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Mineral makeup is made of minerals, which are substances found in the earth. It’s a type of natural makeup.

Generally, it relies on minerals instead of synthetic ingredients for its intended purpose. For example, minerals may be used to give a product pigment or sun protection.

If you’re concerned about synthetic ingredients in makeup, mineral makeup might be a good choice. Consider starting with foundation, the “base” of any makeup look.

Read on to learn more about mineral makeup, along with the best mineral foundations available online.

The list below features our top picks for mineral foundations. We chose these products based on their ingredients and customer reviews. We also sought to include a variety of formulas, finishes, and levels of coverage.

Shade range was another important factor. It’s often difficult to find mineral foundations that match a variety of skin tones. Each of the products that made our list comes in a range of shades.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $30
  • $$ = $30–$40
  • $$$ = over $40

Mineral Fusion

  • Price: $$

Mineral Fusion pressed powder foundation is designed to reduce the appearance of pores. It’s made of antioxidant-rich ingredients, including sea kelp, pomegranate, and white tea.

Since the powder is pressed in a compact, it’s travel-friendly. It has buildable coverage, meaning you can apply multiple layers for your desired look.

The foundation is hypoallergenic, vegan, and free of gluten, fragrance, talc, phthalates, and parabens. It’s available in 24 shades.

According to users, this product feels natural and airy. You might like this foundation if you prefer a “no makeup” look.

Ofra Derma

  • Price: $$

This loose powder foundation is vegan, gluten-free, and paraben-free. It’s made with titanium dioxide, which offers some sun protection. The product doesn’t have an SPF rating, though.

Since the powder is ultrafine, it’s ideal for creating a sheer, lightweight finish. You can also build it for fuller coverage. The foundation is available in 10 shades.

CoverFX

  • Price: $$

The CoverFX Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation is best for normal to oily skin. It relies on kaolin clay to soak up excess oil and control shine.

This pressed powder is vegan, cruelty-free, and talc-free. It’s also formulated without gluten, fragrance, parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. You can choose from 40 shades.

Users love its matte finish. However, if your skin is on the drier side, it might not be a good choice.

Maia’s Mineral Galaxy

  • Price: $

Maia’s Mineral Galaxy foundation is a fragrance-free loose powder foundation. It has kaolin clay and arrowroot powder, which help absorb excess oil.

This foundation is more affordable than the other options on this list. Many of the shades also have good Environmental Working Group (EWG) ratings.

According to online reviews, this powder gives skin a natural glow.

Glo Skin Beauty HD

  • Price: $$$

Glo Skin Beauty HD is a mineral foundation stick. It provides a satin finish. It has a buildable formula, too, so you can use it for sheer to full coverage looks.

This cream foundation relies on hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin. It also contains beneficial antioxidants, like green tea extract and vitamins A, C, and E.

Available in 12 shades, this travel-friendly product is noncomedogenic and vegan. It’s also fragrance-free and gluten-free.

Jane Iredale Beyond Matte

  • Price: $$$

If you enjoy medium to full coverage, you may like this liquid foundation from Jane Iredale. Made with jojoba and celery seed extract, it’s formulated to give the skin a semimatte finish.

You can also use this foundation as a primer and concealer, making it a 3-in-1 product. It’s vegan, noncomedogenic, and free of parabens, phthalates, talc, and synthetic preservatives. It’s available in 18 shades.

PÜR 4-in-1 Love Your Selfie

  • Price: $$

This vegan liquid foundation is available in 100 shades, which is impressive compared with other makeup brands. You can also use it as a concealer.

It has a medium to full coverage that’s designed to give the skin a smooth appearance. The active ingredients are green tea, vitamin B, and ginseng. It also contains lingonberry extract and sunflower oil, which can moisturize the skin.

Users say it feels lightweight and looks natural, even with medium to full coverage.

PÜR 4-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer

  • Price: $$

As a multipurpose product, this tinted moisturizer can be used as a primer and foundation. It features broad-spectrum SPF 20 for sun protection. The SPF comes from zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are mineral sunscreens.

