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Cosmetic Makeup Vs. Mineral Makeup: The Benefits Of Mineral Makeup

By November 14, 2017Skingredients
mineral makeup benefits

We Irish folk are incredibly fond of makeup, some may say too fond. We’ve a penchant for making ourselves darker, especially those of us who are genetically-predisposed to Casperness, and let’s be honest, we can go a bit over the top. If you told the continental-European women that we wear a smokey eye to work, they would be aghast! But that is us, it is who we are – we knew what Double Wear was long before we learned about mitosis, APR or, well, basic nutrition.

Herein lies the problem: a vast many of you out there were taught to conceal rather than to treat, and to conceal with products that are basically grease paint… remember Pan Stik? Those were the days! Because makeup was touted as the solution to all skin woes, it is hard for us to believe how damaging it can be to the skin. In this respect, I’m speaking of strictly cosmetic makeup, your typical Revlons, Estée Lauders, Macs and so on and so forth.

Cosmetic Makeup and the Skin

It is difficult to turn to people and tell them not to wear cosmetic makeup, as it is something they are so used to and often, something they rely on. However, it can be detrimental to skin health.

mineral makeup benefits

The Negative Effects of Cosmetic Makeup

Cosmetic makeup is often comedogenic, meaning that it can clog pores, causing open comedones (blackheads), closed comedones (whiteheads) and other forms of congestion. Considering this is the type of thing you’re trying to cover up, it is not ideal. You’re just feeding the Fraaanks. This is especially true of thicker formulations – even if they call themselves non-comedogenic. Be wary of sticks, creams and thick liquids and remember this does not just apply to base makeup like foundation and concealer, but to blushers, highlighters and contour products!

Many cosmetic makeups contain alcohol, under the pseudonyms SD alcohol and denatured alcohol/alcohol denat. If you’ve ever heard me speak about this type of alcohol, you know that it is rarely good news when it shows up in a product. Alcohol in makeup (and skincare) serves two main purposes: it immediately mops up oil slicks, mattifying the skin in the short term, and helps products to dry on quickly. Most avoid makeup that takes a while to dry in and consider it to be a big no-no. It may actually be a sign that it doesn’t contain as much alcohol as other products.

Seeing as many popular products are made to smell non-chemical-ly with fragrances, they can cause photosensitivity, leading to skin damage in the future. Nobody wants to put something on their face that smells like a toilet cleaner (although maybe it shouldn’t smell like that in the first place) but that doesn’t mean that your skin should be disrespected.

Cosmetic powders can contain a lot of talc. Talc is technically a mineral – however, it sucks up all moisture around it, which makes it so ideal for throwing it into sweaty runners but so drying on the skin. For those of us on the oilier side of things, this sounds perfect… so why isn’t it? When you dry out the skin, it causes the pores to over-produce oil to compensate for this, which can lead to more breakouts and more oiliness. So, talc can be a bit reductive as far as ingredients go.

All in all, fragrances, alcohol and other ingredients that dry out and sensitise the skin can speed up the skin’s ageing process, which actually begins around the hooman age of 25. The youths think that they can get away with everything; laissez-faire regimes, half-arsed cleansing with a wipe and caking on the cosmetic makeup… but perhaps their skin is not as youthful as they think!

In Ireland, most of us wear face makeup every single day, for about 10 hours a day. That is 10 hours of your skin being smothered by heavy, pore-clogging formulations, drying it out minute by minute.

Not only can cosmetic makeup exacerbate acne, but it can cause an acne subtype called acne cosmetica. Are you prone to tiny bumps across your forehead that won’t go away no matter what you do? You could be a sufferer of acne cosmetica.

mineral makeup benefits

Why Mineral Makeup is Beneficial

Mineral makeup sits on the pore due to its molecular make up, rather than in the pore as cosmetic makeup does. Cosmetic makeup is like wall filler, being slopped into each pore to make them less visible, leading to the creation of congestion. Mineral makeup still reduces visibility of pores and blemishes without intruding on your skin and disrupting its natural mechanisms of  protection.

Minerals (for example, zinc, mica, titanium) are not corrosive to the skin, even in their makeup-safe forms of zinc oxide, zinc mica and titanium dioxide. They respect the skin and do not dry it out.

Minerals bind to oils! It is no secret that powder foundation can be key for those of us trying to get rid of the midday makeup slip and slide. The oil-binding properties of mineral makeup means that the natural oils your skin produce become a base for your makeup, meaning that it will go on easier and have a glowy finish.

Both titanium oxide and zinc oxide, two ingredients commonly found in mineral makeup products, act as a physical block from sun damage. I’m not saying to skip applying SPF altogether, but it is nice to think of it as a safety net to doubly protect you against those rays.

