Want to jump to the truly natural foundation alternatives? Scroll down, my friend.
A makeup artist introduced me to Bobbi Brown about 13 years ago, sensing that Bobbi’s yellow-based concealers and foundations would be a good fit for my hard-to-match skin tone. She was right. The colors blend seamlessly into my skin, making it look healthy and bare, not pinkish or mottled.
But a well-matched shade isn’t the only determining factor in how I choose my makeup now. The safety and quality of the ingredients must be on par with the performance of the product. Although I loved the way the Bobbi Brown Mineral Foundation looked on my skin, it doesn’t match up with my new standards for clean, health-conscious makeup.
The Problem with the Ingredient List
Here’s the ingredients in my Bobbi Brown mineral foundation:
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 7.80%, Octinoxate 3.60%
Ingredients: vinyl dimethicone/methicone silsesquioxane crosspolymer, HDI/Trimethylol hexyllactone crosspolymer, polysilicone-11, silica, polymethylsilsesquioxane, phenyl trimethicone, soybean seed extract, panthenol, ceramide 2, ceramide 3, glycerin, ergothioneine, sodium hyaluronate, C9-15 fluoroalcohol phosphate, trimethylsiloxysilicate, tocopheryl acetate, ascorbyl palmitate, caprylyl glycol, ascorbyl tocopheryl maleate, magnesium stearate, nylon-12, laureth-12, alumina, aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate, aluminum hydroxide, [may contain: mica, titanium dioxide (CL 77891), zinc oxide (Cl 77947), iron oxides (Cl 77491)].
|Extremely Safe||Reasonably Safe||Proceed with Caution||Insufficient Data|
Titanium dioxide is a widely used colorant and sunscreen. It has low skin penetration qualities (Gamer, A, 2006), but there are concerns of carcinogenicity if it is inhaled. That’s something to be aware of, because this is a very fine, loose powder which puffs up around the brush when applied.
The second active ingredient, octinoxate, is a bit more troubling. A fair amount of research has been done on this sunscreen agent, and octinoxate has been shown to cause endocrine disruption in humans. This is compounded by the fact that octinoxate also absorbs into the skin, so although this foundation looks as if it is sitting on top of my skin, it is probably penetrating my skin.
The lack of research done on the first three ingredients—vinyl dimethicone/methicone silesquioxane crosspolymer, HDI/Trimethylol hexyllactone cross polymer, and polysilicone-11—bothers me more than the endocrine disruption potential of the octinoxate. I’d rather face an enemy I can see.
Natural Mineral Foundation Alternatives
Thankfully, there are exceptional natural mineral foundations to get excited about.
- Lily Lolo | Foundation SPF15, $22. A gorgeous mineral foundation that is a godsend for reactive or blemish-prone skin. Read a review or buy it here.
- Alima Pure | Satin Matte Foundation, $28. Available in a whopping 45 shades, this ultra-clean mineral foundation has 6 simple ingredients. Feels weightless on the skin and is appropriate for sensitive and reactive skin. Purchase it here.
- W3LL People | Altruist Mineral Foundation, $31.50. Pure, flawless mineral coverage with aloe for additional skin soothing. Purchase it here.
Interested in finding the best natural makeup? Check out Natural & Nontoxic Makeup: The 75 Best Products to Up Your Beauty Game.
*This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own.
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