Can Mineral Makeup Be Bad For Your Skin?

Categories: Makeup, Paula Begoun
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mineral makeupMineral makeup has become all the rage lately, and I see infomercials for it constantly, stores devoted to mineral makeup that have sprung up, and now most of the mainstream drugstore companies have launched their own mineral makeup lines. All I ever hear about mineral makeup is that it’s the best thing ever for skin, and it can help acne and make your skin look fabulous.

My personal experience with mineral makeup is limited. At my Medical Spa, we sold the Jane Iredale line, so I’ve tried the pressed powder several times. The good thing about it is that it comes in a pressed form, so it’s not as messy as loose minerals, and it has an SPF 18 if you apply enough coverage. I didn’t like it because it dried out my skin out and accentuated my wrinkles, thus making my face feel tight and look older. I’ve tried a few other mineral makeups, including liquid foundations, but none of them looked good on my skin, and I can’t be bothered with loose powder since it makes a mess everywhere.

Can mineral makeup cause your skin to breakout or become irritated?
Until recently, I thought that mineral makeup would not cause cosmetic acne, nor would it be irritating to skin. Even though I didn’t like the way it looked on my skin, I thought it was always a good choice for acne-prone or sensitive skin. Lately, however, I’ve been reading a lot about one of the main ingredients in most mineral makeups: Bismuth Oxychloride. This is what gives mineral makeup its shimmer, and the ingredient adheres well to skin. It turns out a lot of people report skin irritation and breakouts after using mineral makeup with this ingredient! I haven’t added Bismuth Oxychloride to my cosmetic acne list of ingredients to avoid yet, since I don’t know “how” irritating or pore-clogging it is. However, if you are using mineral makeup with this ingredient and you are feeling your skin is irritated or breaking out, I would stop using the product for now, and switch to something that doesn’t contain pore-clogging, or irritating ingredients.

Paula Begoun has excellent articles about mineral makeup. She talks in detail about the ingredients in mineral makeup, and gives you a report on all the common mineral makeup brands. In the article, she dispels the belief that mineral makeup is all-natural, nor is it “healing” to skin. The good thing about mineral makeup, though, is that it usually contains fewer ingredients than most makeup, and it’s normally fragrance-free, so as long as the Bismuth Oxychloride doesn’t bother your skin, you will have less chance of having a reaction than with a makeup with long ingredient list. I’ve never had any breakouts or adverse reactions from mineral makeup, and I am very acne-prone.

Most mineral makeups are also composed of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, which is what gives them their SPF. These are excellent ingredients for sun protection, however I would still wear a sunscreen under mineral makeup to boost my SPF.  In the mineral makeup report, Paula Begoun says that Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide can possibly be pore-clogging! I’ve heard that Titanium Dioxide can be slightly pore-clogging (not enough to make my cosmetic acne list), but I’ve never ever heard anything bad about Zinc Oxide. I’m a huge fan of Zinc Oxide-based sunscreen, and have never had a problem with it clogging my pores. It actually has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Mineral makeup contains higher concentrations of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide than regular sunscreens, though.

Bare Escentuals RareMinerals
I’ve had someone ask me about this product and didn’t know much about it til now. It’s an expensive mineral-based “skin care” product you put on at night, and it’s supposed to help reduce pores and wrinkles. In her mineral makeup report, Paula calls this product shocking, because you’re essentially wearing makeup to bed, which is never a good idea. Plus it will get all over your pillowcase. One of its main ingredients is jurassic, virgin soil, or as Paula refers to it – dirt! Ha! I bet this product was invented for those women that like to wear makeup to bed, but always felt guilty about it before. This product sounds ridiculous to me.

The bottom line is that if you’re using mineral makeup and love it and haven’t had any bad reactions to it, then obviously keep wearing it! It still can be a good option for a lot of people, and I wouldn’t be afraid to try it if you’ve been curious about it. Just know that it’s not a miracle makeup, and it’s probably no better for your skin than most makeup on the market.

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62 Responses to “Can Mineral Makeup Be Bad For Your Skin?”

  1. Susan Says:

    All I can go on is my own experience, but I break out at the least provocation and my mineral makeup (Everyday Minerals) has been exceedingly good to me. It doesn’t have Bismuth Oxychloride in it, though, and obviously the Titanium/Zinc Oxides don’t bother me. But I’m definitely not in a hurry to be wearing it to bed. :)

  2. beautywriter Says:

    You do a thorough job of trying to sort out the facts – which is very hard to do when it comes to beauty products! One fact that was missing is the hazard reported and currently being studied by many scientists and groups relating to ‘nano-particles’ which have been proven to cross the blood-brain barrier and are a big beauty-buzzword lately, especially in mineral makeups because they cause the makeups to sort of ‘absorb into your skin’ resulting in a more ‘flawless’ look…read ‘less cakey’. You can read about it here and if you google search ‘nanoparticles in makeup and suncreen’, you’ll find a staggering listing of studies and facts all the way back to 1997. I have found the best makeup in the world to be happiness, sleep, exercise and a healthy diet…that and NEVER pulling at the skin around your eyes to REMOVE makeup! Love your blog!

