Mineral Powder! Talc free! Talc based!

Companies splash these phrases across packaging and ads in bold fonts and bursts of bright colour, generally with no explanation as to why this should make their products desirable. Mineral Makeup and even skincare is one of the hottest trends in the cosmetics industry right now, and most consumers don't realize that many of these products are exactly the same ones they have been using for years, but re-packaged since "mineral" became a buzzword.

What is a mineral?

A mineral is a naturally occurring
crystal. They come in all different colors and textures, with different amounts of metallic shine. Mineral Makeup is made by grinding minerals to powder and either applying that powder directly to the skin or, more commonly, mixing it with various other ingredients to create a great many of the products you see in stores.

Talc vs. Mica

Talc or mica, sometimes both, are the main ingredients in almost all powder makeup. They are both minerals, and they are both lung irritants if large amounts are inhaled.

Talc is used to absorb oil and make a product have a smoother feel and appearance. If you are using a matte textured or oil absorbing powder, it's probably talc based. Mica is used to give a "glowing" finish, rather than a completely matte one. Products with descriptions that involve words like radiant often contain mica.

Neither ingredient is known to clog pores or cause acne. Except when inhaled in great amounts, neither is a known carcinogen. About the only thing to keep in mind is that a dry skin can find talc makes them feel even drier. I think, overall, I'd call this one a tie.

Anything specific you'd like to know more about? You can leave a comment here or E-mail me, and I'll do my best to answer your questions.