The best mineral makeup
Foundation is a makeup bag essential and a product that many of us won't leave the house without first putting on. However, many foundation formulas clog pores or contain chemicals that irritate sensitive skin. Enter mineral makeup. Often in powder form, mineral makeup provides full coverage for the face while being gentler on the skin. Its natural ingredients can even combat acne.
If you're new to mineral makeup or are looking for a better product, read this shopping guide on all you need to know before making a purchase. We've also included our top recommendations, like the Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation, which offers silky flawless coverage.
Considerations when choosing mineral makeup
What is mineral makeup?
As its name implies, mineral makeup is made from finely ground minerals like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, and talc. Loose powders are the purest form of mineral makeup and don't contain any fillers to bind the product. Mineral-based pressed powders and liquid foundations should only contain natural binders and never preservatives, parabens, and other chemicals typically found in conventional foundations and powders.
Less likely to clog pores: Because mineral makeup contains less fillers, it won't clog pores as much as traditional makeup.
Treats acne breakouts: The zinc content in mineral makeup naturally soothes and treats acne breakouts.
Natural sun protection: Mineral makeup containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide a physical barrier to UV rays, much like mineral sunscreens containing these two natural sun protectants.
Fuller longer-lasting coverage: Mineral makeup offers fuller coverage than your average foundation, so you can ditch your concealer. Also, this coverage has longer wear throughout your day.
Natural healthy-looking complexion: Not into the cakey foundation look? Mineral makeup has a lightweight appearance on the skin that doesn't cake. Instead, it'll give you a subtle healthy glow.
Nontoxic formula: Many consumers are opting for clean beauty products, ones formulated without harsh and harmful chemicals. Depending on the brand, mineral makeup is a healthier choice free of parabens, chemical dyes, and fillers.
Mineral makeup comes in three forms: loose powder, pressed powder, and liquid foundation. Some brands offer "powder foundation," which comes in a powder form but glides on like foundation. Be aware that brands offering mineral liquid foundation may contain binders and fillers, along with added minerals, so they are a less natural and less pure mineral-makeup product.
Pure mineral formulas contain only zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, mica, silica, and kaolin. Silica and kaolin can be drying for dry skin types but great for oily ones. Avoid products containing the heavy metal bismuth oxychloride if you have sensitive skin because it can cause irritation and itching.
Most mineral makeups are sold as loose powders in tub-like containers that include a sifter lid that dispenses small amounts of the powder. To avoid making a mess, we don't recommend purchasing a loose powder without a sifter. For some consumers, these products aren't convenient to take on the go, so they opt for a pressed powder that comes in a compact.
Mineral makeup ranges in price between $8 and $50. For high-quality ingredients that don't contain fillers, expect to spend at least $30 on a product.
Q. Can I use mineral makeup if I have rosacea?
A. Yes, people with rosacea often benefit from mineral makeup. Be sure to select a pure formula to avoid irritation to your skin condition.
Q. How do I apply mineral makeup?
A. Beauty experts recommend applying mineral makeup (loose and pressed forms) with a kabuki brush, which has dense short bristles that facilitate the most coverage.
Mineral makeup we recommend
Best of the best: Mineral Fusion's Pressed Powder Foundation, 0.32 ounces
Our take: A premium mineral powder that's highly pigmented to cover up skin issues.
What we like: Silky feel. Evens out skin tone, including redness and hyperpigmentation. Talc-free. Not tested on animals.
What we dislike: Shades run light, so darker skin tones may not find a match.
Best bang for your buck: Physicians Formula's Mineral Wear Talc-Free Loose Powder, 0.49 ounces
Our take: An affordable loose mineral powder that comes with a brush.
What we like: Formulated for sensitive or acne-prone skin. SPF 16. Talc- and cruelty-free. Inexpensive but boasts the quality of a $40 powder.
What we dislike: Packaging could be improved; product spills easily during use.
Our take: A reasonably priced pure loose powder that offers inclusive shades.
What we like: Free of chemicals and bismuth oxychloride. No extra ingredients, which minimizes breakouts and irritation. Includes dark shades, unlike competing brands.
What we dislike: UV protection isn't rated.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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