When mineral make-up first appeared on the market, it seemed like a dream come true for many women: safe, natural (and natural-looking) make-up that could actually be good for your skin!

I switched over to mineral make-up myself in 2005, and have been a die-hard fan ever since.  I don’t wear make-up every day, but when I do, I love knowing that my make-up is non-toxic and natural.

Dangers in Mineral Make-up?

You may have heard that not too long ago, Dr. Oz talked about the most dangerous beauty products on the market, and mineral make-up was the first thing on his list. Women everywhere were astounded and disappointed, myself included.  So, I decided to do some more research.

Dr. Oz said that loose powder mineral make-up is dangerous because when it is applied, it can be inhaled and will settle in the lungs, leading to irritation, inflammation, and long-term problems such as lung disease.

It turns out the most important distinction in this case is whether or not the mineral make-up contains nano-particles. Nano-particles are extremely tiny, and not all mineral make-up contains them; some brands do, and some don’t.  The nano-particles are what create the biggest risk for the lungs, so each woman will need to research whether the brand she uses contains nanos.  Nanos are dangerous because they are so small, and research indicates that they can pass through the skin, enter the blood stream, penetrate the blood-brain barrier, and even create free radicals that will damage our actual DNA.

Dr. Oz recommended using a liquid foundation instead of a loose powder, or at the very least, a pressed powder.  However, many brands of liquid foundations and pressed powders contain plenty of toxic ingredients, parabens, phthalates, fragrances, and other ingredients to avoid.  So, what is the best answer?

Photo by yasmin

Here are a few things to remember:

• Be aware that nano-particles can be found not only in loose powder mineral make-ups, but also in pressed powders and liquid foundations.  They are not exclusive to loose powders only, and can enter through the skin surface just as easily as through the inhalation of powder.
• A loose powder mineral make-up without nano-particles is probably just fine. Use the minimal amount necessary, and try not to breathe in while applying it.
• Mineral make-up without nano-particles is also available in pressed and liquid forms, depending on the brand.  These may be better choices, especially if you have a history of lung problems, asthma, and allergies.

I hope this helps clear up some of the questions you may have about mineral make-up. Personally, I will continue using my loose powder mineral make-up; it doesn’t contain nano-particles, and I don’t put it on very often – so if it ain’t broke, I ain’t gonna fix it!

What was your response to this information from the Dr. Oz episode?  Have you become nervous about using loose powder mineral make-up?