Delivers buildable coverage in a pressed powder consumers can feel good about using, thanks to the vegan formula that doesn't include talc or artificial ingredients and isn't tested on animals.
Color matching to your skin tone is difficult because the shades run light. The downside of the impressive coverage is the tendency to cake if you apply too much. UV protection isn't rated.
Has a smooth feel and goes on easily. Limited ingredients means lower incidence of breakouts and irritations. Comes in a wide range of shade options.
Some darker shades have an orange-like tint. Has the tendency fade from the skin throughout the day. Some users complain about breakouts after use. UV protection isn't rated.
A rich powder formula with surprising qualities for the value – talc free, SPF 16, and not tested on animals. Users praise it for not caking on the skin. Generous .49 oz. jar.
Choosing your perfect shade may be a bit challenging, as the colors are somewhat darker than expected. The packaging could be better – product easily falls out of it during use.
A good pick for consumers with sensitive skin, thanks to the fragrance and talc free formula. Better sun protection than competitors – SPF 19. Comes in a wide range of shades.
The jar and brush design doesn't do a good job preventing messes during use. Somewhat coarse texture is prone to caking. Color discrepancies have been reported – shades that are lighter or darker than indicated.
Garners praise for offering light to full coverage, depending on how you prefer to layer it. It also offers ingredients like silica that helps control oil.
Can be "cakey" or heavy if you apply too much. No UV rating. A bit drying for users who don't have oily skin. Some shades have too much pink.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
When it comes to makeup, foundation is usually the first step to a polished look. With the right foundation, you can feel put together and ready to face the world. Foundation covers acne and other blemishes and evens out skin tone. For some people, it helps prevent their skin from getting too oily throughout the day.
If you have sensitive skin, many of the ingredients in traditional liquid and cream foundations can cause irritation and breakouts. Fortunately, mineral makeup is a viable option for folks with sensitive skin – and others as well. Mineral makeup is made with natural ingredients rather than chemicals that can irritate the skin and clog the pores.
To ensure that your skin stays healthy and looks flawless with every application, it’s important to know what type of mineral makeup to choose, as well as what ingredients and other features to keep an eye out for.
At BestReviews, we pride ourselves on our completely unbiased recommendations and reviews. We buy products to test in our labs, and we conduct field and expert research that helps us learn as much as possible about top products on the market.
If you’re ready to buy some mineral makeup, check out the matrix above for our top recommendations. For general info on choosing mineral makeup, continue reading our shopping guide.
Mineral makeup is made from actual minerals like zinc oxide, iron oxides, talc, and titanium dioxide. The minerals are ground down to extremely fine particles that are then used to form loose powders, pressed powders, and in some cases, liquid foundation.
Unlike traditional foundation and makeup, true mineral makeup doesn’t contain any preservatives, fragrances, or chemical dyes, so it’s usually a better option for sensitive skin.
Mineral makeup is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, so it can help soothe skin with acne or rosacea.
Mineral makeup is suitable for most or all skin types. This includes oily, dry, and combination skin. People with skin sensitivities (like rosacea) often benefit from mineral makeup. Here are some of the other benefits it offers.
Because mineral makeup contains less filler ingredients than traditional makeup, it’s less likely to clog pores.
The zinc in mineral makeup can help soothe acne breakouts.
Mineral makeup provides natural sun protection because it includes physical sunscreens like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Mineral makeup often provides fuller coverage than traditional foundation, so you don’t need to use a concealer to cover breakouts, age spots, and other discolorations.
Mineral makeup is usually long-wearing, so it’s not necessary to reapply it throughout the day.
Mineral makeup has a lightweight appearance on the skin, which means it usually doesn’t look cakey or heavy.
Mineral makeup gives the skin a subtle glow, creating a more youthful, healthy appearance.
Mineral makeup in powder form often has a long shelf life because it doesn’t harbor bacteria the way other traditional powders do.
The use of natural ingredients and lack of parabens and other preservatives, fillers, and chemical dyes are all points in favor of mineral makeup. If you’re looking for a healthy foundation option, mineral makeup is a strong contender.
Most mineral makeup is free of parabens, emollient oils, waxes, and fragrance, all of which can be very irritating.
Most true mineral makeup comes in loose powder form. That’s because no binders are added to the minerals, which are required for the makeup to be pressed or turned into a liquid or cream foundation.
However, you can find some pressed powder mineral makeup that contains limited or natural binders to hold the minerals together.
