At a glance
Mineral makeup is made of natural mineral particles that lie on top of the skin, evening skin tone without infiltrating pores. Because of this, the makeup doesn’t affect the skin’s natural processes, meaning it’s great for people with sensitive or problem skin.
To create the makeup, minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are “micronized,” or ground down to a fine powder. But not all mineral makeup is truly natural—unless the manufacturer is using 100 percent natural minerals, it’s possible that the makeup contains synthetic versions or petro-derived ingredients.
Ingredients to look for
Plant- and flower-derived oils
Natural coloring agents such as iron oxide, manganese and chromium oxide
Spotlight on: Aubrey Organics
Silk powder has been a key ingredient in Aubrey’s foundations since the Tampa, Fla.-based company began producing them in 1987. By using silk powder as a base, Aubrey has been able to keep the amount of minerals—which naturally have trace amounts of lead, mercury and arsenic—in its makeup to a bare minimum.
Silk also contains valuable amino acids, building blocks of the skin. “When it goes on it’s actually feeding the skin nutrients all day long,” says Aubrey spokesperson Karen Ress.
Aubrey has since added organic tapioca and rice starches to give substance to the powder, helping it adhere better to the skin. Combined with aloe powder, the three ingredients absorb sebum, keeping shine down, and create a moisture balance in the makeup.
Natural cosmetics put a new face on makeup
Mineral makeup taps earth’s inner beauty
Makeup that rocks
Aubrey Organics Silken Earth Translucent Base: Made with silk powder, organic tapioca starch, aloe and vitamin E, this powdery foundation evens out skin tone without looking cakey.
Larenim Loose Foundation: Talc-, dye- and chemical-free, Larenim’s foundation is made from pure minerals, and you can use as much or as little as you want to achieve desired coverage.
Lotus Cosmetics Loose Bio-Mineral Foundation: This makeup’s zinc oxide provides SPF 20 and has a calming effect on irritated skin. No talc, chemicals or heavy metals, just natural minerals and botanical extracts.
Gabriel Cosmetics ZuZu Luxe Dual Powder Foundation: Available in nine shades, this foundation comes in a neat compact with sponge applicator. The plant-based, lead-free powder is also cruelty-free and vegan, and provides a smooth matte finish.
Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals: Encapsulated liposomes allow for time-released application of vitamins, aloe, Co-Q10 and even algae into the skin. The liquid formula offers lightweight coverage.