Although mineral makeup may be the new rage, it is actually not new. Women and men have been adorning their bodies with "earth colors" since ancient times. Recently, conventional methods have led to the development cosmetics that are less than natural and chock-full of chemicals and sometimes even carcinogenic, ingredients. Mineral makeup is an attempt to get back to basics, using naturally occurring minerals which are ground to a fine powder, as the base for the makeup.
Many different companies have developed their own lines, including Sephora, Jane Iredale, BareMinerals, SheerCover, PurMinerals, and more. Each one has formulated its own bases, although most are similar in their composition. Prices, however do vary, frequently increasing depending on the name on the label.
While the same base minerals make up the bulk of the product, other minerals, pigments, and dyes are added that make the products different. With more and people becoming aware of the negative outcomes of using chemicals on their skin, natural mineral cosmetics are the newest craze in the cosmetic market. These cosmetics offer a chemical-free option in the area of make-up and thus are appropriate for anyone regardless of any skin conditions the person may have.
As beauty legend has it, it was the mid-1970s, in the aftermath of the frenzied Haight-Ashbury love-ins of San Francisco, that a quiet, little cosmetic revolution was born. It was called "mineral makeup" - products made of all natural, finely ground minerals from the earth, without any of the chemicals, dyes, and preservatives found in traditional makeup. Fast-forward some 30 years: Mineral makeup is virtually exploding the beauty market. "This is an extremely popular style of makeup - and it's something that a lot of my patients use and love, and I use it myself. It's also the product most patients ask about," says Kathryn Frew, MD, a dermatologist at Juva Skin and Laser Center and MediSpa in New York City. And while mineral makeup comes in a variety of forms - and at prices ranging from less than $10 to more than $50 per product - undoubtedly the most popular in all price ranges are the loose powder foundations and blushes. These are light, finely ground loose minerals that are buffed into the skin using a wide, fluffy brush. But does "natural," "mineral," and "from the earth" really equal better? WebMD discovered the answer has a lot of qualifying factors - and some vastly differing opinions.