Is Bare Minerals Good for Acne Prone Skin?

Mineral makeup promises to provide pure coverage that is close to nature.

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It's like a mind-dizzying, want-to-get-off-but-can't merry-go-round. You need makeup to cover acne -- but -- makeup clogs pores and causes acne. It seems like a cruel hoax perpetrated against women whose goal is simply to look their best. Among the companies who promise makeup without the breakouts -- and yes, there are several -- is Bare Escentuals, manufacturer of the Bare Minerals product line.


Women with acne-prone skin know the drill; look for and buy makeup labeled non-comedogenic. Makeup labeled non-comedogenic -- according to the cosmetic industry at least -- is safe and non-irritating to sensitive, acne-prone skin. It sounds good, but as some of us have learned the hard way, it's not always that easy. Barbara Strickland, a certified-para medical esthetician, states non-comedogenic labels are not enough. To be really safe, you have to read the makeup labels and do your research.


Bare minerals Original SPF 15 Foundation is a mineral makeup with five ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, bismuth oxychloride, mica and iron oxide. According to the company, it provides "flawless coverage", diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles and is "clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin over time." Bare Escentuals claims its makeup is so pure and safe "you can sleep in it."

Mineral Veil

Mineral Veil locks makeup in place, gives your skin the look of "airbrushed perfection,” provides a "flawless finish" and is suitable for "any kind of complexion," according to the company's website. It absorbs oils, softens the complexion and minimizes lines. The ingredients in Mineral Veil are zea mays (corn starch), corn starch modified, zinc stearate and magnesium stearate. Bare Escentuals notes the product may contain iron oxides.

Ingredient Detective

With the ingredient list in hand, it's time to don the Sherlock Holmes persona and separate fact from fiction. The comedogenicity chart from Sage Skincare is a list of 228 ingredients that might be advertised as non-comedogenic. If the ingredient has a score of 3 or more in the comedogenicity or irritancy category "don't use the product," says Strickland. Of the five ingredients in Bare Minerals Original SPF 15 Foundation, only one registers on the comedogenicity graph, zinc oxide, with a score of 1,0. The good news continues for the ingredients in Mineral Veil. Of the five ingredients, only magnesium stearate registers with a score of 1,0.

Popular Opinion

When it comes to beauty products, popular opinion counts. Bare minerals Original SPF 15 Foundation won the 2011 Allure Readers' Choice Award for best foundation makeup and the 2011 Glammy Award for best foundation or concealer from a department or specialty store. Glamour notes the product "lives up to its hype" while Allure writes it "sweeps away any evidence of shine, spots, and pores along with it." Bare Minerals Hydrating Mineral Veil won the QVC 2011 Customer Choice Beauty Award.

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