Is Mineral Makeup Drying?

As soon as it was introduced on the market, mineral makeup has taken the beauty world by storm. Lots of indie companies making and selling mineral makeup have appeared and even big, traditional companies like Maybelline, Elizabeth Arden and Lancome have jumped on the bandwagon and added minerals to their products.

Personally, I love pure mineral makeup (products that contain only minerals and no synthetic ingredients like silicones or preservatives). I like the idea of using products that contain fewer ingredients which are less likely to cause irritations and other negative reactions but still provide good coverage that lasts for hours.

Can mineral makeup be drying?

However, not everyone is a fan of mineral makeup. Some hate the messy factor (that powder can fly everywhere if you’re not careful!), others says it accentuates their wrinkles and dry patches and then there are those that swear that mineral makeup has dried out their skin. But mineral makeup has always been touted by everyone to be very gentle and beneficial, so you wouldn’t expect it to be drying. But it actually can be.

Mineral makeup isn’t moisturizing

You see, pure mineral makeup isn’t moisturizing. Forget all the marketing crap and promises companies make. The truth is that powders have absorbent properties, not moisturizing ones. Kaolin, Silica and Magnesium, which are just some of the minerals used in this type of cosmetics can all absorb oil and so if your skin is dry, it could dry it out even more and enhance flaking too.

The formula and your skin type matter too

Of course, that doesn’t mean that all mineral makeup products will dry your skin. That depends on the formula (some products contain powders that don’t absorb oil but of course they aren’t moisturizing either) and on your skin type. Those with dry skin may encounter this problem, while people with oily skin would benefit from its absorbing properties and if you have normal skin, then you will more than likely be able to use mineral makeup with no side effects at all.

I have combination skin with dry cheeks and a slightly oily t-zone and have used several mineral foundations, powders and blushes etc and so far, none of these products have made my skin dry. They didn’t moisturize it either, but I don’t really care about it. I apply my usual moisturizer for moisture and hydration and as long as mineral makeup doesn’t dry my skin or makes it look patchy, I don’t see any reason not to use it.

The Bottom Line

My point is that mineral makeup is not the best type of makeup out there. It’s just one of the alternatives and like every other type of product, it will work for some people but not for others. We all have different skin and we all react to the same product differently and mineral makeup ones are no exceptions and they simply won’t work for everyone.

Do you use mineral makeup?

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  1. says

    I like how you wrote about this topic. Mineral makeup is often advertised as good for every skin type, they say it adsorbs oil while moisturizes dry skin… I am always sceptical about those “great for everyone” claims.
    I agree with you, every cosmetic product cannot be perfect for anyone.
    I would like to try mineral foundation, maybe Lily Lolo ones.
    La Bisbetica´s last blog post ..Segnalazione- OPI Blogger ContestMy Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      La Bisbetica, I’m skeptical of those claims too and I don’t see how a powder can absorb oil and keep skin moisturized since it’s those oily that keep skin naturally moisturized. It’s different with creams and lotions as they contains emollients and humectants but powders don’t have those properties..

      I heard great things about Lily Lolo foundations, although I haven’t tried them yet. I love mineral makeup but, just like everything else, it just isn’t for everyone.

  2. says

    I love mineral makeup- most other makeups make my skin break out to hell. x.x My skin also fluctuates dramatically between paper-dry and super-oily, depending on the hormone levels that week. Mineral makeup, done right, can be versatile enough to wear all the time.

    It’s true that mineral makeup does not moisturize skin- silk powder can absorb and release moisture, but silk powder is expensive and is not usually added to mineral makeup. It is, however, often healthier than the random chemicals and ingredients in most makeup (although much of what is used commercially is safe in general, a lot of people experience irritation, allergies, and sometimes just get acne from their makeup).

    If you have dry skin and still want to wear mineral makeup, go ahead. The trick for people with dry skin is to use a light facial moisturizer first. I tend to use a Neutrogena day creme with an SPF, or something similar. I also have a facial sunblock from Shiseido that is amazing. ^_^ Put that on first, or mix it with a small amount of mineral makeup. On the lid, I put a small amount of mineral makeup. Then I get just a small amount of whatever moisturizer I’m using and mix them well before applying it. You can then finish it with a setting powder. I like to use a small amount of silk powder mixed with the foundation powder. Then, of course, wash and sterilize the lid. Mineral makeup doesn’t support microbes, but moisture sure does! On the days when my skin is sucking up lotions, this works for all day. And the days when my skin is super-oily, I can just pat on the powder and be good to go!