  3. Miss Beauty Says:

    I would say it depends on the ingredients of your mineral make-up and how long and often you wear it. I personally apply a natural moisturizer before I put on my make-up. It soaks in quickly, and keeps the make-up from harming my skin.

  4. Karen Says:

    The only mineral makeup line I’ve ever tried is Bare Escentuals and it made me breakout like crazy!

    BTW, I started using the foundation you use, Maybelline Pure Makeup. I love it! And it’s only five bucks, woo hoo!

  5. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    Oh I’m glad you like the Maybelline Pure Makeup too! I have never been able to find a foundation that doesn’t look horrible after an hour, so this is really the first foundation I’ve been able to wear every day! And I’m sorry about the Bare Escentuals causing breakouts. I was really shocked when I started reading how mineral makeup isn’t necessarily better for acne-prone skin that regular makeup!

  6. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    My sunscreen uses micronized Zinc Oxide, which I’m pretty sure is the same concept as nanoparticles. It sure has helped my skin look great, but I am paranoid about the whole nano thing. At this point, I haven’t read enough to make me stop using my current products, but I will keep reading up on the subject.

  7. Wendy Hallsted Says:

    I have heard and read only good things about mineral make-up, but realize some products are more “genuine” than others. I have personally tried ‘Bare Minerals’ and ‘Glo Minerals.’ I honestly didn’t feel like I was getting enough coverage. I felt like I didn’t look any different than if I weren’t wearing any make-up at all. But, I love the idea of wearing something that is good for my skin (I just need more coverage!). Any advice?

  8. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    If you aren’t getting enough coverage with powders, I would recommend a liquid foundation. I’m not an expert at makeup (my ultimate, ongoing goal is to perfect my skin so I don’t need a lot of makeup), but I have never found a powder with a lot of coverage.

    In the past, I hadn’t had good luck with liquid foundations at all because they would look cakey or just plain bad after an hour or two. I now use Maybelline Pure Makeup, which is a light-medium coverage liquid foundation, and it’s great. Then I put Neutrogena Healthy Skin pressed powder over it. For me this gives me decent coverage, and the combination looks great on my skin. I have yet to find another foundation or powder to recommend, and I’ve tried a lot! A lot of the makeup blogs I trade links with are much more experienced with makeup than me. My main criteria with makeup is making sure it won’t clog my pores, and making sure it looks good!

  9. Wendy Says:

    I just found out about mineral make-up. I bought Bella Pierre. It does not have bismuth oxychloride in it. Does anyone else have any information on bella pierre?

  10. Kim Says:

    You did a great job giving real facts about mineral makeup. The biggest problem many have found with Bare Escentuals is they have talc in it. (filler) That is one of the main ingredients that causes you to break out. But because they were the first truly in the market they had a head start and now everyone knows their name. There are others out
    there that if they list the ingredients you will find that yes less in the mineral makeup is better. Sometimes you just have to shop around and try other brands that are not so well known to find what really works for you.
    On bella pierre I have one of their colors and it doesn’t stand on very well. When I talk with them at the mall they were pushing the fact that their jars are better and hold more. And they created the jars etc. When I wanted to know what was in the mineral eye shadow the girl wasn’t very knowledgeable about it.
    Sleeping in your makeup is a big NO NO we all know that, do you want to wear ‘dirt’ to bed? lol

  11. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I’ve never been under the impression that Talc is comodogenic, or could cause acne. On the comodogenic list – it is not a problem at all. I do agree you need to shop around to find products that work for you! Luckily most companies will let you return products that don’t work out.

  12. Maryann Says:

    HI there!

    As I was hoodwinked by Bella Pierre yesterday, LOL, I thought I would do some research on them and also mineral make-up in general; one thing they mention on their site (Bella Pierre specifically) is that you can use a little bit of moisturiser with your dry powder and make it a liquid foundation! For me the colours stayed on pretty well, but I’d rather wear “dirt” to bed than other stuff. Okaty fine, i washed my face off before bed but the coverage with the mineral makeup (at least for me) has ALWAYS been better than non mineral.

  13. rose Says:

    I was pleased to find this post. I break out horribly with mineral makeup. I have cystic acne anyway, but my worst months with it were while using mineral makeup. Both my dermatologist and aesthetician were suprised to hear it.

    I recently switched to the Maybelline Pure makeup you like and so far so good! I apply it very thinly with a cosmetic brush and I think it looks pretty natural. I also found that the mineral makeup settled into and accentuated my fine lines, and the liquid foundation does not, so another plus!

  14. AJ Says:

    I’ve tried several different kinds of mineral makeup and so far, Everyday Minerals has been the best by far. My skin has never broken out, even been dry, or oily. I tried Maybelline, Neutragena mineral makeup and those actually felt heavy and just plain weird on my skin. I’ve also tried Bare Minerals and that also felt weird on my skin– when I would touch my face it felt like I had I mask on! And then I thought “crap!!” when I saw myself in the mirror because I looked so made-up!

    I think it’s important to check all the ingredients in your makeup and it’s a matter of hit and miss. For me it was at least. Everyday minerals doesn’t have that bismuth stuff in it and I guess the titanium and zinc aren’t in excessive amounts where they would clog. If anything, my skin is less oiler than it was when I was using Shiseido liquid makeup.

