bare minerals – product week

natural makeup is hard to come by and EXPENSIVE most of the time.

i remember seeing countless commercials and ads for bare minerals awhile back. i’m not sure if it’s still all the rage now, as i’m out of the makeup world, but i thought i’d touch on the company’s products a bit.

and sorry for the lack of pictures to go with the review. i’ve been away from home quite a bit lately. but believe me, i always think of y’all! product week will be intermittent, and will be spread to featuring various brands throughout the weeks between other posts. how does that sound??

BARE MINERALS

yes, the commonly known brand! let’s set a couple things straight first – they are not organic & they aren’t all-natural.

since they have so many products, i sifted through common ingredients they use that you want to avoid.

so let’s get to specifics with ingredients:

  • silicones – silicones (like on hair) create a barrier on the skin when in makeup. this keeps in any sebum, dirt and bacteria that may already be on your skin. therefore, once your skin is irritated, it will breakout. aka, silicones in makeup can lead to increased breakouts! it can also flare up eczema.
  • nano powders – (aluminum, copper, bronze, etc) sadly until they change their formulas, this includes ALL of their powder products. yes, ALL. “nano” is basically just a fancy way of saying the particles in the powders (iron oxides, etc.) are small enough to pass right through your skin, and directly into your bloodstream. think about that for a second… it’s terrifying!
  • bismuth oxychloride – it makes the makeup shiny and silky (think iridescent eyeshadows/bronzers/etc), and can make your face itchy, red, and irritated. i know my face gets this hot, itchy feeling, accompanied with red blotches when i used makeup containing it. using makeup with this ingredient is dependent upon the person and how sensitive your skin is, but why risk it? leave it out!
  • limonene - once this stuff hits air and sunlight, it oxidizes and becomes a skin and respiratory system irritant. CosIng and the International Fragrance Association Codes & Standards state it should be banned in cosmetics. the  EU has already banned it.
  • ferric ammonium ferrocyanide – this little colorant is an organ system toxin. aaand if it’s in anything other than lip products, it’s technically against the law, as per the FDA! so i’m still scratching my head as to why it’s in BM’s eyeshadows…
  • benzyl benzoate – used as a preservative. it’s restricted in cosmetics by CosIng, recommended restriction by the IFACS, and banned in the EU, all acknowledging it as a human immune system toxicant and allergen.
  • benzyl salicylate – this guy is a fragrance ingredient and UV absorber. it’s banned by the EU as a human immune system toxicant and allergen, as well as restricted in cosmetics by CosIng, and recommended restriction by the IFACS.

the nano particles are enough all on their own to ensure this stuff never goes near my body.

what do you guys think??

as always, do your research :) you can’t just trust labels, as we’ve seen!

i have a whole slew of brands to review, so keep your suggestions comin!

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33 comments

    1. Emani! It does have the whole nano particle issue but, honestly, I haven’t found a natural makeup that stays on better and covers better.

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    2. Candice, you should really look into alima pure makeup! alimapure.com. Their products are very natural, and you can even take a little quiz to help you determine your shade. Their samples are also pretty cheap, so you can sample a bunch of their stuff before buying a full size!

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  1. Oh my goodness, I used Bare Minerals for about 6 months and at first it was great besides the fact that my face would itch when I would start to perspire. But one day my skin broke out in little bumps all over my face and they wouldn’t go away. I started researching every ingredient in B.M. and discovered that it was the bismuth oxychloride. I switched makeups immediately and my skin recovered from the bumps. Ever since then, I’ve avoided makeup containing that stuff. I also found out that bismuth oxychloride is in the same family as arsenic. Scary!

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  2. Are you familiar with any safe and crunchy makeup brands? I wish I could be makeup-free right now, but sadly I can’t… yet. ;)

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      1. Great! Thanks! I just put in an order for a bunch of samples of Cowgirl Dirt. $0.99 for each sample is such a great deal. I was also pumped to see that it’s made in Montana, right in my backyard. :)

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  3. I’m thinking you may be confusing nano and non-nano? nano particles are the tiny ones that can pass through the bodies barriers into the hair skin etc. I have super sensitive skin, and bare minerals is the only make-up i can wear that doesn’t bother it because it doesn’t soak into my pores

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    1. I would also LOVE if you could do a review on Lush. I have been faithfully using the no poo method and ROM for about a year now, but it just isn’t for me. The problem I have with Lush is that they use SLS in every one of their shampoos. I talked with the associates in store, and she assured me they were made from coconuts and not silicones and such, but I am trying to avoid chemicals at all costs. Thanks so much for this, I love your blog and check it everyday for a new post!!

