Is mineral makeup better for your skin?

Kim’s Query: Is mineral makeup better for your skin than other foundations? Also, some of them say they have SPF 15. How much of the makeup would you have to use to actually get this level of protection?

The Right Brain’s Response: Kim, we’re not sure if you’re referring to powder or liquid foundations, so we’ll try to address both. Let’s start by pointing out that most, if not all foundations COULD call themselves mineral products because most of them already use mineral ingredients. Most foundations use one or more of the following:

  • Talc
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Iron oxides
  • Mica
  • Silica

These can all be considered minerals in the broad sense, even though they aren’t strictly “mineral”. Some of these ingredients, like the iron oxides, impart color. Others, like the titanium dioxide, help cover up your skin. But there’s nothing magical that happens just because the products contain minerals; basically, that’s just hype from the cosmetic companies.

You also asked about SPF (or Sun Protection Factor) and how much make up you’d have to apply to get an effect. You can, and should, protect your face from UV radiation and using your foundation to boost that protection is perfectly reasonable. But, sunscreens need to be applied in a fairly thick layer in order to work properly. So, if you’re just dusting on a little powdered foundation color, we doubt you`re getting very good coverage. Liquid foundation can give you good protection, IF you apply it ALL over your face. If you don’t apply foundation to your ears, for example, they’ll still burn!