    Everyone’s skin is different but it’s important that you find out what works for you and doesn’t. For me, I’ll NEVER go back to liquid makeup!

  15. Lisa Says:

    I have used bella pierre and moisturizer together and it works great. No bismuth in their products. You can find it at or

  16. alma Says:

    I wanted to know if anyone has heard of GloMinerals. I really want to try a makeup that will be easy on my skin. I have really sensitive skin and I tend to breakout every few months. I just wanted to know if anyone has tried this product?

  17. solange Says:

    are these products bad for you
    mica, iron oxides, titanium dioxide, ferric ferrocyanide (21,22,23,63,64,65,66,67,3). i am considering mineral makeup i just wanted some more info on it.

  18. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I don’t think any of those ingredients are bad for you. The only ingredient in mineral makeup I’ve heard anything bad about is Bismuth Oxychloride. For the most part, mineral makeup is pretty safe. But Titanium Dioxide can also possibly clog pores, if you are prone to acne.

  19. mistica Says:

    I have rosacea, and melasma and crinkly skin on an area of my left cheek where I have had lots of infection. I have been using a Lancome compact foundation for some years and over all, I am very happy with it. Due to the crinkly skin on my left cheek, I thought I would try a mineral makeup, as I had heard it didn’t accentuate fine lines.
    Wrong! It not only accentuated them, it also showed up crinkly looking skin which I never knew was there! The makeup, cozmedic lab was thick and heavy looking, not natural at all. The lady demonstrating it was very helpful and went all out to help me select a colour etc. And like all those in the mineral makeup industry, felt it was a good choice for rosacea.
    I beg to differ. The action of swirling the brush over my face, ( a soft brush), has left my skin irritated, red and sore. This test application was done yesterday afternoon and even this morning, my skin is still red and stinging. I also have a slight swelling under the eye on the right cheek. I have a few red dots, which I feel will probably become pustules. Needless to say, I am not happy.
    Ok, I realise my reaction maybe extreme, however, I simply can’t understand how any brush friction on rosacea skin can be beneficial. Rosacea skin has to be treated gently.
    My Lancome makeup is called MaquiCake UV Perfect forever. It looks like a powder pancake, but is in fact a foundation. It is so easy and gentle to apply and goes on like silk. I find applying my moisturizer first and allowing it to settle for a few minutes, makes a necessary and ideal base for the makeup. I can build up extra coverage on the areas of melasma, without it looking cakey. I have very oily skin and do need to blot gently every so often, but out of all the makeups I have tried, this one is the most natural looking and after a gentle blot during the day to remove excess oil, it has a very long duration. Never disintergrates.
    For some unknown reason, for a period of time, it was only available in the airport dutyfree, but I am happy to see it has made it’s way back into the city shops now.
    Well, that is my two cents worth. It is good to read other peoples experiences.

  20. janiece Says:

    hi. my parents dont want me wearing makeup because they dont want all of the chemicals on my face. so im trying 2 find something dat is light nd safe. i need advice on this…

  21. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I personally don’t think makeup is any more harmful that pollution, or all of the other bad chemicals we breathe in every day. However, if your parents are really concerned, you can look on this website: and they are extremely cautious about what cosmetics they deem “harmful” so maybe you can find products there that are completely “safe.”

    Offhand, I don’t know which products that site endorses.

  22. kelly Says:

    I used mac studio fix for a while and found that it made my face look powdery and I broke out….after that I started using bare escentials. I happened to come across this site because I wanted to see if makeup was bad for my face and I read what u said about mineral makeup. I’ve been breaking out a lot lately and it’s stressing me out. After reading what u said I realized it might be my makeup because my face has been getting irritated…does anyone suggest any other makeups or perhaps know what I should do? Maybe my skin is just too sensitive. Would a doctor be able to help me?

  23. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    You could try to find a mineral makeup that doesn’t contain Bismuth Oxychloride. It seems like that’s the only ingredient in mineral makeup that gives some people breakout problems. Also, a lot of skin creams and makeup can clog your pores if you are prone to acne – .

    If it turns out the products you don’t use on your face are a problem, here is my guide to acne: . You could always visit a Dermatologist as well. From my own experience, I visited a whole bunch of Dermatologists, but none of them were that helpful in curing my acne, but I may have just been unlucky. If you have insurance, then it wouldn’t hurt to see a Dermatologist first to see what he or she says.

  24. Shaine Says:

    At first I was so happy with my mineral make up brand “lumiere” But I notice that after using is for just 3 months I can NO LONGER achieve the result which I had when the first time I used it. Have any idea why like that? I have a super oily skin. But because of their loose or liquid foundation I feel like a star everyhting is perfect!

    But why the sudden change?

  25. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I’m not sure why you would have a change in how the product is working. Are you still using the same jar/tube of Lumiere, or did you order a new one (maybe they changed the formula?) Or have you changed anything about your skin care routine? Maybe another product you are now using under the Lumiere is causing it to not go on well? Or have you noticed a change in your skin – is it drier, or more oily than before?

    The only other thing I can think of is that the makeup is changing its consistency since it’s been exposed to air, but I haven’t really heard of that happening before with powder or liquid foundation. Hmmm.

    I tried the Lumiere liquid foundation once, but it didn’t look good on my skin, so I stopped using it.