Zinc oxide has anti-inflammatory properties, and seeing as it is in a much higher dosage than it would be in a cosmetic makeup, it can soothe conditions such as rosacea, eczema and inflammatory acne.

Product Purity

Not all cosmetic makeup brands are the same, so I am not sure as to why people believe all mineral makeup to be on equal footing. It is becoming immensely popular for non-mineral brands to stick the word “mineral” somewhere into the name of their product and pass it off as a true mineral product. It is like sticking the word “educational” before any old television show and then telling people it will teach their kids long division.

When I talk about mineral makeup, I’m talking about the purest of the pure. For me, that is embodied by the brand that is Jane Iredale. Jane Iredale was a casting director and producer in the US who saw so many young actors having their faces smeared with thick, greasy, congestion-causing stage makeup day in and day out that she decided to provide an alternative. Jane Iredale use high-quality minerals and cutting-edge technology to create mineral makeup that gives great coverage whilst being skin respectful, and their makeup is 100% talc-free too.

Some brands bulk out their product with talc so that they can make the claim that the product is fully mineral, and some other brands that began as fully mineral have started to include non-mineral ingredients whilst carefully excising any mention of 100% mineralness from their marketing campaigns and packaging so be wary when it comes to this.

Liquid Vs. Powder Formulations

Any liquid cosmetic product will need a preservative and water in some form – pure and simple. This means that the benefits of the minerals are… watered down. Because of this, I always say that powder is better but if you are a first-timer who needs a transitional product, then a liquid formulation is better than nothing. I’d specifically recommend the Jane Iredale Glow Time BB cream. Don’t be fooled by the name BB cream.. this bad BB is full coverage. See for your own eyes below…


mineralmakeup benefits

Here is a swatch of Jane Iredale Glow Time BB 6… on someone who is usually BB 3. Look at that coverage though.

The main worry surrounding powder formulations is lack of coverage and it is completely unfounded. Mineral powders are incredibly buildable and you can layer and layer it to bring it up to the concealment you want – it is important to colour match to the highest level so that you are not left with bright yellow or pink patches across the face as some mineral makeups are highly pigmented!

Making the Big Switch

Trying mineral makeup for the first time can be daunting, especially powder formulations as they need an entirely different mode of application. Get yourself a flat-headed stippling brush or a fluffy kabuki brush – a kabuki brush is better for if you want a light dusting and minimal coverage, but a stippling brush will help you pack on that pigment. If you need to spot conceal aswell, invest in a concealer brush also.

My personal favourite powder mineral foundations are Jane Iredale, Bellápierre and Blush, but remember, to be a true mineral convert, you need to swap out your blushers and highlighters as well! I will do an article about applying mineral makeup at some point, so watch this space..

Until then, go forth and paint the town mineral!!!

Jennifer Rock

About Jennifer Rock


  • Amy says:

    How would you rate Bare Minerals make up also?

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      I used it personally years ago and loved it. However, I have not been trained in it like I have in other brands, so I wouldn’t have as much info or an opinion on it at present! x

  • Claire says:

    I have recently switched to Young Blood mineral liquid foundation but find that it goes shiny throughout the day, can you recommend the best way to set it? I use a primer before and powder to finish, but would have naturally oily skin.

  • Claire says:

    Do you recommend bare minerals make up?

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      It used to be my go-to, however, nowadays, I’ve trained with other brands so I wouldn’t have current information! x

  • Jenny says:

    Thanks for a really interesting article, been curious about mineral make-up for a while. how do you rate the bareMinerals range?

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      I used it for years, but nowadays, I’ve trained with the brands I’ve recommended and thus I have more current information on them and the ingredients they use. x

  • Catherine says:

    Thanks for the information, have been thinking of changing to mineral make-up but didn’t knw the facts or science behind it.. Thanks for the education. Catherine

  • Laura says:

    Hi Jennifer, I recently suffered a very bad skin reaction to the eyes which I’m almost certain was caused by my foundation (Armani luminous silk).
    I’m thinking of making the switch to mineral make up but I was wondering if you have heard of people taking this reaction before? Particularly to this foundation- I’m just curious.My eyes were red, irritated and ended up becoming severely swollen requiring oral steroid treatment twice, seeing a dermatologist privately (wait list is 19+. Months on the hse) and now on steroid creams. I googled the ingredients of the foundation and was shocked at how many parabens and preservatives were in it! Considering it sits at the €47 mark I thought it would be a lot kinder to the skin.
    I’ve always suffered with bad acne but has cleared up in the last few years but after reading this I think the switch to mineral make up it a must!!
    Thanks for the article x

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Laura, the more ingredients a product has, the more likely one’s skin is to react! I’m sorry to hear you had a reaction to that particular foundation. The purer the mineral makeup, the less likely you would be to have a reaction – Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Powder can be worn directly after a facial, directly after a wax.. it really is fab stuff! When you’re trying something new, make sure to patch test x

  • rose says:

    Hi Jenn,
    Great article. I am just wondering about the mineral brand Fushia. Do you still recommended it? no Bellapierre make up in my part of the country and reluctant to buy online without seeing colour.

