Is Mineral Makeup Really Safer?

Close-up of crushed mineral matte compact powder and shimmer powder golden color with makeup brushes on blue background

Mineral makeup seems more natural compared to alternative foundations and powders laced with synthetic ingredients. But the truth is going mineral over manmade isn’t a guaranteed bet in terms of safety. We turned to ingredients expert Paul Pestano, a research analyst at Environmental Working Group, for more insight.

Rodale Wellness: Is mineral makeup safer than non-mineral makeup, in general?

Paul Pestano: Mineral makeup is not necessarily safer than the non-mineral varieties. It really depends on the ingredients manufacturers use because certain mineral pigments have been linked with health concerns. While there are mineral products that do have fewer concerns, it is not a general rule of thumb that they’re safer.

RN: Are there inhalation risks involved with mineral makeup?

PP:  Yes. Certain mineral pigments have been associated with a number of concerns when inhaled. For example, inhaled titanium dioxide, a very common mineral pigment, can cause irritation and has been designated as a possible human carcinogen based on animal studies by various health agencies and international bodies. The particle size of the mineral pigment is also a crucial consideration as the smaller the size, the higher the inhalation concern (for more info about nanoparticles, you may read our positions as they relate to sunscreens here.).

RW: Are there tips you can share to use mineral makeup in a safer way? 

PP: EWG’s general recommendation when buying and using mineral makeup is to look for products that are in liquid or solid form. If you have to buy powders, choose products that are pressed as opposed to loose powders to minimize the inhalation risk. Likewise, we urge consumers to avoid any mineral products in spray form.

RW: Are there any ingredients listed on the label that should be used as warning signs that the mineral makeup might not be good for you?

PP: There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to reading the labels of mineral products. However, you may follow the general guidelines we listed in our response above.

RW: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

PP: We urge consumers to use our Skin Deep cosmetics database and cellphone app when shopping for products. Our app’s barcode scanner allows users to find products, and quickly and easily learn about any concerns associated with these products’ ingredients, whether mineral or otherwise.

2015-11-23T11:03:03+00:00

Related Questions

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    Yes, you will! Be sure to space taking formulas, by one hour.

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    Q: I recently heard you comment on the ill effects of colloidal mineral supplements. What would you recommend as way for my family (two adults, two children 6 & 4) to receive the recommended amount of minerals to sustain our active life and support the healthy growth of our children?

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    Q: I'm interested in the Multi-Vitamin formula. Can you tell me the actual mineral enzyme content of that product?

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    Dherbs.com does not deal in numbers as we believe they are used to control people. Nature provides no numbers for minerals simply because they can't be isolated. Plants can only be determined to be rich in nutrients and we use certain plants considered complete foods to comprise our minerals and formulas.

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    Q: First off, let me say, I am soooo happy to have caught the DHERBS advertising while listening to WVON radio in Chicago, IL. This is a very professional, informed and wholistic website. Kudos to the DHERBS team! Secondly, I currently don't take a vitamin/mineral supplemant, but was leaning to the Green Vibrance powder product (are you familiar with this brand), as I've talked to several health food reps, and they spoke of it's popularity within the health industry, the need for vitamins/minerals from a natural green source, and it's potency over pills, being that it's a powder and will digest better, versus pills which come from potentially harmful, scientific sources and, since they're in pill form, aren't absorbed by the body 100%. I was hoping to get a DHERB rep's opinion on GREEN VIBRANCE versus your mineral/vitamin supplemants. I hope you'd be unbiased, as you'd be commenting on a competitor product, as I truly am searching for the best product. I thank you in advance for your time and reply!

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    Skepticism only leads to being more skeptical. Healing too, like religion, requires faith (that one can and will heal). In re my website, I promise no cures as only God and the human body (of the individual) can cure. I can only assist in helping one to heal. Healing is wholistic, and involves the mind-body-spirit and the most important aspect of healing is the mental aspect for all disease begins in the mind just as all healing does.
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