Is Mineral Makeup Better Than Regular Makeup?

Written by Kellie Reed, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist on May 18, 2020 No Comments

Mineral makeup has grown in popularity over the past decade. Promoted as being more natural and beneficial for the skin compared to traditional makeup, you can find mineral offerings from almost all makeup brands from Cover Girl to Mac Cosmetics.

You may be asking yourself is the buzz around mineral makeup is just marketing hype. Is mineral makeup really better than regular makeup?

What is mineral makeup?

Defining mineral makeup is actually a complicated task. Currently there is no regulation surrounding the term “mineral makeup” and because virtually all makeup contains some form of minerals many manufactures can label their offerings as “mineral”.

In the purest sense of the word, mineral makeup is makeup that should contain 100% natural minerals (like dioxide, mica, and iron oxide) and be completely free from preservatives, dyes, alcohol, fragrance, and other chemical additives. Thus mineral makeup is “all natural” while anything that contains chemically altered ingredients should be considered inauthentic.

Unfortunately some makeup brands (especially larger “mass market” brands) add preservatives into mineral based formulas and package these offerings as “mineral makeup”. If you are looking for true mineral makeup, check the ingredients and look for any lab created additives. An even easier way to make sure you’re getting real mineral makeup is to use a specialized brand that only offers mineral formulas like ColoreScience.

Benefits of Mineral Makeup

Since authentic mineral makeup is composed solely of natural ingredients it is thought to be milder and less irritating to the skin. In fact many dermatologists will recommend that their patients who suffer from chronic skin conditions like psoriasis or rosacea use mineral makeup. Mineral makeup doesn’t contain oil so acne sufferers may experience fewer and less severe breakouts after making the switch from traditional makeup.

Another great benefit of mineral makeup is that its ingredients (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) are natural sun blocks. Thus mineral makeup helps to protect the skin from photodamage.

Finally zinc oxide is approved by the FDA as a skin protectant. This ingredient is used in products like diaper rash cream as it naturally calms the skin.

Mineral Makeup vs. Traditional Makeup

Traditional Makeup

  • Pros: Potentially more color options for various skin tones. Some formulations have added anti-aging ingredients.
  • Cons: Contain preservatives and other unnatural ingredients that can irritate the skin. Bacterial contamination is possible.

Mineral Makeup

  • Pros: All natural formulations will not irritate the skin, reduces acne breakouts as it does not contain oil.
  • Cons: Users with oily skin may find mineral makeup appears “cakey”, mineral makeup tends to absorb the skins oil making colors appear slightly darker.

Final Conclusion

The term mineral makeup can be a bit confusing as some mass market brands promoting imposter formulations that contain unnatural ingredients. However, if you experience skin irritation and regular acne breakouts authentic mineral makeup may be a good option for you. Give it a try! Just make sure to check the ingredients to make sure the product is authentic.

Did you recently switch over to mineral makeup? Let us know how it worked for you in the comments.

Kellie Reed, MD

Dr. Kellie Reed specializes in aesthetic skin care, general medical dermatology, pediatric, and rheumatologic dermatology. She is passionate about her patient care and attention to detail, and her positive attitude provides a sense of comfort for her patients. Dr. Reed is a member of the Travis County Medical Society, Texas Medical Association, Texas Dermatological Society, Austin Dermatological Society, Women’s Dermatologic Society, Rheumatologic Dermatology Society, and the American Academy of Dermatology.

Leave a Reply