  26. Julie Says:

    Hello again! I think I may have been the one to ask about Bare Escentuals Rare Minerals back in the fall. I was going through some extreme problems with cystic acne. I was willing to try anything to get rid of that mess so I went to the Bare Minerals store and bought an adult acne kit ( I think MD formulations?) and they convinced me to try the rare minerals to put on at night. That was a NIGHTMARE!!! It only exacerbated the acne because my skin never had a moment to breathe. Don’t believe the hype or waste your money! The women at bare minerals were kind enough to give me a refund for the kit and the rare minerals.
    However, I am happy with bare minerals concealer and foundation and have used it for years. I am now a faithul follower of the Yasmin birth control pill and once a week Philosophy Micro-delivery peel. (I ended up having the best luck with murad’s acne kit and also staying on 50 mg of minocycline with the birth control. I was OK with the pure makeup for awhile and then started breaking out. I might give it another try.)

    Has anyone ever used Philosophy the present? Its a primer/clear foundation that is supposed to even out the skin tone. Since my acne is finally gone, I want to work on all the nasty red scars and pit marks. I’m looking in to either dermabrasion or some type of laser treatments, but they are expensive (a couple thousand dollars!) So, in the meantime, I’m looking for a quick makeup-fix.

  27. Rico Says:

    Julie – I have used Bare Minerals for years, while better than other forms of foundation, I never really had clear non-acneic skin. Recently I have ventured out of my BE box and tried Meow Cosmetics and Everyday Minerals – I like them both and it really seems that my skin is looking better since not using the BE products. I have also just starting cleansing my face using the oil cleansing method which to my surprise has worked beautifully. I am excited to see my results a month into these changes. Regarding The Present from Philosophy, I have tried it and it wreaked terrible havoc on my skin – I broke out the next day and it kept getting worse. Some people don’t have a problem w/ it, I had a seriously problem w/ it. I also tried Bare Escentuals new primer and it too broke me out. Just thought I’d communicate my experience. Love the site!

  28. susan Says:

    i bought the bare escentuals starter kit….the brushes, the minerals, etc….. I agree with another comment… made my skin feel dry, and it wasnt a joy to wear….

    That said, however, it is absolutely the BEST coverup ive ever used. You know how you “scratch” a blemish, and NOTHING will stick to it???? well, this does! sticks, covers up, and blends perfectly into your skin color…

    i dont use it as a foundation because i dont like the way it feels (i love chanel foundation), but i do love it as a coverup!

  29. tasha Says:

    I use Rare Minerals every night and I totally love the result. The main point isn’t about wearing make up to bed though. And I’m using the Tan version… didn’t even dirtied my pillow.

    This stuff works great!

  30. Lara Says:

    Try using Larenim’s makeup. They have great colours, no talc or Bismuth Oxychloride.

  31. Shonna Says:

    hey there!

    so glad i found this site! i have been trying to decide whether to give up on mineral makeup or not. I am 43, taking hrt and breaking out more than my teenage son! I use to be an estee lauder gal for about 10 yrs, before that clinique. I wanted a lighter not want to wash my face as soon as i walked in the door makeup. I always use oil free. has anyone tried the new Smashbox halo powder? I have been using Bare Escentuals for almost a yr don’t like and think that my skin looks worse than ever. i recently tried jane iredale and don’t like the way i feel in it. I am splotchy skined….any help out there????

  32. Jenn Says:

    I just came across this website as I was searching for information regarding mineral make-up and break-outs. I have never had acne prone skin. I would get the once a month pimple due to hormones and my monthly period, but never where it was all over. Over the past few years, since my second child, I have been breaking out on my forehead and cheeks, sometimes my chin area. I used to use BE, but it would make my skin itch and thought that it was causing my skin to break-put. I then switched to various mineral make-up, but none would give me the coverage and I was still breaking out. I have gone to the Dermatologist, who prescribed topical lotions and antibiotics, which helped a little. I switched to Luminere and really liked it, but the coverage felt heavy, so then I decided recently to try Southern Magnolia Minerals. I found it, surprisingly on Ebay. It had very good reviews and the ingredients listed are: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Irion Oxide, Rice Powder, Kaolin Clay, Sericite and/or Mica, and Corn Starch. Doesn’t seem bad, right? Well, I started using it in the beginning of April, about 3 weeks ago and I have been breaking out BAD. Painful cystic bumps all over my forehead, chin, and now various spots on my cheeks. Pretty embarrassing to go out, because I am constantly putting more and more foundation on, to cover up, but adding to the problem. I am at a loss as to what to do at this point. Most of the foundations, either don’t give me enough coverage, or they are breaking me out. Recently a friend, did my make-up and used Mac Studio Fix NC40. It actually gave me great coverage and matched my skin tone, where it didn’t bring out all my pinks, but now I just read someone else’s blog above and it broke them out. Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks. :)

