Breaking Down the Ingredients: Bare Minerals Foundation

UPDATE 7/25/2018: I originally wrote this blog post in 2014 when I was first embarking on my natural skincare journey, and I thought it was time for an update on my makeup routine! Read my Complete Guide to Clean Beauty & 3 Tips for How toTransition to see the I products I currently use!


Original Post from 2014:

I have been asked by a few people what kind of makeup I use. Let me just say, it is not an easy task to find "natural" makeup that actually looks nice or isn't ridiculously expensive. My main goal is to use products that have very few ingredients. It is also important for me to know what each ingredient is. While this is a daunting task, I believe it is worth researching. These days I keep my makeup routine fairly simple. It is crazy how much makeup I used to wear in high school…I suppose that was the time I felt less secure with my natural beauty. Now that I am graduated from college and working in the "real world", I don't feel like I necessarily NEED makeup to feel attractive.

For foundation, I use Bare Minerals MATTE formula:

bare minerals

bare minerals


Titanium Dioxide - It is a controversial ingredient used to protect skin from ultraviolet sunlight. This inorganic compound has received mixed reviews due to the risk of lung damage if inhaled. Personally, I think protecting your skin from the sun is way more important, and this is one of the best ingredients to do the job. Titanium dioxide protects from skin cancer, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation (to name a few) and this outweighs the unconfirmed negatives in my book. There is limited evidence to back up the concerns. So, unless you plan on sticking your nose in and inhaling, I think it is fine.

Zinc Oxide - This is also an inorganic compound (ZnO) that acts as a natural sunscreen. It has anti-inflammatory qualities that can help with fighting acne. Yay, Zinc Oxide!


Lauroyl Lysine - This amino acid is derived from coconuts <3 and provides a gorgeous silky finish.

Silica - This ingredient has been around since ancient times and is found in the Earth's crust as quartz and sand. It is used in makeup to absorb the oil on your face. Once again, any controversy surrounding this leads back to one simple, obvious rule : DO NOT SNORT YOUR MINERALS.

Calcium Silicate - This is also part of the silicon family, and is used as an anti-caking agent.

Soil Minerals. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides These soil minerals are used as colorants to match your skin tone.

*Okay, so this is important to note: I use the MATTE formula because it does NOT contain the ingredient "Bismuth Oxychloride". Bare Escentuals specifically created this version to offer an alternative to those who have a sensitivity to this ingredient found in the Bare Minerals Original formula.

Bismuth is a natural non-toxic heavy metal used to create the shimmery look. Personally, I do not like my foundation to look shimmery, so the matte version works better for me anyways. Most importantly, Bismuth Oxychloride has been known to cause cystic acne. I absolutely cannot use this on my face….It makes me itchy, and I definitely break out. So, beware when searching for a mineral foundation that works for you. To be safe, I would completely avoid this ingredient.

Choosing the right foundation for you can be challenging, and it is all about trial and error. You can alway find something wrong and unnatural in any kind of makeup claiming to be "au naturale". The best thing you can do is give your skin a break from all makeup when possible. Instead of trying to hide imperfections and cover up the skin, let's try to repair the skin with our natural skin care routines so we no longer feel the need to wear foundation! This is my ultimate goal.

Let me know in the comments section what makeup you use and what seems to work/not work for you!