What Are the Ingredients in Bare Minerals?

By Melissa LaRose

  • Overview

    Just because a skincare or cosmetic company claims an all-natural ingredient list for their products, it does not mean the product is perfect for everyone. Natural is not healthy in every instance. Natural ingredients can often contain harmful substances that need to be removed before humans consume them or apply them to their bodies. Consider the five ingredients found in the popular product bareMinerals offered by the company Bare Escentuals Beauty, Inc.
  • Titanium Dioxide

    Titanium dioxide is a white pigment with a high reflective quality. Its opacity, or whiteness, is important to many industries and applications such as paint, plastics, paper products, sunblock, food, cosmetics, skincare and toothpaste. Artists will recognize this substance as the main ingredient in titanium white pigment. Continued exposure to high concentrations of ultra-fine particles of titanium dust are considered by some to be a health hazard.
  • Zinc Oxide

    Zinc oxide is a mineral compound, white in color. It has anti-bacterial, UV-protection, and binding properties as well as a high refractive index. Often used as a source of zinc in the food industry, it can also be found in plastics, rubber, paints, batteries and glass. This is an FDA-approved additive and considered non-toxic unless it is burned and its fumes are inhaled.

  • Mica

    Mica has a metallic quality that is highly prized. The largest deposits of mica are found in India, but mica can be found in smaller deposits all over the world. Its heat-resistant quality makes it useful as a replacement for glass when fire resistance is necessary. Mica, crushed into a fine powder, has been used for centuries as a pigment. There are concerns about mica having respiratory toxicity, but as of this writing there is limited evidence of this.
  • Iron Oxide

    Iron oxides used in the cosmetic industry are actually synthetically created. This is a safety measure because it insures that ferric oxides and other impurities found in naturally occurring iron oxides are not included in the final product. These synthetically created oxides are non-toxic and moisture-resistant. Other types of iron oxides are used in ceramics and pigments and labeled as raw and burnt sienna and umber. These are often referred to as ochers.
  • Bismuth Oxychloride

    Bismuth oxychloride is a compound of bismuth and generally used in the cosmetic industry. Bismuth is a metal considered a safer alternative to lead. Bismuth is usually found as a byproduct of processing other metals and ores such as tin and copper but it must be refined several times before it is safe for human use. Of all the ingredients used in bareMinerals, this is the one that is a potential irritant to the skin and eyes if it is not manufactured properly. A poorly manufactured product is particularly problematic for those suffering with rosacea and other skin issues.
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