Tuesday, August 16, 2011


In case anyone here is new and has not yet scanned my previous posts, I am a big fan of mineral makeup. It provides coverage while keeping the skin happy and matte.

I recently stumbled across an episode of Dr. Oz, and while I have the greatest respect for him having learned much via his show, he has some chutzpah to say that everyone should throw out their mineral makeups and wear liquid foundation instead.

Excuse me? Liquid foundation? If I wanted to wear liquid foundation I would wear liquid foundation, thank you! Mineral makeup is great for those with difficult or reactive skin types, and it's not so simple to find a liquid one that provides coverage, doesn't cause breakouts, and not contain "meh" ingredients. 

Why is he saying this drivel? Apparently there is some concern, or something, about the microscopic-ness of the particles. While there are no studies showing any sort of long-term lung damage as of yet, his advice is to chuck it. 

In a panic I hit the net, where I found some soothing counter-arguments. 

To make product application smoother and less obvious (think along the lines of white goopy sunscreen), companies have been shrinking the size of the particles. There are micronized particles and nanoparticles. Micron-sized particles are much larger than nano, and have been deemed okay for now, while the jury is still out regarding nano.  

While mineral makeups may have micron-sized particles, they don't necessarily have nano. 

Applying mineral makeup once daily is not the same as breathing in coal dust fumes for hours on end (comparisons were made between the two); the amounts are much, much, smaller, and one can be careful (using very small quantities, not inhaling during application).  

Be smart when applying - don't pile on mineral-drifts on the brush and get swallowed in a cloud of powder.

bareMinerals, wonderfully enough, does not use nanoparticles. I am not swearing off mineral makeup yet, but I will screen them for nanoparticles.


Anonymous said...

How do you know which makeup contains nanoparticles? I use L'Oreal Bare Naturale - does that contain?
Is there a comprehensive list somewhere?

Princess Lea said...

I did a search, and according to this page:


It does have nano particles. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Thank you for the information!
I've been using L'Oreal for so long! Do you have a suggestion of a drug store face powder that I should buy instead? (don't feel like shlepping to Sephora...) We don't have BareMinerals in my drug store. It doesn't necessarily need to be a mineral powder, it can be in cake form. I just want something that is good and won't clog my pores (I don't use any foundation, only face cream and then powder). If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate it!

Princess Lea said...

According to the same list, Neutrogena Mineral Sheers don't seem to have nano, nor does Physician's Formula Mineral Wear.

Hope this helps!

Elisheva said...

At a beauty industry event recently, I actually attended a lecture on nanoparticles in sunscreen and the potential dangers they may pose. Clearly it was a biased presenter, since he worked in the beauty industry, but the basic gist was that they have not been proven harmful. Truthfully, I think all makeup is harmful somewhat. Mineral makeup has nanoparticles, but liquid foundation has parabens and many other "bad" ingredients. My opinion is the pleasure of beautifying oneself overrides the potential harm that cosmetics and fragrances cause.

Princess Lea said...

That was one of the arguments - that liquid foundation has their own issues. But many mineral makeups have parabens as well.

I try to find paraben-free products whenever possible, and there are many companies now that formulate beauty products without them, like Tarte, Korres, and Josie Maran at Sephora.

My face creams, cleansers and such I purchase from Vitacost, which has a great selection of paraben free products.

SOME mineral makeups have nano - bareMinerals has only micronized ingredients - and no parabens. However, I'm having issues matching up skin tones with bareMinerals - I think I'm going to have to mix two colors together.