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Mineral make-up: Boon or bane?

Mineral make-up – considered to be pure, natural and safe – is quickly replacing the traditional heavy liquid make-up. Here’s a take on the pros and cons of this exploding trend.

fashion and trends Updated: Aug 13, 2010 01:54 IST
Roma Arora

Mineral make-up – considered to be pure, natural and safe – is quickly replacing the traditional heavy liquid make-up. Made of all natural, finely ground minerals from the earth, it’s devoid of the chemicals, dyes, and preservatives found in traditional makeup. But all that glitters is not gold. So here’s a take on the pros and cons of this exploding trend.



The pretty side

Mineral make-up is recommended for sensitive and acne-prone skin because it doesn't contain any artificial ingredients. "Mineral make-up does not block skin-pores and hence. Women with sensitive and oily skin find it appealing," says beauty expert Samantha Kochhar.



Make upUnlike the traditional make-up that’s heavy on the skin, mineral make-up has an almost weightless character. Also, it can be matched on any skin hue. "It has built-in sunscreen to protect your skin. It gives a matte finish and also an excellent coverage of blemishes and evens out skin tone," says make-up expert Chandni Singh.

The ugly truth
Mineral make-up has its share of harmful effects. “The USP of mineral products is that they are sourced from earth and contain natural minerals, such as zinc and titanium. Minerals are made up of chemical elements, but since the cosmetic companies don’t put in additional chemical ingredients, they claim their products are purer.

Perhaps the most controversial ingredient in mineral make-up is Bismuth Oxychloride. It results in skin irritation and allergies,” informs Singh. “Mineral make-up tends to get absorbed into the skin more quickly. This however, is not good for the skin. If you have respiratory allergies or ailments, mineral make-up may aggravate your condition,” adds Kochhar.

Because it is water-resistant, taking it off would take much time and effort than regular make-up. Mineral make-up contains rice powder, which assists in absorbing skin oils to create a porcelain appearance. So it may not prove to be an ideal solution for dry skin. Moreover, mineral make up should be avoided in winters because it may cause extreme dryness to the skin.

Mineral v/s regular

1,100, M.A.C
This mineral eye shadow is more expensive than its regular counterpart, which is priced at 900

660, Revlon
This Colorstay mineral lip glaze may look great but costs more than the regular variant that costs 400

1,095, L’Oreal
This mineral make-up product gives a foundation-like coverage. The regular foundation costs 900

Know your make-up history: The secret behind Queen Cleopatra VII’s red lips and dramatic dark eyes was mineral make-up. During the mid-70s, in the aftermath of the frenzied Haight-Ashbury love-ins of San Francisco, a quiet, little cosmetic revolution was born.

What is mineral: It is manufactured with minerals, which are sterilised and pulverised into a very fine powder that is then mixed with natural inorganic colourings.

Various forms: Mineral make-up is available in several forms - crème powders, liquid, pressed powders and loose powder that are used as foundations, blushes, compact, eye make-up, lipstick, concealer and gloss.

Branding: The brands popular for mineral make-up are Revlon, MAC, Avon, Maybelline, L’Oreal, Oriflame and lots more.

Money matters: Mineral make-up is expensive as compared to other liquid based make-up.

Steer clear: The more 'pure' forms are likely to contain cornstarch, but other products may contain talc, which is considered unhealthy to inhale.

Stay off these
Some common ingredients found in mineral make-up and its side-effects:
Amorphous Hydrated Silica: May contain traces of crystalline quartz, which has been linked to cancer.
Cornstarch: It tends to be a drying agent and may cause irritation.
Carmine: It can cause major skin allergies.
Talc: Studies have linked talc to ovarian cancer as well as pulmonary issues.
Oils/Fragrances: Some may contribute to irritation and allergy of the skin.

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