Mineral makeup is a great choice for sensitive skin, but with all the brands and formulations out there, choosing the right type can be confusing. The article below contains information on the benefits, considerations and types of mineral makeup so you can make an informed choice that will leave your skin beautiful and without irritation.

The Facts

Mineral makeup is generally formulated with natural and finely ground minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. But what is more important is what mineral makeup is made without: fillers, preservatives, dyes, fragrances and chemicals. Sensitive skin is often aggravated by these irritants, so mineral formulations may be a great makeup option for those with this skin type.


Many mineral makeup formulations provide comparable coverage to traditional makeup, made with chemicals, fillers and binders. Quality does not have to be compromised for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. Mineral makeup is non-comedogenic, meaning it will not exacerbate acne or clog pores. Moreover, mineral makeup blends well, provides natural looking coverage and may actually calm irritated or sensitive skin.

Many mineral makeup formulations have added sun-protection benefits. In fact, zinc oxide and titanium oxide—common mineral makeup ingredients—are also found in traditional sunscreens.


Before purchasing a mineral makeup product, it is important to understand and research the ingredients to ensure quality. There are currently no regulations to distinguish how a mineral makeup product can be marketed. As a result, products with even trace amounts of pure minerals and considerable amounts of synthetic (and irritating) ingredients can be labeled as “natural,” “pure” or “mineral formula.” Be sure to read the ingredient label to make sure unwanted ingredients do not end up in your makeup bag or on your skin.


The best type of mineral makeup depends upon your skin type, coverage needs, desired ingredients and price range. There are multiple formulations (including liquid, loose powder and pressed powder) and brands on the market. Popular brands based on formulation and price range are listed below. Costs are as reflected on Sephora.com. Other brands are available at drug stores for a reasonable cost, but make sure to check the ingredient list before purchasing.


Liquid mineral makeup is a great option for those that like the texture and consistency of traditional liquid makeup. These formulations are great for drier skin and provide a soft, natural looking finish. Many liquid mineral formulations are water-based and boost the skin with vitamins, antioxidants and mineral pigments. Popular brands include nvey’s Organic Moisturizing Fluid Foundation ($45 for 1 oz.), Dior’s Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Makeup SPF 10 ($45 for 1 oz.), Tarte’s ReCreate™ Anti-Aging Foundation With Wrinkle Rewind™ Technology SPF 15 ($37 for 1 oz.) and Korres’ Ginger & Vitamins Foundation SPF 10 ($28 for 1.35 oz.).

Loose Powder

Loose powder mineral makeup is a popular option and there are many brands to choose from. The light consistency and buildable coverage provides a natural finish that can be customized to fit your needs. While messy, the coverage is complete. Popular brands include philosophy’s The Supernatural Airbrushed Canvas SPF 15 ($35 for makeup and sponge applicator), Amazing Cosmetics’ Velvet Mineral Powder Foundation ($35 for 0.3 oz.), Laura Mercier’s Mineral Powder SPF 15 ($35 for 0.34 oz.) and Bare Escentuals’ bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation ($25 for 0.3 oz.).

Pressed Powder

Pressed powder formulations are often housed in portable compacts making them perfect for tossing in your purse or suitcase for travel. Unlike loose powder foundations, pressed powder foundations have less mess and also provide buildable coverage. Popular brands include Hourglass’ Oxygen Foundation Mineral Powder ($46 for 0.46 oz.), Amazing Cosmetics’ Velvet Mineral Pressed Powder Foundation ($36 for 0.35 oz.) and Cover FX’s Powder FX Mineral Powder Foundation ($32 for 0.42 oz.).