This product gives the skin a dewy, glowy finish. It contains hydrating ingredients, like sodium hyaluronate, chamomile, vitamin E, and aloe vera.

Compared with other dewy mineral foundations, this option is more expensive. However, it has SPF and is available in a wider range of shades.

Like other PÜR products, this tinted moisturizer contains no parabens and animal products.

The primary benefit of mineral makeup is the ingredients.

Compared with regular makeup, mineral makeup mainly contains ingredients from nature.

It may have a small amount of synthetic, lab-made substances. However, reputable brands will only use synthetic ingredients proven to be safe for humans.

Some other non-mineral cosmetics are often made with potentially harmful ingredients, including:

  • parabens
  • phthalates
  • formaldehyde
  • formaldehyde releasers
  • oxybenzone
  • ingredients listed as “fragrance”
  • talc

The EWG suggests limiting or avoiding products with these substances. You can do this by using mineral makeup.

Other benefits of mineral makeup include:

  • Fewer odor-induced headaches. If scented makeup makes your head hurt, mineral products may be a good option. They’re often fragrance-free.
  • Safer for sensitive skin. The harsh substances in non-mineral makeup can irritate sensitive skin. Mineral makeup contains gentler ingredients.
  • Better skin health. Mineral products are often made with skin-friendly ingredients, like green tea and ginseng. Also, many mineral products are noncomedogenic.

Despite the benefits, there are some downsides of mineral makeup:

  • Shorter shelf life. Mineral cosmetics have little to no synthetic preservatives, giving them a shorter shelf life.
  • Higher price tags. Without cheap preservatives and fillers, mineral makeup is usually more expensive than traditional makeup.
  • Small shade range. Since mineral makeup doesn’t use synthetic dyes, some brands might offer limited shades. However, there are still brands that have a wide range (like the ones in this article!).

Not all mineral makeup is equal. Some products may actually contain harmful ingredients, even if they’re mineral-based.

Mineral makeup, like all makeup, isn’t tightly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It can be sold without FDA approval. There are also no laws that require makeup brands to meet specific safety standards.

Instead, makeup companies are responsible for ensuring their products are safe. This includes accurate labeling of their products.

If you’d like to try mineral makeup, buy from a quality brand. Make sure the company has positive customer reviews and a good reputation. This will help ensure that the product you’re buying is safe.

With so many products to pick from, choosing the best mineral makeup for your needs can be overwhelming. The key is to take your time and do research.

Start by checking the company’s reputation. Read user reviews to learn about people’s experiences with the products. You can also check the brand’s social media accounts to see how they interact with customers.

A company’s reputation will speak to the quality and safety of its makeup.

When selecting a product, read the labels and ingredient lists carefully. Avoid ingredients deemed unsafe by the EWG. You can also check whether the product has a rating in the EWG Skin Deep database.

If you’re allergic to a certain ingredient, check the label to make sure the makeup doesn’t have it.

Look for cosmetics that suit your skin type. Some brands also offer product samples or color match tests.

Can mineral makeup be harmful for sensitive skin?

Just because mineral makeup is natural, it doesn’t mean it won’t irritate sensitive skin. Always make sure to do a patch test before you commit to a powder or foundation.

Some reports advise scanning labels for bismuth oxychloride, the ingredient that gives makeup its pearly finish. It’s been said to cause skin irritation and acne flare-ups, leading some mineral makeup companies to eliminate it from their formulas.

What is mineral makeup made up of?

Mineral makeup is made of materials extracted from earth. The main ingredients are minerals, such as iron and zinc oxides, which are ground into tiny, shimmering particles for our skin’s use.

What’s the difference between mineral makeup and conventional makeup products?

A key difference is that mineral makeup generally does not contain the emollient oils and waxes, fragrance, and preservative ingredients found in conventional makeup.

Mineral makeup is made with minerals and other natural substances. It often contains skin-friendly ingredients, making it ideal for sensitive skin.

Many people like mineral cosmetics because they’re free of parabens, talc, and other potentially harmful substances. But compared with traditional makeup, mineral products are typically more expensive.

Keep in mind that mineral makeup, like all makeup, isn’t strictly regulated for safety and quality. Always read the label before using a product.