated buffing is required to force it into your skin and to keep it from sliding off. Over use can cause inflammation and irritation on some skin types. It can also make acne worse by congesting pores and turning it cystic and can make rosacea flare up.

Parabens, which are used to give a product a longer shelf-life and to inhibit unwanted bacterial growth, act in a similar way to oestrogen, although with a much reduced effect (10,000 times less than natural oestrogen). The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) tests the safety of ingredients and conducted studies in 1984, 2008 and 2012. The CIR concluded that they can safely be used in cosmetics but many women prefer to avoid them altogether.

Cosmetic talc is made from a naturally occurring mineral, itself made from magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen. It is used to absorb moisture and make facial makeup more opaque. It is generally used in cheaper, lower quality cosmetics. Rice and corn starch are other additives not considered to be "natural" and are also best avoided.

People who know that they have skins that are sensitive should particularly avoid products containing talc, preservatives, and bismuth oxychloride. There are also some people who have a sensitivity to mica, although research shows what can cause a reaction in some women is the coating used on the Mica to enhance texture, finish, slip and absorption and also to repulse water. Some coatings that are used are: Carnauba Wax (thickener, binder), Magnesium Myristate (emulsifier, binder) or Perfluoroalkyl Phosphate (film former, binder) and Lauroyl Lysine (surfactant, binder).

It should be remembered though, it is only a small number of women who have this reaction. If in doubt consult a dermatologist or have a chat with us here at ECO Minerals, we are happy to let you have a complimentary sample to try.

Nano-particles are micronised (very tiny) particles of either a natural or synthetic ingredient and it is another subject of continued debate, with many articles about their use on the internet. They are used extensively in many sunscreen products but there are some serious concerns about their safety. They have caused irritation and allergies in some people and, more seriously, they are endocrine disruptors and skin penetration enhancers: this can affect people handling other chemicals, such as some pesticides.

It is worth noting here that the sunscreen properties of titanium dioxide are considered completely safe. Titanium dioxide reflects and scatters ultra-violet radiation and is well known to have a broad range of radiation-blocking abilities. They are considered more effective and safer than chemical absorbers and have no detrimental effects on sensitive skins. Recent studies have indicated that the nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in some sunscreens do not pose a health risk but more research needs to be done.

We are pleased to say that ECO minerals do not use nano-particles. We are against their use in something as personal and intimate as a makeup product and we will not put any of our customers in harms way. We simply do not need them to create our professional and beautiful products that are long-wearing and which look and feel amazing.