Thursday, September 07, 2006

More Tips for Crafting MMU/Definitions of MMU Ingredients (Mineral Makeup/All Natural Makeup)

I posted about crafting mineral makeup not too long ago (click here to see the post), but I wrote about more tips and also info about the ingredients used in MMU on one of the forums I visit a few days ago and am posting the info here with a little bit of added info:

Can I use silca in my eyeshadow, blush, foundation etc?

You can try silca as a base too! I haven't used it myself but it may work! There is debate about the safety of silca though (It is a natural mineral/rock). Still researching about it and deciding if I want to use it or not.

How well do different minerals adhere to the skin? Are all micas shimmery?

For adherence and micas, it depends on the particle size. Micas like serecite with smaller particle size will adhere better than micas with big sparkles. You can add a bit of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to help with adherence but many of the colored micas are coated with titanium dioxide so have good adherence anyways.

Not all micas are shimmery, depends on particle size and what they are coated with; titanium dioxide makes micas shiny. Serecite (uncolored mica) is kind of flat.

Also if you mix colored micas to certain bases like serecite it will make the shimmer colors more flat. Check out the tkb trading blog; I think there are pictures where they show how different bases can make the same color look different.

Can you tell me about certain ingredients used in mineral makeup?

Okay definitions; still trying to compile them myself but here's some explanations.

Iron oxides are pigments and are basically iron oxidation (like rust on a bike!). they occur naturally in the earth, but for cosmetic purposes naturally mined iron salts are taken in a lab and then oxided since natural iron oxides from the earth have a lot of toxins in them. You can buy just the pure iron oxide pigments (which need to be mixed with a base) or many micas are coated with them.

Mica is a type of natural mineral/rock.

Serecite is simply uncolored mica. It is usually a white/off white color.

Carmine is a red/purple colorant made from the crushed shells of beetles used in cosmetics and also food. I do not use it because I am veggie. it is generally non-toxic but can cause heart problems in some people who are allergic to it. Many pink/red/purple micas are coated with carmine.

D&C Alum lake and F D&C colors are synthetic colorants. Many people are allergic to certain colors and there is debate on how toxic/irritating some colors are. I don't use them because I try to use cosmetics that are as natural as I can get and I am concerned with the toxicity of some of them.

Ferric Ferrocyanide
is a blue synthetic pigment. There is debate on whether it is safe to use in cosmetics--some people say no and some yes (hasn't been much testing done on it for use in cosmetics), but it is listed by the EPA as a water pollutant, and is also neurotoxin/respiratory toxin (it is a cyanide). I personally don't want to use it; even if it may be safe to use in cosmetics I am an environmentalist so don't use it.

Chromium oxide: some people are allergic. It is a pigment.

Ultramarines, used to be made from crushed gem stones but now made in the lab synthetically, from natural clays I think. I use them because although some things are bluish (I'm thinking about the coated micas like blackstar blue and splendid blue), there really is no true blue natural pigment in cosmetics (it is really rare and very, very expensive to find natural ultramarine blue).

Talc is a natural mineral/rock but i don't use it because it is often contaminated with asbestos (which can cause cancer) and there has been studies that has shown that non-asbestos contaminated talc may also cause higher rates of cancer.

Maganese violet is a pigment.

Mother of Pearl makes eye shadows shiny. I don't use this because I'm veggie and many colored micas with large particle size are very shimmery!

Bismuth oxychloride is a white pigment. It gives a sheen to MMU. However, some women are allergic to it. I haven't used it yet so I don't know if I am allergic or not, but I don't like shiny foundation so haven't tried any brands that use it yet.

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are both natural minerals. Both are great sunscreens and also may help reduce inflammation in the skin (especially the zinc oxide, and also because of the fact there aren't any/many fillers in mineral makeup).

From my understanding, most pigments are lab created/synthetically derived but made from natural ingredients. They are borderline natural, borderline synthetic; depends where you draw the line on what's natural. Most people in the natural industry consider them natural, but critics point out why use iron oxides/ultramarine blue and not D & C colors? My viewpoint is that iron oxides and ultramarines does occur in natural but for safety reasons are made from natural ingredients in the lab, so I consider them natural.

More tips

I've also read that you shouldn't mix colored micas for very long (only a few minutes) because that can damage the shimmer of them.


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Solarkat said...

Hi Piper,

I am glad that you like my blog! :)


Anonymous said...

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Unknown said...

Hi Li,

CAn you tell me about the different things they're using to coat zinc oxide and which is the best for cosmetics/spf applications and that is also transparent. I know thet're are a few different methods: ester, silica, dimethicone, opt-sol, aluminum?


Unknown said...


Also looking for a coated zinc oxide that is full spectrum UVA/UVB for use in sunscreen as the sole active ingredient. Manufacturer, brand name, distributor?

Solarkat said...

Hi Tim

Sorry, but I do not use coated zinc oxide so don't know.

All zinc oxide (as well as titanium dioxide) has spf, as long as you use enough in your formula. A place that would have different kinds of zo would be are TKB trading (Monave has some but I think it's uncoated, and Coastal Scents may carry a few kinds as well but I am unfamiliar with their inventory).