Why do mineral makeups irritate my skin lately?

edited January 2014 in Ask the Beauty Brains
I mentioned I had purchased a Jane Iredale mineral foundation recently.  This was after a careful try-on in the salon, as I know from recent experience that many mineral makeups lately seem to irritate my cheeks and flare up my rosacea.  I wore the JI mineral powder once for a long work day, and it didn't cause any irritation.  But I wasn't sure I was happy with the shade match.  A sales associate at JI was helpful and sent me some samples of other shades to try.  One of them was a dead-on match for my skin tone, but unfortunately, I got raw, irritated cheeks from it.  What gives?  Is there something in this shade that isn't in the others?  Did they reformulate the product?  Or has my skin decided it doesn't like this product either?  Why do mineral makeups cause irritation?  I used to be able to rely on powder foundations to NOT cause the irritation I so often get from liquid makeup.  Aargh.


  • Deep cleansing breaths, Sarah, deep cleansing breaths. 

    The allure of mineral makeup is that it contains only minerals and is therefore more "pure" and less likely to irritate the skin. That's assuming of course that the product is a true mineral makeup. Many (most?) brands end up putting other "stuff" in with the minerals. If you can post the ingredient list I'll take a look at it and see if we can figure what's up.  
  • edited January 2014
    Hi Randy,

    Thanks for calming me down lol. I have never been swayed by the supposed purity of mineral foundations per se, but powder foundations generally speaking used to work for me better than liquids, possibly because they don't have things like "chemical" sunscreens--not sure. At any rate, I think this link will take you to the ingredients for the pure pressed base, but if it doesn't, click on the ingredients tab. I am wondering if boron nitride or even mica could be the culprit? https://janeiredale.com/us/en/mineral-makeup/mineral-makeup-foundation/purepressed-base-spf-20.htm
  • Here's the full ingredient list: 
    Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 14%, Zinc Oxide 3%. Ingredients: Mica, Boron Nitride, Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Plankton Extract, Algae Extract, Pinus Strobus (Pine) Bark Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Chromium Oxide Greens.

    The boron nitride is a possible irritant as is the stearic acid. Normally stearic acid is neutralized when used in cosmetic emulsions but when used in a pressed powdered form it's not.    
  • edited January 2014
    Thanks, Randy!  Isn't it weird though that one of the shades didn't irritate me and the other did?
  • Hmmm, I missed that part. Assuming that's the only variable, have you looked at the ingredient list of the two products to see if the only difference is the colorant? 
  • They don't give separate ingredient lists for the different shades.  I wondered if maybe the samples she sent me are an older or newer formulation than the one I purchased in the full size.  The samples are like a tiny disc of pressed powder.  I could imagine that they might have spare samples from an older formulation lying around?  I don't know.
  • I guess I also wondered if this is a more widespread problem--I seem to read a lot about people finding mineral makeup itchy, irritating, or uncomfortable to wear.  I have wondered before if boron nitride was the culprit, as I've had a negative reaction to a couple of products where that was high up on the ingredients list.
  • It's certainly possible. Hopefully you can find another brand that doesn't use boron nitride in the shade you like. 
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