There can be a lot of misconceptions out there about what mineral makeup is, given the marketing of companies like Bare Minerals, Avon, and others. Since I’m in that industry, being the owner of Printcess Mineral Makeup, I wanted to break it down for you, as it means to me.
Mineral makeup is makeup made from naturally-occurring products (not man-made ones). That’s basically it. It doesn’t mean it’s healthy, better, organic, sustainable, ethically-sourced- it ONLY means that the makeup comes from natural minerals.
For Printcess, I wanted to make makeup that supports the things I do- ethical, fair-trade, sustainably-sourced products that are completely free of animal cruelty. I conducted a year of research before I settled on suppliers for everything from my pigments to my packaging. And then, when I found out one of my suppliers was unable to identify the source for their iron oxides, I switched suppliers. Because, to me, how a product is created is just as important as the product itself.
Below are things you won’t find in Printcess mineral makeup.
What: Carmine, pearl powder, or other animal products
Why: I am not a vegan, but I’m a fan of animals and I do not support companies that test on animals. Why, then, would I use animal parts in my products? Carmine is produced from some scale insects, like cochineal. I believe it’s hypocritical to condone the death of one creature but condemn the death of another, based on cuteness factor. Carmine has also has been known to cause severe allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock in some people. Side note: I can’t actually make a true red color, given that I only use natural earth-based and non-animal colorants. But I’m OK with that.
Why: Used as a preservative, these specialty chemicals have been linked to breast cancer tumors. The have also been found to mimic estrogen and cause hormone distruption, which can be dangerous for those whose genetics or previous cancer makes them sensitive to female-type cancers. They’ve been known to cause skin irritation and rosacea in those with an allergy to parabens. You’re ingesting and absorbing enough of these through packaged foods and lotions- you don’t need to put more on your skin.
What: Bismuth Oxychloride
Why: This pearlescent powder is relatively heavy, meaning it settles into wrinkles, and can lead to clogged pores. Its crystalline structure can abrade and irritate skin, so I keep it out of all of my products.
What: Red dye #7
Why: This coal (or petroleum) derivative is often tested on animals due to potential carcinogenic properties. I trust my suppliers who are certified cruelty-free, but I also hedge my bets by leaving out anything unnecessary.
What: FD&C dyes
Why: These are chemically synthesized colors initially federally-approved for for food coloring. They are coal (or petroleum) derivatives, some of which are known to cause hives. Given the brilliance of colors found in natural minerals, I feel they’re an unnecessary substance for Printcess mineral makeup.
What: Ethylhexyl Palmitate
Why: This is often used to create ‘slip’ (the silky texture of cosmetics) in pressed powders, and can cause skin irritation in some folks. Instead, I use boron nitride for slip (which also is good for adhesion, making Printcess colors last longer) which is much more sensitive skin-friendly.
If you’re ever curious about ingredients that ARE in any Printcess product, just ask. I list them for each product, and I’m also happy to educate my customers. We should all be able to make informed decisions about what we buy and wear!