Liquid, cream, loose powder, pressed powder, cream-to-powder—there are so many different types of foundation. With each coming in different finishes and levels of coverage, it can be hard to figure out which one works best for you. Mineral foundation is often overlooked, but according to Meghan Feely, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in New Jersey and New York City, it’s perfect for people with sensitive skin who are looking for something simple.
“Patients with sensitive skin or acne-prone skin may prefer mineral foundation,” says Feely, who is also a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai’s Department of Dermatology. “These products often contain less potential contact allergens such as fragrances and preservatives likes parabens. Mineral foundations are also generally non-comedogenic, meaning they do not clog your pores.” She says mineral foundations are gentle enough to use post-procedure for some cosmetic treatments performed in dermatology offices.
So how exactly can you spot a mineral foundation? Merrady Wickes, makeup artist and beauty director at The Detox Market, says that technically all foundations contain some amount of minerals for pigment.
“Flip over any foundation box and you’ll likely see titanium dioxide, zinc, and iron oxides listed among the ingredients,” says Wickes. “Mineral makeup is more of a marketing term, but there are brands who use only mineral pigments in loose formulations, which I think is what most people think of.” She says to be mindful of products that include “mineral” as a form of greenwashing. “Check to see what else is in the product—fragrance, mineral oil, harsh preservatives, and binders can still be present.” Pure mineral makeup has come a long way since it was first introduced. “Powders are more finely milled for better coverage and a silkier texture,” says Wickes.
Because mineral foundations contain higher levels of minerals that are known ultraviolet blockers, Dr. Feely says it is seen as an alternative to sun screen. “This is misleading—you should always be sure to pair your mineral foundation with a broad-spectrum sunscreen,” she says. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, and derms recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher.
The best mineral makeup for sensitive skin
This powder foundation is light and airy, smoothing out lines and pores without actually clogging them. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic, making it a great mineral foundation for sensitive skin.
Gressa’s serum foundation doubles as makeup and skincare. It’s packed with multivitamins and botanicals which heal the skin while setting a flawless makeup base.
If you’re looking for a heavier foundation without the weight, Wickes recommends W3LL PEOPLE’s Bio Base Baked Foundation. The pressed powder “combines the cream and liquid coverage,” allowing for even, natural looking application.
Dr. Feely says one downside of pure mineral formulas is that they don’t always offer as broad an array of skin tones. Fortunately, Bare Minerals comes in 30 shades with a variety of different undertones, so selecting your shade is easy.
5. Dermablend Intense Powder Camo Medium Coverage Foundation, $34
Dermanblend’s pressed powder foundation is great option for combination and oily skin types. Its soft-powder finish is sheer and smooth, allowing for buildable color that actually lasts throughout the day.
Caring for combination skin can get really confusing. These are a derms best tips:
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