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In the 1970s, the era of hippies and environmental awareness, a piece of legislation was passed in the world of beauty products which would change the way we chose what we put on our skin. This law ruled that all products must have a list of ingredients on the bottle, showing what is inside the bottle. Almost overnight, women became much more aware of the chemicals they exposed themselves to every day, and for some, it was frightening. Following this, we saw the first mineral make-up on the market.

So what is mineral make-up and why the fuss?


Mineral make-up contains minerals drawn directly from the earth. Products which are truly mineral might contain:

  • Titanium Dioxide to absorb oil and carry the other ingredients

  • Mica to give the healthy shimmer or shine to the make-up

  • Zinc Oxide to protect the skin from the sun

  • China Clay is another oil-absorber which also keeps the skin moisturised

  • Iron Oxide to provide the colour of the make-up.

The concept of mineral make up is basically: it is healthier for the skin because it doesn’t contain any nasty unnatural chemicals found in traditional products.

A lot of people who use mineral make-up do so because their skin is sensitive to fragrances or other additives which make-up commonly contains. It is also great for young skin because it doesn’t aggravate acne or spots, and is non-comedogenic (which means it doesn’t clog pores) so makes it less likely you’ll get spots.

Sounds amazing, let me at it!

Hold your horses – it’s not all good! The most important thing to be aware of with mineral make-up is that there are no regulations about what can and cannot be marketed as mineral. So you need to be a bit savvy when you go to pick out a product; don’t just trust that something is really a mineral product because it calls itself one! Before you buy, take a quick look at the ingredients list on the bottle. A mineral make-up product should NOT contain:

  • Parabens (i.e. preservatives). Bacteria can’t survive in minerals so mineral make-up shouldn’t need Parabens!

  • Fragrance

  • Synthetic dyes. Anything synthetic means unnatural, which means NOT mineral!

If in doubt, go for some trusted brands like Bare Escentuals/Bare Minerals; Neutrogena Mineral Sheers or L’Oreal Bare Naturale.

So is mineral make-up all it’s hyped up to be?

There’s no doubt that mineral make-up is better for your skin than traditional make-up products. It’s recommended by dermatologists as a healthier alternative for people who have just had cosmetic surgery, but they do remind us that a much healthier option is to go bare faced every once in a while!

However if you really want to get the benefits of mineral make-up, you need to be prepared to spend a bit longer looking around for a product you can trust. A mineral foundation should be a staple item in every girl’s make-up collection, particularly if your skin is prone to spots or other irritations.

(And here’s a few products Her Campus have scouted out!)

Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation (SPF 15), £12.49.

It’s usual for mineral foundations to have an SPF of at least 15. Apply with a Kabuki brush for best results. Buy here: http://www.lilylolo.co.uk/sp+mineral-foundation+001

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, £21.00 – this is a low coverage powder. Use on top of your foundation to set and stop any running. Buy here: http://www.maccosmetics.co.uk/product/shaded/159/1343/Mineralize-Skinfinish-Natural/index.tmpl

L’Oreal Paris True Match  Minerals Foundation, £14.99.

Renowned for giving natural, even coverage. Buy here: http://www.boots.com/en/LOreal-Paris-True-Match-Minerals-Foundation_44959/

Prestige Skin Loving Minerals Lasting Moisture Lip Gloss, £1.74.

Super cheap and with great reviews this lip gloss is available in a range of shades and is brilliant for dry lips. Buy here: http://www.boots.com/en/Prestige-Skin-Loving-Minerals-Lasting-Moisture-Lip-Gloss_1128200/

No7 Mineral Perfection Loose Powder Blusher, £9.00.

This powder contains precious gemstone pigments which give it a gorgeous shimmer. Buy here: http://www.boots.com/en/No7-Mineral-Perfection-Loose-Powder-Blusher_1273437/


Sam is a Third Year at the University of Nottingham, England and Campus Correspondent for HC Nottingham. She is studying English and would love a career in journalism or marketing (to name two very broad industries). But for now, her favourite pastimes include nightclubs, ebay, cooking, reading, hunting down new music, watching thought-provoking films, chatting, and attempting to find a sport/workout regime that she enjoys!  
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