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The Basics on Mineral Makeup

22 Sep 2021 - By Cheryl Chua

No, it isn’t the latest beauty trend, but mineral makeup has been changing the face of beauty - no pun intended - ever since it landed a few decades ago. But what makes mineral makeup so unique and are they the new staples or just another over-marketed beauty trend?


Mineral makeup is not new. In fact, mineral makeup first made its appearance in the cosmetic industry in the 1970s. History, however, shows that mineral-based makeup goes way further back in time having been used by many ancient cultures to enhance one’s look.

Even the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, renowned for her beauty and unique style was known to have used only minerals to craft her signature look. A bright green paste made from mineral malachite on her lower eyelid, ground lapis lazuli stone to give her upper eyelid a deep blue eyeshadow, black kohl to darken her eyebrows and a type of clay coloured red by iron oxide for lipstick. 

Though mineral makeup is no longer the new kid in town, I will not be totally surprised if you admit that when it comes to mineral makeup, you are still a little clueless. No problem, buckle up because you’re about to get a crash course on the ins and outs of mineral makeup!


First Things First: What Is Mineral Makeup?

Well, it’s in the name, isn’t it! Simply put, they are makeup made with materials extracted from the earth. Typically the main ingredients are minerals such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and iron oxide which are known to be good for skincare. They are generally extracted from gems, rocks and seabeds and are finely ground to mix in and then pressed to create mineral makeup that is good for your skin.

mineral makeup


Mineral Makeup vs Traditional Makeup

Standing in the makeup aisle with a traditional liquid foundation in the right hand and a mineral foundation in the left, staring really hard at both of them while trying to crack the all-important question of “WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?” - I am pretty sure that we have all been there at some point.

Well, the key thing that differentiates mineral makeup from regular makeup formulations is what goes into it. Mineral Makeup typically uses natural mineral ingredients and tends to have fewer filler ingredients such as emulsifiers, fragrances and preservatives, making it good for skincare enthusiasts. On the other hand, regular formulations tend to contain oils, waxes, preservatives and other synthetic pigments to get the formulations to work.

This key difference is what gives mineral makeup certain distinct advantages over regular formulations. For instance, using fewer ingredients and natural mineral pigments that are so pure, mineral makeup has reduced bacterial growth which leads to fewer breakouts, allergic reactions and longer shelf life as opposed to regular formulations. Here are a few other reasons why you should consider making mineral makeup your new staple.


01 It’s Non-Comedogenic

Due to the molecular structure of minerals, mineral makeup sits on top of your pore, rather than in your pores like most traditional makeup does, doubling as a skincare product. For this reason, it does not clog up your pores or irritate your skin, making it ideal for those with enlarged pores. Furthermore, without the conventional waxes or oils, mineral makeup is less likely to cause a breakout. 

In fact, with ingredients like anti-inflammatory zinc oxide, iron oxide and titanium dioxide, mineral products can actually help to reduce and improve breakouts making it the perfect solution for those who suffer from chronic skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema or rosacea, a good reason to order mineral makeup for skincare.


02 It’s Got SPF Built In

All makeup with mineral particles provides some sun protection because mineral particles will scatter UV rays. When you layer your skin with mineral particles, they act like little barriers to prevent UV rays from passing into your skin; the UV ray hits a mineral particle and bounces off the particle and back into space-sparing your skin,” explains Dr Cynthia Bailey, a dermatologist with over 30 years of experience.

Mineral makeup has a unique combination of mica, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which are the active ingredients in many sunscreens and anti-UV skincare products. This means another #GoodForYourSkin advantage is that they are natural sunscreens and can offer extra protection against sun damage. I know what you are thinking, and no. This does not mean that you can forgo your sunscreen and rely solely on mineral makeup for your sun protection but mineral makeup will certainly enhance the protection that you get from your sunscreen.


03 Lightweight Yet Long-Lasting Coverage

Mineral makeup is also well known for being breathable, lightweight and because it is so natural, it is really handy in helping you achieve that no-makeup-makeup look. Because of this, a general misconception that many have is that they do not provide good or sufficient coverage. This misconception is completely unfounded. Mineral makeup can actually provide similar or even better coverage than traditional makeup. 

In fact, depending on the look you are going for, mineral makeup is buildable and you can layer them on without clogging your pores. With mineral makeup, a little goes a long way. When you first make the switch to mineral makeup, the urge is to always put on more because of how sheer it is, but here’s a little trick - start with a thin, fine layer and slowly build it up till you are satisfied with the result. This will maximize your purchase order for skincare/cosmetic products.


04 It’s Ideal for Sensitive Skin

Due to the lack of parabens and other skin nasties, mineral makeup is hypoallergenic, making it the best choice for sensitive skin. The soothing properties of minerals like zinc oxide can help to calm irritated skin and it is often recommended around the world by dermatologists for skincare after a chemical treatment or laser peelings.

"Patients with sensitive skin or acne-prone skin may prefer mineral foundations. They are gentle enough to use post-procedure for some cosmetic treatments,” says Meghan Feely MD, who is also a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai’s Department of Dermatology.


Your Everyday Look With Mineral Makeup

Now that I got you hooked on mineral makeup, here are some to get you started on your #GoodForYourSkin mineral makeup journey to give you that flawless look in just three steps!


Step 01: InClinic Perfect Canvas Skin Resurfacing Primer

Infused with Hyaluronic Acid, this light-reflective primer makes your skin feel plump, hydrated and smooth as silk. Ideal for all skin types, even sensitive skin, this primer brightens skin while offering a soft base for a flawless, long-lasting makeup application.

InClinic Perfect Canvas Skin Resurfacing Primer


Step 02: InClinic Platinum Mineral Foundation Active Glow

Infused with healthy probiotics and powerful actives such as Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Squalane, Vitamin C and Liquotice Root Extract, this luminous mineral foundation is designed to nourish, heal and hydrate the skin while keeping it balanced and healthy for flawless glowing skin.


Step 03: InClinic Perfect Solution Blemish Treatment Concealer

A full-coverage, good for your skin concealer that treats and heals blemishes while covering redness. It is formulated with soothing, calming and healing vitamins along with Tea Tree and Peppermint Extracts that provide anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which are useful for clearing breakouts prone skin.

About the writer
Cheryl Chua

The beautiful half of the successful travel influencer @TodayWeExplore, Cheryl also heads the marketing at Asian Beauty X. When she isn’t trolling the internet for beauty trends, or dreaming up travel vacays, you can find Cheryl sipping ’Gram-worthy cocktails at some trendy bar.

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