  33. Jenn Says:

    Just another note….After going through your site and blogs, very helpful by the way. Lots of great, useful information. I also live in Las Vegas. On your scale of 0-5 for Acne. I would say I am about a 3 as well, right now. I mainly think I am breaking out as bad as I am, due to the new “mineral” make-up that I recently purchased. I also left out, that I have been doing Pumpkin Peels. (I work in the beauty industry) and a friend gave me some to try. I have done it 3 times now and the last one was done about 2 weeks ago. I know that it is supposed to bring all of your pimples to the surface, so I guess I could be confused whether it’s the new make-up or the Pumpkin Peel. Who knows, but I need to find a solution. I have a book called The Acne Cure by Dr. Fulton. He warns of all the products that are irritants and can cause acne. So, I am familiar with a few on your list. Anyway, just thought I would add that. Great Site and will try some of the products you mentioned. Jenn :)

  34. Janet Says:

    This is my first time visiting this site and I was very taken in with what I read. I found everyone’s discussions on the trials and tribulations of finding the right make-up very intriguing. I have been using mineral foundation from ex-model Jennifer Flavin-Stallone. It’s adjustable and doesn’t settle into my pores. Its active ingredient is Zinc Oxide (24.75%), and some of the inactive ingredients are Mica, Boron, Nitride and Zinc Stearate. We all know that skin care is a crap shoot. What works for me, may not work for you. My outlook on make-up is pretty much like a painting. It only looks as good as the canvas it’s put on, which brings me to the other discussions many of you had regarding ACNE. If I could make another suggestion, I strongly recommend Jennifer’s acne line. My daughter used to get those monthly breakouts and it has made a huge difference in her complexion. Much better than proactive and it didn’t dry out her skin. I have to apologize for the sales pitch, for it was not my intention to do any personal advertising when I stumbled onto this site, but after reading everyone’s concerns I would like to offer help to anyone interested. You cannot buy Jennifer’s products in the stores, only from independent consultants. Her company is called Seriesse International and if you would like to learn more about her products please visit We’ve helped many women get brighter, tighter, smoother skin and also helped with pigmentation, rosacea and of course acne.

  35. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    Hi Jenn,
    That’s great that you live in Las Vegas too! I guess the easiest thing to do is eliminate the makeup initially from your regimen to see if that helps with the breakouts. If the makeup contains corn starch, that could be a problem, because it’s known to cause breakouts. I personally wouldn’t use it. I don’t know how good Studio Fix is for acne. is 1000 reviews about it. It contains Hexylene Glycol, which is pore clogging, and one other ingredient that isn’t on my pore clogging list, but it sounds very similar. I used to wear it, but that was when I didn’t get acne!

    I need to look into more acne-safe foundations. The one I use is great for my skin – Maybelline Pure Makeup but its coverage is light-medium. I put Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder over it, which is also acne-safe, but it’s not a lot of coverage.

    It’s definitely possible that the peels could initially be making the breakouts worse too. I know a few people also had bad reactions to Pumpkin Peels when they were done at the spa where I used to work, but most people were able to handle them fine, without any side effects.

  36. Madison Says:

    The best mineral makeup that has worked for me – and trust me I’ve tried just about all of them – is called Afterglow. It can be purchased at It might not work for everyone but I’ve had outstanding results – no breakouts, no irritation, great coverage and no settling into fine lines or pores. It stays nice and fresh looking all day long – even in the heat. You can order samples which is a nice way to test the product or find the right color to match your skin.

  37. Isabella Says:

    If you want to try “good for your skin” mineral makeup check out Saphoros Spa Essentials at and get samples of their mineral makeup – it’s simply the best. I’ve experienced no breakouts, no settling into lines and no dryness. If you want another more convenient option then check out Physicians Formula Mineral Wear pressed powders. It doesn’t contain pore clogging ingredients either and although they don’t have a large selection of colors they are pretty forgiving and blend with many skin tones.
    To Janet…I thought Jennifer Flavin Stallone sold her skin care line at HSN and it was called Serious Skin Care. I had no idea there was another line of hers out there.

  38. Irina Walker Says:

    There is some information about Bismuth Oxychloride –

  39. nicole Says:

    I had more breakouts in my 20’s and 30’s than when I was in my teens. I used to use liquid foundation until l’oreal deleted my color, then I was trying everything not to mention wasting money when it broke me out or irritated my skin more. Prescriptives was good with thier custom blend to match my face color but costly and I hated their liquid foundation. I could have fried frech fries on my face with how oily it made me. then I heard about mineral make-up so I tried BE my face was alittle better but still irritated and costly. I started ebaying mineral makeup and found EVERYDAY MINERALS my face loved it, so did my bank account. I also love SunCat natural mineral makeup. alittle goes a long way. Another good idea for everyone is to find the right moisturizer! Without the right moisturizer u dont get the benefits of mineral makeup. ive tried all kinds to no sucess until I tried infinity 2 with plantderm by ecoquest, it was a little costly but it worked so I stuck with it. then my face was bugging again and a bit too oily for my liking. I came across aubrey organics they have the all natural nonclogging ingredients. a good cleanser is also a must. always read the ingredients–stay away from parabens methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl DEA PEG PPG EDTA too many to list so look up ur ingredients to make sure they arent irritating. i know this is all time consuming but well worth it to b beautiful and healthy. yes drink plenty of water and get ur sleep it all goes hand in hand. —hope this helps

  40. Lisa Plumber Says:

    I used ID Bare Minerals and broke out so badly it was pitiful! So I tried a bunch of different kinds of mineral makeup because I loved how quick and easy it was to put on.
    I finally came across one being sold by someone who knew what they were talking about, which is the same thing that you said- Bismuth Oxychloride can make you break out!
    But what else I didn’t realize is that my kabuki brush (the only way to put on mm the right way) was made of animal hair, and once I started using a mineral makeup without the Bismuth, my face was still irritated. Come to find out, a lot of people with sensitive skin are semi allergic to animal hair brushes being rubbed all over their faces!
    So I switched to a synthetic, super soft kabuki and my new pink quartz minerals foundation which she custom made for me, and it covers most excellently, is gorgeous, easy to apply and best of all, I haven’t broken out since!

