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Rare Mineral Makeup - A geologists take on the Bare Escentials® mineral makeup line bareMinerals®

Rare Mineral Makeup - Are they really rare minerals?

At Dakota Matrix Minerals we strive to be one of the premier online sources for collectible minerals including, rare mineral species, type locality minerals, and new mineral species, from localities around the world. However, when the phrase ‘rare minerals’ is searched on Google or other top search engines commonly the top results are for the mineral makeup and skincare line by Bare Escentials ®, called bareMinerals®. We also noticed recently that the domain name www.rare minerals.com is registered to Bare Escentials ®, just in case one mistypes 'bare minerals' as 'rare minerals'.  

Mineral powder makeup made its way onto the market in the 1970’s and has become very popular because they don’t contain the oils, chemicals, and preservatives of conventional makeups. No butyl-hexyl-propyl-ethyl, just simple Oxides/Dioxides/Oxychlorides of Titanium, Iron, and Bismuth, +/- Zinc with Mica.

The mineral makeup line bareMinerals® is one of the most popular lines of mineral makeup with products including powder foundations, eye shadows, lip sticks, etc., with what are advertised as minerals or mineral pigments as their primary ingredients. Specifically, the ingredients listed on a pot of Fairly Light bareMinerals® Original SPF 15 Foundation powder include, Titanium Dioxide 25%. Inactive Ingredients: Bismuth Oxychloride, Mica, Iron Oxides. Some of the other minerals or mineral derived products listed as ingredients in the other bareMinerals® mineral makeup products include, Copper Powder, Tin Oxide, Amethyst Powder, Tourmaline, Nephrite Powder, and even Sapphire Powder. The minerals in these products are used for their light reflecting properties, pigments, and even protection from the UV rays from the Sun.

Although marketed as minerals, most if not all the minerals used mineral makeup products are more than likely not exactly naturally occurring. They are refined and processed substances that are likely synthetically produced in a factory, although a representative at Bare Escentials ® would neither confirm nor deny how the mineral products are actually derived when contacted by the author. Technically speaking if the ingredients are synthetically produced they are not minerals at all, since one of the criteria for a substance being a mineral is that it occurs naturally. However, we’ll admit that it’s been a very successful way to market mineral makeup and in general the technical definition of a mineral has no place in the marketing world.

Although the minerals used in mineral makeups aren’t technically minerals, the makeup line Bare Escentials ® will remain a popular product because of the short list of ingredients and because they are good products that give your skin that natural mineral-enhanced glow.

By: Miranda Boenisch

About the Author – Miranda Boenisch is a Geologist, mineral photographer and dealer at Dakota Matrix Minerals. She has also been a loyal customer and longtime user of the Bare Escentials ® skincare line and maintains that her skin’s healthy glow is because of her mineral makeup and not just the ‘hot’ minerals she handles at work.

For more info on Mineral Makeup see....

The Lowdown on Mineral Makeup - WebMD

bareMinerals on Minerals

Real Rare Minerals at Dakota Matrix - disclaimer: Not to be used for Makeup ;)

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