    That being said, wear whatever makeup works for you. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.
    Thurisaz Sala’il´s last blog post ..Wirewrapped Sodalite Stone Pendant 18 In ChainMy Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Thurisaz Sala’il, I’m sorry to hear that your skin is behaving so badly but glad that mineral makeup works well for you. I’m a fan of mineral makeup too but I think it is important to know that it isn’t moisturizing (of course this doesn’t automatically mean that it will dry skin) so that people know what to expect from it and decide whether it would be good for their skin type or not.

      Also, thank you for sharing the these tips. I’m sure that those with dry skin will find them very useful. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Trisha, I have had positive experiences with mineral makeup as well and I do think this type of makeup is wonderful as the products contain just a bunch of ingredients and are less likely to cause irritations. It’s just that some people buy them thinking they’ll keep their skin moisturized and are surprised when they have the opposite effect. It just depends on your skin type and whether the foundation you’re using has minerals with oil-absorbing properties or not. Most mineral foundations out there aren’t suitable for those with dry skin, but if you have another skin type, it’s unlikely mineral makeup will dry it out.

      • says

        Check your mineral makeup ingredients. My mother dropped loads of money on Bare Minerals and ID Minerals, which both contain mostly bismuth oxychloride (decidedly not healthy for most people, especially people with her skin problems), and CORN STARCH. Yep, most of ID Minerals is corn starch. Like the kind you can buy in a giant box for about $2. Decidedly not a mineral, and very much filler for the extravagant amount of money they charged her. I could have bought mica and corn starch and made her years worth of makeup for all of $15 with those same ingredients. x.x

        I have a pre-made mineral makeup from SmileJars (by pre-made, I mean that SmileJars is an outlet company for MMU indie sellers to resell under their brand, but many won’t say if they do, like Orglamix didn’t). I don’t think it’s low quality, and even when you have to purchase in bulk, it’s ridiculously cheap. A minimum order of 12 jars of my shade is about $60. My mom spent $60 on two jars of foundation powder, and it wasn’t even entirely minerals.
        Thurisaz Sala’il´s last blog post ..Wirewrapped Sodalite Stone Pendant 18 In ChainMy Profile

        • beautifulwithbrains says

          Thurisaz Sala’il, thanks for sharing. I agree that checking the ingredients is important! Some company only use a handful of ingredients that are very cheap and charge lots for the products. Even MUFE HD powder is just silica powder, yet the price tag is outrageous! And I agree that bismuth oxychloride shouldn’t really be used as it is a common allergen. I’m sorry that your mum has spent so mum has spent so much money on such products but hopefully this comment will help others.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Stavroula, I haven’t tried any mineral makeup from ELF yet, must remedy that soon. Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. says

    I agree, NO one type of makeup is the best out there as I have met some mineral makeup users who get allergic reactions to certain mineral makeup ingredients, so it’s not as TOTALLY great as advertised.

    It all depends on individual’s reaction to certain products and ingredients :)

    Nice discussion topic!

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Nikki, thanks and I agree with everything you said. I think mineral makeup is wonderful but definitely not the best and won’t work for everyone. But then nothing does. :)

  4. says

    great explanation and i know of people who swear by it but mineral makeup is just not my favorite, apart from the drying factor, it is also the mess that i can’t stand.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Xin, thanks. I love mineral makeup but I hate the messy factor too. You have to be very careful when you use mineral products and they’re not practical to travel with. And they can drying for some skin types too.

  5. says

    Casually, yesterday I was in Sephora watching for mineral makeup, because in summer I look melted if I use liquid makeup – here Madrid is the fucking Hell in summer, I promise-. I tried Bare Minerals makeup and I had to say that it’s true it has a good durability, but don’t cover as well as creamy makeup. I think it could be useful it if you dont like very charged face, just for daily use or similar, but If you need a perfect face, it just don’t works.
    I didn’t notice it dried mi T zone, wich I expected vainly :(
    Jezabel´s last blog post ..Crítica destructiva- BalmainMy Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Jezabel, I agree with you about the coverage of mineral foundations. Of course there are exceptions, but they usually provide only a lighter coverage which is perfect for summer but, unless you have perfect skin to start with, won’t give you a perfect face.

      I’m sorry you were disappointed about that. Maybe the foundation you chose doesn’t contain oil-absorbing minerals? Most do, but again there are excpetions.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      LatestGirls, I agree. Those with dry skin needs moisturizing and emollient products, not powders. Even if some powders don’t absorb oil and thus aren’t drying, they certainly aren’t moisturizing either.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Beautiful Canvas, thank you for sharing. I’ve just read your review and it sounds great for those that need a mineral foundation that doesn’t dry their skin and a light coverage.

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