Some brands also offer liquid foundation that’s infused with minerals. In most cases, these foundations contain binders and other fillers, so the makeup isn’t as natural as other mineral makeup options.
Even with the natural sun-protection factor, it’s a good idea to pair mineral makeup with a separate sunscreen to fully protect your skin.
For a truly pure mineral makeup, the formula should contain only titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, iron oxides, mica, and one or two additional ingredients. However, some brands will add other ingredients that you probably don’t want in a mineral makeup.
Bismuth oxychloride is a natural ingredient that’s often used in mineral makeup. It’s a heavy metal that has been known to cause itching and breakouts. If you have sensitive skin, avoid makeup formulas that contain this substance.
If you have dry skin, avoid mineral makeup that contains silica and/or kaolin, which are oil-absorbing and can dry out the skin. However, if you have oily skin, formulas containing silica and kaolin are ideal.
Steer clear of mineral makeup that contains preservatives like phenoxyethanol. This is not a natural ingredient and shouldn’t be included in “natural” makeup.
The minerals in mineral makeup are micronized at different levels. The higher the micronization level, the more coverage the makeup provides.
As with any face makeup, choosing the right shade is key to achieving a natural look. And while mineral makeup is usually more forgiving in terms of shade-matching than liquid foundation, you still want to get as close a match as possible.
Some brands of mineral makeup offer only three shades, such as Light, Medium, and Dark. Other brands offer as many as 20 shades, so it’s much easier to find an option that matches not just the depth of your skin tone but the undertone as well.
We advise potential buyers to consider makeup from a brand with a fairly wide color palette. That way, you’re more likely to find a good shade for your skin tone.
Most loose mineral makeup is sold in small, pot-like containers. You may wish to purchase a mineral makeup pot that includes a sifter lid. Without this lid, it’s quite easy for the makeup to spill out of the container.
A locking sifter is particularly helpful, as it prevents the powder from shaking loose inside the container when you’re carrying it in your bag.
Because it contains fewer filler ingredients than traditional makeup, mineral makeup is less likely to clog your pores.
Mineral makeup varies in price based on the ingredients, type, and brand, but you can usually expect to pay between $8 and $50.
For budget-friendly mineral makeup that may contain some fillers, you’ll usually pay between $8 and $15.
For mid-range mineral makeup made from higher-quality ingredients, you’ll usually pay between $20 and $40.
For top-shelf mineral makeup made from high-quality ingredients, you’ll usually pay between $40 and $50.
Allow any moisturizer, primer, or other skincare product to absorb into your skin for several minutes before applying mineral makeup to avoid an uneven, patchy finish.
When you’re using a loose or pressed powder mineral makeup, it’s best to apply concealer before foundation, especially if you’re using a cream or liquid concealer.
If you have dry skin, always apply moisturizer before your mineral makeup. The makeup will look smoother and more even this way, and it won’t cling to dry patches of skin.
Allow any moisturizer, primer, or other skincare products to absorb into your skin for at least five minutes before applying mineral makeup. This helps avoid an uneven, patchy finish.
A kabuki brush is the best tool for applying loose and pressed powder mineral makeup. The short, dense bristles help provide the most coverage.
Mineral makeup often gives the skin a subtle glow, so you have a more youthful, healthy appearance.
When using a kabuki brush to apply your mineral makeup, swirl the bristles in small circles over your skin in a buffing motion.
Less is usually more when it comes to mineral makeup, so start with a small amount and only apply more if you need extra coverage in certain areas.
If you have oily skin, you may want to apply a finishing powder over the mineral makeup to absorb any excess shine.
Misting your face lightly with a makeup setting spray can help make your mineral makeup look less powdery.
Q. Does mineral makeup feel heavy on the skin?
A. Because it doesn’t contain fillers and is finely milled, mineral makeup usually has a very lightweight texture. You might not feel like you have any makeup on at all when you’re wearing it.
Q. Do you need to use additional sunscreen with mineral makeup?
A. While mineral makeup provides natural sunscreen, you probably can’t get the sun protection you need from the makeup alone. Pair the makeup with a separate sunscreen to boost your protection.
Q. Does mineral makeup work for mature or aging skin?
A. Despite the fact that most mineral makeup comes in powder form, it’s actually a good match for mature skin. That’s because it contains light-reflecting minerals that actually diffuse the look of fine line and wrinkles, creating a soft glow that makes the skin look more youthful.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.