I AM one of those lucky people who do not have skin problems. No awful acne waged war on my cheeks when I was a teenager, and I was able to use make-up freely without worrying about skin irritation.
During special events and parties I had no trouble using any brand of cosmetics – my skin didn’t get inflamed and my eyes didn’t burn from the chemicals.
There are others, however, who aren’t so lucky. I have friends who have struggled with problematic skin all their lives, even into their adult years, long after their hormones were going crazy at puberty.
Some have found the solution in dermatologist-approved cosmetics, while others, like Ng Lynn Sze, have taken a different path.
Lynn, 28, is the founder of Loving Minerals, an online business (www.lovingminerals.com) which offers mineral makeup options. She discovered only recently, after 12 years of experimenting with different brands, that this type of make-up was what worked for her.
“Every girl goes through that phase of finding the perfect make-up and experimenting with a lot of items,” says Lynn from her home in Shah Alam, Selangor.
“My skin is prone to breakouts, reactions, eczema and clogged pores. After trying out numerous products from pharmacies and departmental stores, I browsed the Internet and discovered mineral make-up.”
Mineral make-up is essentially products made of all natural, finely ground minerals from the earth. No chemicals, dyes and preservations found in the usual make-up are used in mineral make-up, including talc and fragrances.
Talc, used as a main ingredient in traditional make-up, dries and irritates the skin, and many have claimed it is a carcinogen (cancer causing agent), although this has yet to be proven.
Mineral makeup has also been lauded for providing some protection from the sun, is non-comedogenic (which means it does not block the pores of the skin), and is said to feel “light”, as if you aren’t wearing make-up at all.
Each product contains as little as three ingredients to reduce the likelyhood of allergy attacks on sensitive skin.
It is also said to give skin a natural radiant glow while hiding blemishes, and some brands are water resistent, making them last throughout the day.
Although mineral make-up was “born” in the mid-1970s in San Francisco, California, it has only recently become very popular, not just among those with sensitive skin but everyone in tune with going natural and saying no to chemicals.
Some of the top make-up brands for mineral makeup include Jane Iredale, BareMinerals and PurMinerals, as well as make-up chainstore Sephora (which also has its own brand of cosmetics). Meanwhile, brands like Lumiere and Everyday Minerals are growing in popularity, too.
Although not all these brands are available in Malaysia, they are gathering a huge fan base through the convenience of online shopping.
Big brands like L’Oreal, Revlon and The Body Shop are coming up with their own lines of mineral makeup as well.
Desperate for makeup that didn’t irritate her skin, Lynn Sze splurged on various mineral make-up brands, all products created by women who faced similar skin problems as Lynn’s.
After she had found the perfect products for her skin, she decided to set up LovingMinerals and distribute these products in Malaysia.
For those with sensitive skin, be careful when selecting mineral makeup brands because some of these may not be 100% earth derived minerals.
“Brands available in stores here do have their own versions of mineral make-up, but these may only be ‘mineral enhanced’, meaning there are still some chemicals that may be harmful to those who have problematic skin,” says the enterprising youth.
Lynn Sze whose breakouts have reduced significantly since she started using mineral makeup, has even come up with her own home-made foundation and lip gloss. She has also created a “vegan brush”, a 100% synthetic bristles product for strict vegans and vegetarians who wear make-up.
“It’s hard to get good quality synthetic bristles which are affordable, so I custom make them,” says Lynn.