Why Make the Switch to Mineral-Based Products?
As our society and technology evolves, we are learning more and more about how chemicals can affect our bodies. And in the midst of learning exactly how many chemicals are involved in just about every daily household and beauty product we use, the idea of mineral-based products can seem like much-needed miracle. Furthermore, many companies claim certain health benefits to using these products, encouraging us to make the switch.
But, is it all just hype?
Are Minerals Natural?
While the idea of using minerals in many of our products may seem like the perfect alternative to cleaners and makeups crammed with chemicals, these minerals may not be quite as “natural” as we think. It is true that minerals are chemical compounds that occur naturally on the Earth, however, some of these minerals actually contain small amounts of toxins. These toxins must be removed through chemical processing, making some of these mineral products a bit less than the ideal version of natural.
Yet, companies who create mineral-based makeups have often touted their products as natural alternatives to the standard makeup found behind the counter. Are they trying to pull the wool over our eyes to push a certain product? The answer is a little complicated. Although the minerals used in these products are found in nature and finely ground, they should not be confused with organic products. Inorganic materials cannot be absorbed by the skin, meaning you could be missing out on some of the beneficial ingredients in your makeup and skincare. Organic products are not only more effective for the body and the skin, they are better for the environment.
So, while mineral-based products may be a better alternative to those that are more chemically-based, they cannot be organic at the same time—meaning we may be missing out on the healing properties of those expensive ingredients, like soothing rose oil and healing helichrysum.
Chemist and author Perry Romanowski suggests that we’ve been duped, saying “all makeup is mineral makeup.” He goes on, suggesting, “You’ll find the same ingredients—titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mica, and iron oxides—in conventional products.” Romanowski ponders on the existence of a zinc oxide mine, claiming, “It doesn’t exist. Zinc oxide is synthesized in the lab.”
As if that doesn’t seem unnatural enough, stopping to consider the actual minerals that these ingredients are sourced from may have you rethinking this trend. Titanium oxide, a common ingredient in many makeups and household products, like sunscreen, originates from titanium. While titanium is a naturally occurring mineral, the sound of slathering metals on your skin might not sound that inviting.
An additional point to consider is the issue of transparency with products that are claimed to be mineral-cased. Any product with a mineral base can be labelled as such, despite any harsh chemicals it may contain. Unfortunately, some companies are more concerned with selling their goods than considering what is good for their customer or being honest about the nature of the goods they produce.
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Ingredients to Avoid:
When it comes to your health, it is worth it to take an extra minute to examine the ingredients of the products you put on your body and keep in your home. The following ingredients indicate that a product is probably not as natural or beneficial as its creators may claim.
Often found in body colognes, perfumes, soaps and cosmetics, this ingredient is a preservative that has been linked to irritated skin and eczema. A true mineral makeup has no need for preservatives, meaning this ingredient should never be added to a genuine mineral cosmetic. Therefore, think twice about the true nature of any product that contains phenoxyethanol.
Everyone loves the slick, satiny feel of certain products, like frizz tamers and makeup priming gels, but sometimes that smooth feel comes from an ingredient that is not-so-great for the skin, which is silicone. In cosmetics, these ingredients are usually referred to as dimethicone and cyclomethicone, and they come from the siloxane family. If used over a long period of time, silicones can trap bad things, like sebum and bacteria, in your skin.
This is an ingredient found commonly in cosmetics, and it is technically a mineral. Bismuth oxychloride is a metal, however, that may irritate the skin. It is most frequently found in products that claim to have a matte finish, or those with a bit of glimmer.
Talc is a mineral found in many types of powders, from baby powders to powder makeup.
Talc is easily inhaled and can cause lung irritation. Traces of talc have also been found on victims of lung and ovarian cancer.
The Naked Truth
If you’re feeling disillusioned by your cosmetic and skincare products, it may be time to make an overhaul.
When it comes to makeup, try to see your natural beauty. Maybe you don’t need as many products as you initially thought. With skincare, try to treat your body to natural, organic ingredients that will nourish the skin, rather than smother it.
You deserve to know what you are putting on your body, and whether a product’s claims are genuine.
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