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The skin health benefits of mineral make-up

WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Mineral make-up has been around for decades but these days with more women looking for natural products it’s never been more popular.

Some dermatologists recommend mineral make-up because it’s free of chemicals and additives which can cause skin irritation.

Mineral make-up products are readily available on the high street at very reasonable prices but do they really help your skin?

What is mineral make-up?

Mineral make-up is made up of minerals such as iron oxides, talc, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They are ground and milled or broken into very tiny particles to create the make-up.

Traditional make up uses preservatives like parabens, chemical dyes and fragrances. Mineral make-up leaves these out.

But does mineral make-up benefit skin?

Mineral make-up is not a miracle replacement for anti- ageing serum, moisturiser and spot cream but it does have skin care benefits.

It’s often recommended for sensitive skin as it has fewer potential irritants and is soothing to the skin.

Some cosmetic surgeons will only let their patients use mineral make-up after surgery as it’s free of irritants.

"Mineral make-up usually contains fewer ingredients and because of this," says Hermione Lawson from the British Skin Foundation. "It may be less likely to aggravate sensitive skin including conditions such as rosacea."

Help for acne and spots

Some acne sufferers and people who are prone to spot breakouts say mineral make up has improved their skin condition.

Susan Docherty is the owner of Sephora Health and Beauty in Glasgow and a member of the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology.

"As a beauty therapist and a past sufferer of adult acne I have tried and tested several dozen foundations. It was very important for me to use not only the right product for myself but for my clients."

She goes on, "Mineral make-up was by far the best product to use. Containing only natural minerals, the benefit for the health of your skin is immense."

She says the makeup contains no oils, fragrance or preservatives to cause irritation or to aggravate acne-prone skin.

Hermione says: "Certain individuals may also prefer to use mineral make-up as it is non-comedogenic, which means it does not clog pores and may therefore be more suitable for acne prone skin."

Sarah Matthews, who runs Essential Therapies in Grimsby, agrees. She says, "The main benefit to me and my customers is that mineral make up is non comedogenic and oil free so it doesn’t block the pores and cause breakouts and blackheads on the skin."

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