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  4. I just wanted to share my experience with bare minerals. I noticed soon after I started using it that I was getting headaches every afternoon around the same time. I would also feel warm and flushed. I thought it must be hormones or maybe my blood pressure was up, although I never had that problem before. One day I got my blood pressure checked at work (I’m a nurse) and it was much higher than normal, it’s usually on the lower side. I had finally decided that something was definitely wrong and I was going to see a doctor. Then I happened to read somewhere that non-nano particles can cause headaches. I then remembered reading on this site that bare minerals has non-nano particles. I then put it all together and stopped using it right away. The headaches stopped immediately and I haven’t had a problem with headaches or my blood pressure since. I think it’s really scary that makeup could do that to my body! Who knows what kind of damage it could have done if I had kept using it!

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  5. It’s really informative and great reading all of these reviews. ….but then it leads to the question of what can we ACTUALLY wear that isn’t laden with chemicals and banned substances? >.< Make-up is something I haven't gone all-natural or homemade (yet) due to initial costs (and wanting to use up what I already have), but I would like to eventually. What would you suggest for us ladies out there wanting to be more natural in our make-up products?? ^.^

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  6. How about Tarte? I’d love to hear what you’ve found about them. I still haven’t found a replacement for my bare minerals blush but I’m more motivated now after reading this.

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  7. I’ve never used Bare Minerals, but I have been using Pur. I was assured it’s just minerals. However, after reading this review I’m not so sure. I’ll have to dig a little deeper. Have you heard anything about this brand? :-)

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  8. I have recently started using “The All natural face” mineral foundation and other makeup products. I couldn’t really find much info on the ingredients in their products on ewg, but they keep it simple.

    Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide(sunscreens), Boron Nitride(mineral), Oxides(for color)

    Are these safe?

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  9. Alima Pure is the best!! They have amazing colors for eye makeup. And they don’t test on animals either… Which is one of my own personal problems (in addition to chemicals) with a lot of makeup, including bare minerals.
    I’m also a big fan of 100% Pure. They have a great mascara and amazing colors for eye make up too. I don’t use powders or foundations, but they have them.

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  10. What about Tarte products? I’m getting a little bit crunchier every year it seems. Went low poo (using shea moisture) and stopped using hair gels thanks to you!

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  11. I purchased mineral (not the same brand) cosmetics that are said to be pure minerals and more useful than harmful to skin.. By now I have used about half and they are absolutely better alternative to any other cheap conventional brand so to say.. and I adore those, they make me pretty:D but I’m terrified to go and check the ingredients after this post. Knowledge is a burden, it’s just overwhelming how much I have learnt about food and cosmetics and how many of those I just can not use anymore.. because they frighten me! But I really-really should check.. :/

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  12. It’s amazing how misleading advertisements are! “So pure you can sleep in it!”…. Uh, I would say NOT! I never noticed bare minerals to make my skin any better as the commercials say it will but I’ve never noticed it to be any worse, either. Needless to say, I’m never using it again. I’m officially a cowgirl dirt lover now thanks to you :)

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  13. Alex recommends cowgirl dirt in one of her posts and it is absolutely wonderful!! I love the foundations which actually match my skin tone perfectly, which is a big plus since I’m so pale! They have a ton of eyeshadow colors and I love their lip glosses. I used to have very sensitive skin but since I’ve been following Alex and using this makeup my skin is looking better than ever!!!

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  14. I like your review but i have to correct something. I live in sweden, a part of EU, and limonene and benzyl benzoate is not banned. I prefer natural products without them, but they’re not banned at all. They’re pretty common, especially limonene.

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    1. hmm, interesting. i even double checked the COSIng website and limonene is listed under the “List of Perfumery Materials which must not form part of Cosmetic Products,” meaning it can’t be in products for scent. you can search the database here :) maybe the products you’ve seen it in aren’t produced in the EU..?

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      1. I looked at the database now. I really dont know how to explain that. In the eu, all of the ingredients always have to be declared. Exception: perfume. Exception again: the 26 most dangerous perfumes. Limonene is one of them. So limonene is always declared on the product. Examples of brands using limonene: Weleda, Madara, Urtekram. It’s a really common ingredient, really. I’m really surprised some would say its banned.

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  15. The ingredients in my foundation are: mica, magnesium myristate, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, silica, allatoin, silk powder, iron oxides; may contain boron nitride.

    I checked out each ingredient on the Skin Deep website and overall it looked pretty decent, with the highest risk rating being about a 3. What are your thoughts on that combination?

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  16. Hi, I absoloutely love your blog, I have recently been wanting to switch up my make up to more natural kinds but bare minerals was going to be my choice! I’ve seen on another blog you recommend Cowgirl Dirt and I checked out the website and it looks awesome but I live in England! And I was wondering if you know if the UK has anything similar to this?

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