Some time ago, a friend mentioned to me that her aesthetician told her that mineral makeup is too drying for our skin. I was pretty curious and I wanted to know why but I could not establish the reasons immediately. Then recently, when I started using my UV Natural Sunscreen, I noticed that my skin feels somewhat drier after a few hours and I got curious. Is it because of the 24.8% Zinc Oxide? If that is the case, could it be the cause for mineral makeup to be too drying as well then?
Zinc Oxide is a drying agent
Zinc Oxide is widely known not only for UV protection but also as an ingredient in drying up rashes like diaper rash, eczema, and dermatitis. I even read that it also does very well drying up chicken pox. In fact, according to this source I came across, if you have very dry skin, Zinc Oxide may not be suitable as it can make your skin feel drier. Also, experiments with Zinc Oxide presented in Skin Research and Technology demonstrated that this mineral has a drying and peeling effect on the skin according to Portland-Oregon Magazine.
Other drying agents found as mineral makeup ingredients
The same article in Portland-Oregon Magazine also cited Titanium Dioxide as a drying agent and I found out that Iron Oxide is also classified as such. Now, mineral makeup foundation as we know, tend to contain Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide with rather high concentration in some formulations. Most of the time, I also see Iron Oxide as a key ingredient. Added to the list in some formulations is the mineral makeup powder Kaolin, which is a natural clay that absorbs unwanted oils and other impurities from skin. Although Kaolin is pretty mild but it can also contribute to the dehydrating effect.
Cosmetic Corp’s view that mineral makeup exacerbate dryness
No wonder Paula Begoun of Cosmetic Corp mentioned that the properties of mineral makeup powder are absorbent and hence, exacerbate dryness and flaking in her online article Pore Perfect or Poor Performer.
Dryness causing those with oily skin to secrete more oil
I also suspect that all these drying agents are causing those with oily skin to experience even more oiliness because one of the key traits of this skin type is when the skin becomes dry, it tends to secrete more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture.
Mineral makeup is better for those with normal skin
If this is true then Paula Begoun is right in saying that “mineral makeup is best for normal to slightly oily skin (meaning no signs of dryness and little to no problem oily areas).”
Some formulations causing my skin to be oilier by the day
I have been using mineral makeup consistently over a year now and generally, it has been fine for me. However, in some formulations, I did discover that my skin becomes oilier as the day progresses. And with the Mica present in some of these formulations, it makes my face look rather shiny. Again, I like to qualify that not all mineral makeup are formulated similarly and hence, the end results could be vastly different.
What are your views?
I’m keen to know your views if you’ve been using mineral makeup rather consistently. Do you agree with Paula Begoun that it causes dryness and is better for those with normal skin? Or do you think there is a way to get around the problem of drying such as using more moisturizer for example? Or choosing a formulation that contains more emollient properties like Allantoin?