  41. Diane Says:

    I make my own. :)

  42. Debra Says:

    I use Bare Escentuals and had no problem. I bought the Smashbox Halo the beginning of December and had a very bad allergic reaction after a few days.

  43. Jlea Says:

    Bismuth Oxychloride is one of the ingredients I’m seeing in many mineral makeup products. It is a cheap filler used to add reflectivity to the product and also help it adhere to the skin. I looked the substance up on several sites and this posting tells me that using any mineral compound on the skin warrants looking into. I guess it depends on what risks we’re willing to take. After reading this, I’d think that putting ANY chemical on our face needs to be looked into. Please be good to your skin.

    Post by West Coast Minerals:

    I am writing this guide to inform people of certain chemicals that are used in Mineral Makeup. Bismuth Oxychloride is a chemical that produces shine. It is made up of microscopic metal. Certain brands use this in their minerals, because it is a cheap filler. Yes it does make you shine, however, most women 75% of them are allergic to this. You can tell if you are allergic if your face itches after using products that contain this chemical. As a chemist, I am actually surprised that the FDA has approved this for use in cosmetics. When you use a product containing bismuth oxychloride you are pushing into your pores small metallic particles that will clog your pores. Also you body will fight back because it is a foreign chemical that is being shoved into your pores. That is why some women notice itching, and rashes. They also use this in jet fuel refining. I will not use this chemical in my minerals period. So when you shop for Mineral cosmetics, make sure you are informed about the ingredients used.

    See the original post at:

  44. Natasha Weiss Says:

    I wear Sheer Cover and never had a breakout. My acne problems were only resolved after I started taking birth control pills to help balance my hormones. Before using the pill I went for a few years trying all sorts of diet, detoxing programs, alternative medicine, herbs, not wearing any sort of makeup on my face, anyway, I tried everything and nothing worked. Finally, I agreed to started taking the pill and after that I never had another breakout. I no longer need to think about what I can or can not eat, what type of makeup I should wear,etc. I’m clear. I really think checking with your doctor about how balance your hormones are is still the best way to find the best treatment for your acne.

  45. Claire Says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for your insight when it came to mineral makeup. The article you provided by Paula Begoun was definitely very, very helpful. For the past two years I have used Bare Minerals as a substitute to the liquid and powder routine. I hated feeling ‘cakey’ but wanted my skin tone to be even. Bare Minerals worked good, it would stay on all day long, but it did make my skin feel kind of oily and shinny towards the end of the day. Around the same time I started using BM I began a new job as a medical secretary. At about this same time I started getting very large, painful pimples on my chin and jawline.. which was pretty annoying and frusterating, since I had never before had acne of any sort (besides the random pimple here and there..) Since I heard all the hype about how mineral makeup was supposed to be so good for your skin, I assumed it was just the bacteria from the phone that is shared between several of us at work. Recently I was reading something in Cosmo that dispelled the rumor that mineral makeup was so much better for your skin, stating that some of the ingredients did cause breakouts. This interested me of course (especially because I have a breakout right now.. ugh!) so I googled it and ended up here..Sooo I am trying out the Maybelline Pure foundation along with the Neutrogena pressed powder.. and so far I love it! It actually looks natural and non-cakey, and since Bare Minerals was kind of on the expensive side, these products were a relief to buy at just drug store prices! Thank you so much for this article. I look forward to reading more!

  46. tinadang Says:

