Bare Minerals report...

After a few weeks with Bare Escentuals (BE), I found that I was getting itchy and breaking out. It broke my heart because the soft finish, smooth and lightweight feel, and beautiful results were so welcome! But it was getting increasingly uncomfortable.

So I took a couple weeks off to let my face heal a little bit, and decided to try again without the Skin Rev-er Upper, to see if it was any part of the issue. This was this past weekend, and sadly, I found it was still a bit itchy.

I have been doing a lot of research on mineral cosmetics, because I really would love to find a way to make the switch to the mineral make-ups, but BE isn't going to work for me. Turns out that Bismuth Oxychloride is the culprit which makes some women break out, itch, and even get hives! So I did some research on the ingredient, and this is what I found:

"Bismuth is the by-product of lead and copper refining, as well as other metals to a smaller degree. Bismuth occurs very rarely in nature. It is on the periodic table of elements under the symbol Bi at atomic number 83. It is very heavy and chemically resembles arsenic and antimony. It has a whitish/iridescent hue and has a very high shine property to it. Of all the heavy metals it is the only non-toxic. Bimsuth is a carrier for fuel in nuclear reactors. Bismuth components are used in everything from detection work, to making acrylic fibers, to safety devices in fire detection and extinguishing items, soldering, magnets and medicine as well as cosmetics. Because it is a by-product of lead refining, bismuth oxychloride should be lead free when companies begin using it in their cosmetics.

Companies use this in their cosmetics because it is cheap to buy and is an inexpensive filler. It does have binding qualities, so the makeup will "stick" to your skin, so to speak. There are other products that are just as effective at adhesion, and are better for your skin. Because of its molecular make up, it is often viewed as shiny or pearlescent. It is often sold in these two varieties. This makes it highly refractive, which is something companies want. Refraction will camouflage fine lines, wrinkles and discolorations. If you use a brand with bismuth oxychloride you'll notice a shiny look after applying the makeup. Not like oiliness, but almost shimmery. That's the bismuth oxychloride.

It's a very heavy element, which makes it difficult for many people to wear. It has to be forced into the pores (hence the buffing technique) otherwise it is capable of sliding off the wearer's face. The heaviness can result in clogged pores or irritated skin. Bismuth oxychloride often feels silky and not rough when rubbed between the fingers. Mineral makeup companies that do not use it have a lighter feeling makeup that usually blends into the skin better and with less effort."

So bismuth oxychloride is what creates the softly glowing effect in BE cosmetics. This is dismaying to me, since I love this effect! It makes my skin look fresher and healthier. But some folks don't like that--Renee, if you don't want to have the sheen you experienced with some BE products, listen up, cuz this is what I learned.

Since then, two vendors have been recommended to me. One is Aromaleigh

This is a small business which specifically does NOT use Bismuth Oxychloride in their products, so they have a very matte finish. Luckily for me (I hope), they offer finishing powders which will give that glow back. So BE gives you glow, which you can tone down with Mineral Veil. Aromaleigh starts out with no sheen, and then you can add it if you want.

I have read lots of great reviews (very few on and a bunch on about the products. There appears to be a problem with the business side of things here and there though-shipmentsw delaying, customer service not being stellar. But few to no complaints about the product itself. And on the big plus side, they sell inexpensive sampler sizes of everything! So I have purchased some samples of various products in different shades and am eager to give it a try. I will let you know how that goes.

Now, in the meantime, I was also referred to a seller on Ebay.
This seller not only sells BE, but also a "private line" of mineral cosmetics specifically formulated without bismuth oxychloride. She sells samples, as well. I am curious if the "private brand" she sells is Aromaleigh. Certainly the breadth of color choices is quite similar! So many options.

Lastly, I found a site for Sheer Miracle. Their packaging and everything seems very similar to Bare Minerals. They prominently display a "no bismuth oxychloride" on the site. They sell sample kits for about $16. I am curious to try them, but am cautious due to the fact that I don't see the company listed on, who seems to list everybody who is anybody, and even some nobodies. :)

I really hope that I find a similar product that works for me. I am a minerals cosmetics convert, but can't wear it right now! WAH!

No comments


On this blog I share my personal posts about cooking and knitting, travel and other musings; while I will blog about dance-specific topics over on the Deep Roots Dance blog:

I hope you will enjoy both my sites. Thanks for visiting!
Powered by Blogger.