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Mineral Makeup: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Apr 27, 2008
The science of makeup was a lot simpler centuries ago when it was first used. Records show that the first civilization to really implement the use of makeup as we know it today was the ancient Egyptians. Their faces were depicted with very elaborate make up and eye shadow that were used both in ceremonial occasions and simply for the attractive allure among the elite class. The derivatives were taken from the earth -- mineral makeup was the first makeup type.

Back then, the sanitary situations were a lot different. Smelling good and looking good was important even when in truth people did not have the sanitary resources like today. So makeup provided the concealment of uncleanliness and distraction from marred appearances.

Living along the Nile may have been the source for some of the mineral bases that were used. The Nile cut green pathway through the Egyptian desert that fed plant and mineral sources for such makeup bases like Ochre, Almond and oxidized metals. And since people frequented and build residences around the river, it was only natural to find such sources for such products.

The mineral makeup sources were not only for looks, but provided skin health benefits and even as a bug deterrent (it was postulated that some eye makeup deterred insects that frequented the Nile waterway and its irrigation canals).

So today's makeup industry has, in part, come full circle with makeup technology -- or rather anti-technology. Mineral make-up is sought after more so, due to cases of bad chemical reactions to synthetic makeup materials consumers who have either been affected by the side effects or have learned about them.

The Mineral Makeup Masquerade

Since the trend of mineral makeup made its gain in recent years, companies have stamped this term on their packaging ads. However, being mineral based does not necessarily mean good health. To cut costs or to make a makeup appear longer or have a lasting effect, additives are included in their ingredients.

Some additives that are not really good for the skin but are still included in a makeup ingredient list are such products like talc and preservatives. Talc is ubiquitous and is often used as a base filler to weigh down the products so it can be marked up.

Some mineral companies will claim to have natural mineral base, but simply mix that with petroleum based products. For instance the ingredient bismuth oxychloride commonly rides shotgun with proper ground minerals. However this stuff has been known to irritate the skin of acne and roseacea sufferers.
About the Author
Alice Cosmetics (http://www.alicecosmetics.com) offers fine mineral make-up products that are safe and easy to apply. Not only do they have true mineral makeup accessories, but they offer straightforward help on selecting colors and application technique. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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