I don’t often use foundation for my face, but on special occasions, I feel like using some. So I wanted to have some on hand for those occasions, and I contacted a few companies before making my final selection among the safer mineral makeup foundation products available today.
Let’s dispel marketing claims
First of all, let me dispel some marketing claims for you and tell you that there is no such thing as “organic” or absolutely safe makeup. However, we certainly can take steps to reduce exposure to toxicants commonly found in makeup.
Petroleum versus mineral makeup
There are two types of makeup: petroleum-based and mineral makeup. Both might have traces of heavy metals; but from specifications detailed by the FDA in 21 CFR 74, generally petroleum-based color additives have higher limits for lead, arsenic, and mercury. For example, lead limit is doubled for many petroleum-based dyes, 20 ppm versus 10 ppm for mineral pigments.
In addition, petroleum-based dyes have other contaminants specific to petroleum including benzo[a]pyrene, PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), and brominated resorcinol. Some of these contaminants are human carcinogens.
Thus, as always and in this case, I recommend staying away from petroleum-based products. Unfortunately, while mineral makeup is a better choice, it still contains traces of heavy metals.
So how do heavy metals end up in mineral makeup?
The raw materials of mineral makeup such as iron ore are mined from the earth. When they are mined, it is inevitable that other minerals such as lead will be part of that process.
In the lab, raw materials are purified and synthesized into cosmetic grade pigments. During that process, the amounts of contaminants are reduced, but they are not completely removed. While the amounts left are tiny, heavy metals accumulate in the body adding to toxic burden over time.
What can we do as consumers?
- Choose mineral makeup versus petroleum.
- Buy mineral makeup from companies you trust that source their mineral pigments from reputable suppliers, preferably not from China.
- Do not use powdered makeup as you might inhale airborne particles of makeup.
- Consider not wearing makeup or reduce frequency of wear.
Mineral makeup foundation I chose
As you might remember, I use and recommend Annmarie facial oils (to read more about them, visit here). I have been in touch with them for some time now and find that the people of this company are genuinely interested in making a difference and providing us with the safest skin care products and cosmetics.
They even went above and beyond, supplying me with mineral pigment documentation that satisfied me that the levels of heavy metal contaminants are consistent with the levels stated in the FDA’s specifications.
I also like that Annmarie mineral makeup has nothing other than mineral pigment ingredients, which include titanium dioxide, mica, zinc oxide, and iron oxide. It is challenging to avoid other common fillers commonly found in mineral-based makeup.
I love the way they sell their mineral makeup foundation. Basically, they allow you to “try before you buy.” For only $20 (with no shipping charge), you will receive 8 shades of mineral makeup foundation and a small bottle of facial oil. Please see the picture on the left.
This was very helpful for me. Since I have not used a mineral makeup foundation in a long time, I had no idea what shade I needed.
The amounts of each mineral makeup are generous. I quickly determined my shade and I have used that particular bottle 5 times and expect that I can probably use it at least 10 times more before I run out.
This is how Annmarie mineral makeup foundation works
Simply tap less than a pea-sized amount of the powder in the palm of your hand and add 2 drops of facial oil, mix them and apply to your face. The more of mineral makeup you put, the more coverage you have. And if you want just a tad of coverage, apply mostly oil. You can mix and match different shades to create your own. The idea here is to provide you with control over the color and type of coverage you want to achieve. And this idea is very well executed!
The mineral makeup brightens my complexion and shaves off a few more years from the age stated on my driver’s license.
And lastly, your mineral makeup foundation sample kit comes with a $10 gift certificate towards your future purchases, so then you can decide which shade to which you want to commit.
Where to buy the mineral makeup sample kit
I hope you get to try it if you use makeup. And if you do not use makeup, congratulations on freedom from vanity!
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