Sunday, March 15, 2009

Reader Question: Why do I itch when using mineral makeup?

This one came in as a comment post. Itchy skin and mineral makeup - Everyday Minerals & Bare Minerals.

I have been using e.m. samples for a while now and they just started itching last week. My face only itches for the first hour or two after I put them on. The only thing that has changed is that I got new samples. I had never tried original glo. That's what I'm trying now and I think that is what's itching. I tried Bare Mineral samples a month ago and had no trouble at all, however when I tried my sister's b.e. a year ago it really made me itch. I'm combo/acne prone and sensitive. Any ideas?

The same thing happened to me with Everyday Minerals. I would put on Everyday Minerals and then itch for about an hour. It was worse if I sweated a bit - awful, prickly feeling. I'm convinced it was because earlier versions of the EM products contained Bismuth. The Bismuth is used to give mineral makeup it's 'glow' or sheen. I have a feeling the same is true in your case as well. Some people have a very bad reaction to Bismuth in makeup products, especially those of us who have sensitive skin.

Bare Minerals contains Bismuth and their finishing powder contains Zea Mays (corn starch), another irritant for sensitive skin. Everyday Minerals contains Zea Mays. I would recommend looking for products without these ingredients.

Everyday Minerals Ingredients
Bare Minerals Ingredients

  • Always wash your makeup brushes at least once a week using mild castille soap.
  • Always wash your brushes when you change makeup brands.
  • Evaluate the brushes you are using. Are they soft or do they scratch when you apply makeup? There are many quality, low cost brushes out there. Try some.

1 comment:

  1. My first thought too is the Bismuth Oxychloride.
    Washing the brushes is a good idea too!
    Brushes can cause itching if used to heavily or more than usual if you're trying to achieve heavier coverage. Even using a slightly less soft brush or using the same one more with more pressure can cause microtears in the skin causing irritation resulting in itching and redness. I find a flocked sponge works best on my sensitive days!