HeyHazelHazel…Recently I’ve heard that silica powder, like Coastal Scent’s silica powder spheres can cause Silicosis. I thought it was the same thing as Make Up Forever’s HD powder, which is also listed it’s ingredients as 100% mineral silica powder. Are they really the same? Are either of them going to cause Silicosis if I breath them? Both of them float around in the air really easily when you open their jars.
The Right Brain replies:
For those of our readers who aren’t familiar with Silicosis, it’s a lung condition caused crystalline silica is inhaled. This chemical is toxic to the lining of the lung and causes a strong inflammatory response. Over time this inflammation causes the lung tissue to become thickened and scarred. Symptoms of Silicosis include: chronic dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping and nails with a bluish tint. But before you start thinking this blog is called the Bronchial Brains, let’s get back to cosmetics.
Fortunately for those of us who love mineral makeup, the kind of silica powder used in cosmetics is not a problem. Hydrated silica (aka silicone dioxide) is a mineral used in many mineral makeup products including Makeup Forever HD and Coastal Scents. This type of silica doesn’t react with lung tissue like the crystalline form does so these products are safe to use. As Forum member Guiness pointed out, additional information on hydrated silica can be found at Cosmeticsinfo.org. So you can stop fuming about your foundation.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
We’re glad we can help clarify the difference between confusing chemicals. There are many kinds of chemicals with similar names and sometimes it takes a chemist to really tell them apart. That’s what we’re here for!