Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide Makeup Sturgeon Bay WI
Menomonee Falls, WI
Sturgeon Bay, WI
Silver Lake, WI
Mining for Makeup
By Melissa B. Williams
Next time you commune with nature, check out her color scheme. The earth sparkles with myriad hues, ranging from reds, browns, and tans to blues, greens, and violets, So, why do we women look to chemically derived makeup to add color to our complexion? Turn to the earth instead, where color glistens in abundance.
The colors found in mineral makeup come from micronized minerals as opposed to dyes. “Conventional makeup is composed of 10 percent or less pigment,” says Jane Iredale, the founder of an eponymous line of mineral makeup, “the rest is fillers, preservatives, and other ingredients that sensitize the skin.”
In addition to color, mineral makeup’s main ingredients—zinc oxide and titanium dioxide—create a natural sunscreen for the skin. However, while most mineral makeup lines emphasize their SPFs, which range from 17 to 20, Jeanette Jacknin, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and author of Smart Medicine for the Skin (Avery, 2001), advises against relying solely on makeup as sunblock, noting that too much SPF works better than not enough. Zinc oxide’s champions also tout its anti-inflammatory benefit. Diane Ranger, the founder of Colorescience, adds that, “titanium dioxide and iron oxides help keep the skin cool, which promotes the healing process.”
However, a new wrinkle to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide’s safety has surfaced—nanotechnology. Some companies, such as Colorescience and many of the more conventional cosmetic brands, believe that nano-sized dioxides and oxides are more easily absorbed into the skin than the micronized versions. Some critics suggest that the nanoparticles may actually produce free radicals that can damage the DNA of the skin’s cells, but so far no studies have shown any evidence of that. Several mineral makeup companies, however, have opted not to adopt the technology until they find more evidence of its safety.
Nano controversy aside, mineral makeup lines not only pride themselves on their key ingredients, they also highlight another aspect of their lines. “Mineral makeup is just as much about what is not in the formula as what is,” says Ranger, who also founded Bare Escentuals in 1976. High-quality mineral makeup forswears the use of perfumes, talc, dyes, and alcohols, all of which can potentially irritate the skin and cause acne.
Jacknin also adds coal tar, petrochemicals, preservatives, and aluminum to the list of potentially irritating ingredients, noting that mineral makeup suits sensitive, acne-prone skin, “because the microscopic crystals of makeup overlap, allowing the skin to breathe and the pores to stay unclogged.” Iredale agrees, noting that talc, absent in mineral makeup, can dry out and even irritate the skin. Shanon Hoffman, a magazine publisher in Washington, DC, relies on mineral makeup to even out her hyperpigmented complexion. “Plus,” she adds, “it feels good to put product on my face that I know is all natural.”
A desire to feel good about what they put o...
Author: Melissa B. Williams
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