    i love bare mineral make up .It made my skin glorous and clear

  47. Jen Says:

    I just found this website today & I’m so happy. I’m 35 & have had acne since I was 13 so I got the pleasure of teenage & adult acne & it isn’t gettting better yet. Will I ever grow out of it? Will I have acne forever? Have you ever heard of someone having it all their life? I use Proactiv Extra Strength formula so my skin is 96% clear but if I stop using it, it goes right back to a big old mess. I don’t use the cleanser, the beads scratch my skin badly so I use RM Cleanser & the entire Skin Care line & it really helps a lot. The Blemish Therapy works faster & quicker than the Proactiv on the spot teatment so I’m surprised to hear such bad & horrible reviews but we are all different w/different skin tones & issues so 1 product will never work for everyone. I had to be taken out of school my last year b/c I was being picked on so badly & even pushed and kicked just b/c of my acne. People were not use to seeing someone w/cystic acne & pimples all over they’re face. I went to night school & obtained my GEd before College, I didn’t get to graduate but I didn’t have friends. The acne was really bad too. Cysts all over my face, dime sized and pimples in between as well. It was a nihgtmare. My self esteem will never be good after living like that for may yrs. It didn’t stop until I was 26, when I dicided to use Proactiv since I had nothing to lose. Everything else failed. Accutaine helped a lot but the side effects were too bad & I had to be pulled off since my heart had a rapid beat and a EKG report landed me a 1 night stay in the hospital. So the only thing that could help me, could really hurt me so I had to stop. My memories of grade school & up to high school are horrible. Till this day all I see is the ugly acne faced girl in the mirror. Do you think if will always have to use some kind of Acn treatment? Will it be this way forever? I sleep in Bare M foundation b/c it does imporve my skin & it never breaks me out. Once I started using BE I started to get a lot of compliments on my skin which I never thoght would happen. I guess I’m the only one who can wear BE, sounds like no one else likes it & it made they’re face break out which sucks. I wonder why It’s working for me so well? It doesn’t make sense after reading the reviews here. I’ve been using it for 5 yrs now. Only MU that wont break me out & it imporves my skin. The RM Night T truly firmed my face & my pores were barely visible & halped heal any acne trying to come to the surface so I am wondering why no one else had a good response to it other than me? It’s freaking me out wondering why everyone hates it but me. Lol. Thank you so very much for any info or advice you can give me. I have a cosmetology License I obtained when going to College but that was yrs ago. Lol. Just something on the side to keep me busy since I had no friends or boyfriends w/dime sized cyctic acne all over my face & neck. I had 3 friends but it was out of pity for me & I knew it but it was better than nothing but now things are very, very different for me thanks to Proactiv & BE.

  48. Suri Says:

    If you have acne and it didn’t heal properly perhaps you need to look into your diet and change it to a clean diet.

    About a year ago, I had hormonal breakouts and it never heal properly so I went to the dermatologist to get the oral prescription which works but my acne still returns very mildly until I change by diet to clean diet and took supplements.

    Later, I came to find out that am allergic to cow’s milk. Now, I don’t have any breakouts, and my blemishes are about to fade.. and the acne scarring has slowly smoothen out. Try using natural base products which doesn’t contain a lot of alcohol..It works for me but am not sure if its work for you. I use Dermae products and also my supplements: fish oil etc..

  49. Monique Says:

    I am doing an experiment on liquid foundations and how they effect your skin. I was wondering if anyone knows any websites with similiar questions or where i can find the answer + comments etc. Thanks Monique
    2/9/09 (:

  50. Girlie Says:

    Reverting to the original comment. ” use them if you are satisfied”… But be aware of the consequences: silicons are a regular component in these oh-so-natural make-ups, and silicons are environmentally unfriendly. However, conventional make-up has even more naughties. I personally am happy with my Couleur Caramel, Santé and Dr Hauschka. No naughties, no silicons, quality pigments, a bit more difficult to apply sometimes, less staying power = easier to wash off PLUS I feel I’m not harming anything!

  51. Nancy Says:

    Many small mineral makeup companies would never use nanoparticles in their mineral makeup. Not that there is a conclusion about all of the nanoparticles, anyway. Much more research has to be done and if you really read the sites that look at them, you will get opinions based on coal mining, not mineral makeup. There are sites out there that pick and choose which ingredients to be careful of and many of them post the Material Data Safety Sheets. They don’t post the sheets for everything, just the less common ingredients. If you’re worried, look up the sheet for Cornstarch, you know, what you cook with. That’scary reading. My point is that those sheets are worst case scenarios and ridiculous for the average consumer.

    I agree that there needs to be more testing of nanoparticles. Most mineral makeup companies have stopped using them. Most small companies won’t go near Bismuth Oxychloride either. The shape of the molecule lends itself to severe skin irritation.

    Some companies will not use Zinc Oxide, or Titanium Dioxide.

    There is no need of a preservative in mineral makeup, it’s an inert powder and cannot contain mold, germs, or fungus. They starve to death in there.

    Silicone? Many companies won’t use it, or have formulations without it.

    Why do I care? Because I’ve seen the hard work, research and dedication that so many of the mom and pop mineral makeup companies put into their products to be more natural. There is no, “all natural.” Once it’s put together it’s not natural anymore. People get very hung up on silly things, like a doctor on television saying that all mineral makeup contains nanoparticles. That is a bold faced lie. Don’t believe me? Look at some of the large suppliers to these small companies sites. Man of them have forums where you can read how concerned the small companies are about making the healthiest and best product they can.

    I hate it when good people have a hard go of it because of someone on television, or something a large company does. The mineral makeup in the drugstores is crap. Go to a small manufacturer. You’ll see a huge difference.

  52. damn a.t.t.r.a.c.t.i.v.e Says:

    i bought a dermacol make-up its cover your skin and any problems in your skin ..
    but i want to know more about mineral make-up whatever it is ..
    i really enjoy to read and take advantage .!! it’s really great site .

  53. Katy Says:

    I have been wanting to read something like this for a while… ever since I have started any type of mineral makeup… my skin has become far worse, although it was a slow progression, I have realized that it had to be the mineral makeup I was using……. I have used bare essentials, I stopped because it gave me more acne, then switched to Jane Iredale mineral makeup which has made my skin even worse!!! I have stopped wearing mineral makeup all together now and only use water based liquid foundation for special events, I can tell you my skin has been slowly getting better!!! I don’t know what it is, I think it could be the brushes and the fact that you really have to buff it in the skin that may cause the irritations on the skin.

