Skin-friendly Ingredients for Makeup Q: Hello Ivana. I have a question I've been pondering for some time. What are the most suitable skin-friendly ingredients we should look for in our makeup? I know what is NOT advisable but uncertain what IS advisable. I love wearing makeup......but lately I've been rethinking that option. It seems sort of detrimental to polish, buff, gommage, nurture, nourish; truly CARE for our skin [and what we eat]....have nice looking skin as a result of our efforts and discipline, then put on a mixture to cover up what glow we've managed to accomplish. I know this and STILL love to wear makeup and I'm sure I will continue to...[is a welcome 'ritual']...but I want some REALLY *GOOD* FOR YOU makeup, if such exists. I don't want to clog pores; I've tried some {not a lot} of 'natural' makeup and it seems 'klonky' and 'patchy' to me. [that may just be me]. I have mixed minerals in varying things and really enjoyed the look......for awhile. I realize everything is a trade off and you may have to give up great coverage to insure unclogged pores....but there must be something we can incorporate in for those times when we wish to look more 'polished'. I've read minerals, no matter how natural the added needed ingredients may be, can have the potential to clog pores, cause breakouts due to the mere fact it is a powder and you are putting it on your face. If you mix oils with this, won't the oils have the capability of penetrating the powder mixture deep into your skin? If one wanted to make a hint or tint of healthy 'color', which ingredients would you deem preferable for this purpose? I realize you can't cover up imperfections with a little hint of color, {and my "I want it all" attitude} is not even realistic, but figured it was worth asking about, regardless. thanks in advance. Jeflin

A: Dear Jeflin,

You have asked excellent questions in your recent inquiry, however this is an area where I have very little experience. I have not formulated makeup so far, and furthermore, I rarely use it myself. My eyes were always very sensitive and so I stayed away from it. I find with matters like these the following to be true - if you don't develop the habits early on, you likely never will. Lipstick is pretty much the extent of my adventure with makeup.

On questions of powder and oils, skin congestion, toxicity etc, here are a few answers: insoluble compounds, such as powders, can't get absorbed into the skin. In order to spread and not be flaky, makeup has to contain oil. A mixture of powder and oil can certainly clog pores if not cleansed and washed off regularly. A mixture of oil and powder is basically a paste. In cases of contemporary makeup, the paste is quite sophisticated, as makeup companies explore and test different particle sizes, also different minerals, proteins etc. Minerals are metal oxides that exist in nature - in most cases that is how metals appear on Earth. They often have colour, but most pigments used in makeup are synthetic. Liquid foundation will usually contain water as well - this makes it a suspension. Spreadability as well as keeping the powders evenly dispersed is challenging, and this is where different stabilizers are used.

If you wanted to use something with least possible negative impact - powder is best option. When choosing, testing to see how it feels on the skin is most important. Equally relevant is the list of ingredients (it won't be very long) - most of them will be pigments, the rest will be rather simple. There is usually a sun screen added these days as well. In addition to daily cleansing, frequent exfoliation with a gommage type peeling (requires mechanical flaking on the surface of the skin) will help with keeping the skin in good shape.

I hope that this helps at least a little bit.

Best regards,

Ivana K.

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