Mineral Skincare is still best the option. We all want the best possible lotions, potions and creams for our skin, right? And it’s not just vanity (hello, miracle-worker wrinkle eraser), it is also a question of wellness—after all, the skin is the largest organ in the body, and through absorption, carries whatever you apply onto it, into your system.
So, the more focus on natural ingredients in our cosmetics, the better. Mineral skincare does make use of earth-based ingredients like magnesium, calcium, potassium bromine, sulfur and zinc, so that in itself is a plus. However, this type of skincare is more complicated than you think.
The general goodness of minerals
Minerals in foods have a very good rep in wellness circles – and rightly so. Calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, et al, are important to our health. These minerals occur naturally in nonliving things, such as rocks and metal ores that reside in the soil. Luckily, plants feed on the soil, absorb them, and then we get all the benefits in a salad! It works out great!
What is a mineral?
However, when it comes to using minerals in man-made substances such as cosmetics, there is a twist to the story.
A mineral is a naturally occurring substance, which means it’s not synthetic (made by humans). So that’s good. But, minerals are also inorganic (not made up from live material such as plants or animals), are formed as solids and have a definite chemical composition.
Minerals in cosmetics
Even when crushed and powdered, most minerals cannot be applied to the skin directly – they don’t absorb well, and I doubt you’d want to walk around with bluish-white zinc on your face—no matter how good it is for those pesky pimples—plus too much zinc can bring on an adverse skin reaction. To be included in a cosmetic formulation, minerals must be processed and combined with other ingredients that help them penetrate the skin. And that’s where the rub is.
Most mineral ingredients contain traces of toxic impurities and go through chemical processes to make them safe for cosmetic use. They are then combined with other ingredients to make them absorbable. So, the final mineral skincare product is not completely “natural” as many manufacturers avow. You just need to be aware of that, and take the “all natural” package claims with a grain of salt (also a mineral)!
Who benefits the most from mineral skincare?
On the positive side, however, minerals that go into mineral skincare products do have great natural anti-inflammatory properties. This means that if you have acne or other similar skin problems, the mineral skincare product you apply to your face and body will help to destress your skin and eliminate blemishes and inflammation-related skin problems.
Look for those products that contain magnesium, calcium, potassium, bromine, sulfur, boron, manganese, zinc and iodine. Mineral skincare is great for those of us with sensitive skin or for those with troubling chronic skin problems like acne, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.
At the end of the day, a skincare product that is mineral-based versus one with a long list of just chemicals and synthetics on the label is an all-round better option. But it’s best to always check for other ingredients on the package of a product that asserts it’s all-natural mineral skincare. The fewer ingredients listed you see, the better. And if the ingredients list is peppered with such terms as SLS, phthalates, parabens, gluten, artificial colors and fragrances, triclosan, or toluene, our advice is to swiftly put the product back on the shelf and keep searching for a healthier one!