  54. Lou Says:

    Hey, thank you so much for puting this website together and sharing your knowlege with us all. Im going to try using some of the same products that you use and see if they work for me to. Anyways I heard that Bare Minerals took out the Bismuth Oxychloride, do you know if thats true?

  55. getbeatufiulnow Says:

    When applied right, It definitely does not get on your pillow. Bare escentuals is an amazing line and I’ve been in beauty for ten years. I’ve tried everything, i’ve used everything and i’ve applied everything. From high end brand to over the counter products. I’ve never seen a reaction to the product except for some people being allergic to corn starch maybe in the mineral veil or allergic to goat hair in the brushes. It’s not always makeup. It could be the brushes too.

  56. Sarah Ellis Says:

    Awesome article!! I’ve been looking for info on this for quite a while and nobody seems to know why the BE Mineral Makeup cause me so much skin irritation. Now, I know which ingredients to avoid. Also, I have oily skin and not only did the mineral makeup make my skin itch, it also made it look cakey and greasy. The “shimmer” in the mineral makeups cause oily skin to look terrible & also cause blocked pores. Recently I’ve found an amazing mineral veil though, it’s called Mattify! Loose Powder. It’s super gentle and absorbs oil for several hours. I use it under and over liquid foundation and only need to use blotting papers once or twice a day. Previously, and when I used the BE Minerals, I had to use blotting papers every single hour! The ingredients don’t cause any irritation – it only has Kaolin Clay and Cornstarch. Some people say that Cornstarch will cause breakouts, but it’s been the complete opposite with me. Since I started using the Mattify Loose Powder, I’m down to only one or two breakouts per week. I’m thinking it’s because the powder absorbs so much oil – not allowing pools of oil to sink into pores during the day. Before I started using this, I had around 20 breakouts weekly. Oh, I got it at for 8 bucks. So if anyone is looking for an oil absorbent powder that doesn’t cause a bunch of facial problems, give this stuff a try.

  57. Desi Says:

    Everyday minerals is the best…i get at least 5-10 compliments on how beautiful my skin is a day! Half of them come from men! They have a wide variety of shades…when i’m not getting compliments I notice people staring at me…and you can tell it’s the look of jealousy from women. Now I am way above average, looks wise…Everyday Minerals just makes me look even better.

  58. Brandie Grant Says:

    I just want to say that on the rare minerals it does actually work. it was not made for people who like to wear make up to bed. I have excessive oily skin thats very congested and the mineral is meant to absorb the oils. It is pretty much like dirt in itself because the creator of the line wanted something natural so they go as natural as possible and wet dirt or mud actually has benefits. the rare minerals is very light on the skin and wont shake to the pillowcase.
    As far as bare escentuals go, I have noticed if you do not have oily skin you would be better off using their primer of skin revver upper. It helps the mineral stick a bit better, but it has no talc in it.

  59. june Says:

    I am from Indonesia. Where do I find bella piere cosmetic in Indonesia? I already but that product in Singapore, but I go to Singapore rarely.
    I use bella piere mineral foundation Ivory.

  60. Megan Says:

    So my story is that I started with Neutrogena liquid foundation, switched to Stilla tinted moisturizer, then Makeup Forever Matte Foundation, and I started to realize that liquid foundation was making me break out. So I VERY hesitantly walked into a Bare Minerals store and had the lady do the mineral makeup. I didn’t think it would look good at all, but I was pretty surprised. I mean, it definitely didn’t give me as much coverage as liquid foundation and concealer (obviously), but I needed so much coverage because I was wearing such heavy makeup that was making me break out! (kind of an oxymoron problem) So I decided to give BE a shot for a while and my skin never got the big pimples anymore! For a long time I used the Proactive system to clean and prevent acne and then I would ware the BE concealer, foundation, and mineral veil for my makeup. It’s been a year and a half and now I never expect to get big pimples but I still get the tiny bumps! Most of them are on my forehead, then my cheeks, and last my chin and nose. They are the kind of bumps you can’t see about 4 feet from a mirror but anything closer and you can see them. Some of them look like black heads, but others are just tiny raised bumps. So I’m starting to think that the Bismuth Oxychloride is causing the tiny bumps … so I’m going to try a new mineral makeup that doesn’t have the Bismuth Oxychloride. I was between Everyday Minerals and Faerie Organics … I got the Faerie Organics because they played up the lack of Bismuth more. I’ll post again and let everyone know how it works. If you’ve had a similar experience as me post something and let me know what you did and what worked for you (this includes what you use to cleanse and what foundation you ware).
    Thank You

  61. Della Simone Says:

    I’ve suffered from breakouts and acne for years…always thought it was just part of who I was. Try changing your makeup. I was using BE for years. Now I use only bismuth oxychloride free products. Two I highly recommend:

    Smashbox Halo (powder)
    Christopher Drummond (concealer) – His products are also organic.

    Once your face clears up, you’ll be surprised how much LESS makeup you will need. :)

    Good luck.


  62. Britt Says:

    Has anyone had a problem with Sheer cover? I used it about 4 years ago and am trying to decide if i should give it a try again. What do you think good or bad?

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