What’s The Best Mineral Makeup?
Without exception I always recommend clients switch to mineral makeup. Especially if they’re seeing me for a particular skin issue. Which most clients are. Guaranteed clients will ask me “what’s the best mineral makeup?”, so I figured its about time I compiled a list of brands to recommend.
There are definitely lots of brands available. Compared to say 10-15 years ago when only BareMinerals (then BareEscentuals) was really known of. Determining which is the best mineral makeup brand for you, may depend on budget, skin tone and skin sensitivity.
It’s worth adding at this point, some mineral makeup brands are considered a little more ‘pure’ than others. Some brands are bending the definition of ‘mineral makeup’, by adding other ingredients to the formulation. This may not necessarily be a bad thing of course. It all depends on what else is being added and why.
Why Mineral Makeup Is Better For Your Skin
Before I jump into the best mineral makeup brands and my recommendations, let’s first discuss why I prefer that clients switch to mineral foundation.
Mineral makeup was originally formulated to be safe to use post-procedure i.e. following a chemical peel or laser resurfacing. Mineral makeup is naturally antibacterial, so ideal for use after the skin is compromised or sensitised following treatment. Arguably most importantly, mineral makeup remains on the surface of the skin and isn’t absorbed into the skin like liquid foundations. This is important because anything that is applied to the skin following treatment will have an increased absorption, compared to a non-compromised skin. Anything that penetrates the skin can affect it’s ability to heal and recover. So applying liquid makeup within 48 hours of treatment can cause issues, compared to a mineral makeup which is safe to apply within 6 hours or even immediately after (depending on the treatment).
It’s not all about post-treatment though. Mineral foundation is best for all skins, but especially problematic skin such as acne or rosacea. Due to its non-irritating, non-comedogenic and antibacterial properties. Even for non-problematic skin, I believe using mineral makeup is best for daily use. Anything that occludes the skin or causes surface irritation (like many foundations can, for example), will degrade the skins natural barrier function over time.
Another bonus with mineral makeup is because it’s contain Titanium Dioxide and / or Zinc Oxide, you get the added benefits of additional sun protection. Note: I say “added benefits of additional sun protection”. It is not an excuse to skip the sunscreen. Mineral makeup alone is NOT enough to protect your skin regardless of the SPF rating. It’s a bonus to, not a replacement for, a dedicate sunscreen product.
Bismuth Oxychloride – Is It Safe? When To Avoid It?
There is a particular ingredient added to some mineral makeup formulations that is a cause for concern by some people. Bismuth Oxychloride is a synthetically-prepared powder created from bismuth, oxygen and chlorine. It’s added to makeup for its abilities to create a shimmery look and silky feel the skin.
Bismuth oxychloride is considered a ‘safe’ ingredient, however in high concentrations it has been found to be irritating and has been linked to cystic acne. So if you have a sensitive, reactive or acne-prone skin then best to choose a formulation that is free-free Bismuth Oxychloride.
Best Mineral Makeup For Problem Skin
Now we’ve got the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ covered, let’s move on to the ‘who’. Below are a list of the best mineral makeup brands / products that I recommend to clients with an overview of the pros and cons, plus where to buy it.
BareMinerals Matte Foundation SPF15
The original makers of mineral makeup and market leaders. I always recommend the Matte Foundation SPF15 as it’s free-from Bismuth Oxychloride (unlike the original formulation). So tends to suit my sensitive skin clients a bit better. They also have a new Blemish Remedy which I’d describe as a mineral hybrid as contains other ingredients including Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree. I wouldn’t generally recommend this to clients undergoing treatment, as the additional ingredients may be irritating.
How Much: RRP £26.50 for 6g / £4.42 per gram
Where From: Available online and in department stores.
Pros: Great colour and tone range so suits clients of all skin types and ethnicities. Popular and well known brand so easy to buy online and in-store.
Cons: Loose powder, so some clients find it messy. Some reviews online report that it can look a bit cakey.
Osmosis Colour Pressed Base
This is the newest range of mineral makeup introduced to me and made by the same makers as Osmosis skincare which I use in treatment. Formulated for all skin types, the Osmosis Colour Pressed Base provides a flawless and seamless, semi-matte finish with long-lasting coverage. Provides additional SPF25 plus contains ingredients such as Vitamin A, C & E and antioxidants such as Green Tea Extract.
How Much: RRP £48 for 9.6g / £5 per gram
Where From: Professional-Only – Available in UK through Osmosis stockists only.
Pros: Gluten-free, Vegan and Oncology Friendly. Free-From Bismuth Oxychloride so suitable for all skin types. Specifically designed to compliment Osmosis skincare and support skin repair. Pressed base so easy to use and portable. Higher than average Zinc Oxide based SPF.
Cons: Not as an extensive colour range although do have fair and deeper shades available. Only sold through professionals – not readily available as other brands. A little more pricey that some ranges, but you get a larger size and additional ingredients.
Visit Osmosis Colour
Inika Loose Mineral Foundation SPF25
Inika mineral makeup is an Australian brand and can be considered more of a pure mineral range. It’s free-from Bismuth Oxychloride so again, suitable for sensitive and problematic skins. It’s 100% certified organic and doesn’t include any fillers / binders etc. They also make a pressed powder, but the reason I recommend the loose version is because of the high SPF25. There is no mention of SPF rating on the pressed version (doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide protection, it’s just listed).
How Much: RRP £27.50 for 8g / £3.44 per gram
Where From: Available online and organic beauty stores.
Pros: 100% organic and free-from Bismuth Oxychloride. Good finish. Better than average SPF rating. Ideal for sensitive and problematic skins.
Cons: Limited colour and tone range. Not suitable for Asian, Indian or Black skins.
Jane Iredale PurePressed Base SPF20
Jane Iredale is a range I’ve heard great things from other Facialist’s so thought would include it here. It’s a pressed foundation and provides SPF20. Plus it contains additional antioxidants including Pomegranate Extract and Pine Bark Extract. It appears to have an extensive colour range too, so suitable for all skin types. You also buy the compact and refills separately, so could work out cheaper in long term.
How Much: RRP £33 for 9.9g plus £12 for the compact / £4.55 per gram initially then £3.33 per gram for the refill.
Where From: Available online and through Jane Iredale authorised stockists.
Pros: Free-from Bismuth Oxychloride. Ideal for sensitive and problematic skins. Good colour range. Added antioxidants. Could work out affordable as long as your don’t break the compact.
Cons: Only sold online and through professional stockists.
English Mineral Makeup SPF15
This brand was introduced to me and came highly recommended by makeup artist Karla Powell. The brands ethos and approach is very similar to Inika. The brand is 100% organic and a ‘pure’ mineral makeup range, with nothing else added. It’s also free-from Bismuth Oxychloride and nano-particles. The bonus with the English Mineral Makeup brand is that it has a much more extensive colour range. With 31 colours in total, including 6 tones and 4-5 colours within each tone.
How Much: RRP £37 for 10g / £3.70 per gram
Where From: Only available online.
Pros: Free-from Bismuth Oxychloride so ideal for sensitive and problematic skins. Great colour range. Sample sizes available to try before you buy.
Cons: Only sold online but they do have samples available. Loose powder so could be messy.
Visit English Mineral Makeup