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Rose, I like Fuschia but I’ve been trained in Jane Iredale so I know more about it! x

    • Georgina Roome says:

      Theres a starter kit option with brushes included great value online..for bellapierre .. it has a few colour options in each so you cant go wrong if you want to give it a try .. (generally if you wear tan cinnamon is the best option) .. also think ryanair has it onboard if your ever flying out.. G x

  • Helen says:

    Hi Jennifer, I enjoyed your article and believe everything you said to be true. I am a big mineral fan. Can I ask you why you failed to include bareMinerals when you mentioned the best mineral makeup brands out there? Isn’t because you don’t believe they are good? Would love to know your reasons because I am a big fan.
    Take care, Helen

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Helen, not as such – I used to use Bare Minerals myself for years and loved it, but nowadays, I’ve had training with the recommended brands and I know more about them x

  • Julie Galligan says:

    Great article. I’m attempting to transfer to mineral make up and bought some Bare Minerals foundation a while ago as it was the only mineral make up I came across when out and about. Is Bare Minerals not as good as the brands listed above?
    Also I looked up the Jane Iredale website and under the Ireland location they list one address in London! Do they sell this brand in Ireland?

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Julie, I used to use Bare Minerals and loved it but now I have more training in the brands I spoke about so I have more recent information on them! Check out the IIAA stockist finder > https://www.iiaa.eu/find-a-stockist! Jane Iredale is also retailed in The Skin Nerd consult-exclusive online cosmeceutical store. x

  • I switched to mineral make up both as a consumer and as a make up artist and I can see a huge diffrence in my skin from using it as an adaption of my skin care routine. I use the bellapierre range from Biofresh and the powders are so adaptable to skin types. I find (as im particularly oily) they stay put on my face and believe me if it stays put with my oily skin it will stay put on anyone! The Glow they give to the skin is fab and it looks so flawless (fab on brides) such buildable coverage (from light to full). I made the switch well over 2 years ago and would never go back.
    G. X

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Myself and Team Nerd can testify, the Bellapierre powder is a huge hit in the office and the glow is undeniable! x

    • Sinead says:

      Where is the best place to buy? My main concern is matching my skin to the right colour. High red tones. The amount of money I have wasted on buying wrong shades😓

      • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

        Find a local Jane Iredale/Blush/Bellapierre/Fuschia stockist and get shade matched with them! To be honest, I usually have to mix more than one shade myself x

  • Emma says:

    I have dehydrated skin and recently purchased bareminerals pro liquid foundation.. I found it felt super tight on my skin (I used image skincare and spf moisturiser with hyloronic acid so it’s not my skin that feels tight) it’s like the foundation just sucked up moisture and also showed up all my fine lines… I would LOVE to try bellapierre powder but worry that a powder would also feel very dry and show up my lines which I want to avoid… I’m 29 and don’t have great skin but I’m getting there. Any tips on a powder mineral and how to make it not drying / show up fine lines?

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Emma, I find the Bellapierre powder VERRRYY hydrating and not drying at all – it is nearly more suitable for drier skins than oily skins, in my opinion. I’d recommend getting on omegas on the inside as they really aid in hydration retention in the skin x

  • Eimear says:

    Hi Jennifer I’ve recently made the switch to Jane iredale and have bought the B.B. cream and powder. Is it ok to use my normal concealer along with it? Just on problem areas? Loving it so far and it feels so light! They also recommended to get her primer for oily skin. I didn’t get it but I might, I’m just sceptical, would it be affecting my pores in a negative way? I feel like it’d have to be blocking them in some way to stop them being oily?

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Eimear – wweeehoo on making the switch! Jane Iredale primers are silicone-free and non-comedogenic and will just help the makeup sit well and stay, their primers also contain ingredients to help with oil control. If you reeeeally feel like you need to use your normal concealer with it, it is not the complete worst thing to do – how and ever, it’d be more beneficial to ditch the concealer. I know some of the girls in office deal with systemic congestion from time to time, and they would spot apply the BB cream and the powder for extra coverage on spots, for example. Undereye concealer is absolutely fine, sure, I’d use a cosmetic undereye concealer myself!!

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