From our FAQ Series: Are Minerals REALLY All natural?
Boy, that’s a loaded question.
ok here’s my answer, and some of it may be unpopular, but oh well, I pride myself on blunt speaking, so here goes.
Some minerals are, and some minerals aren’t, but all “minerals” that are in that classification as per the FDA, are there because their chemical structure categorizes them as such.
BUT……. since the FDA currently has no standard of a “natural” claim companies kind of get to assign this to themselves, so buyer beware.
Please don’t read this as us bashing the FDA- I think they are overburdened and place priorities where they should be, on drugs and food first. We wish that they could actually have better, and more, resources at their disposal to have the capability to better regulate all three categories under their pervue. We also don’t want to be seen as bashing companies who choose differently than we do, this is a multi-varied industry.
Now, as a company, it is OUR job to set the company’s definition of natural. And that is what we have done. Our company’s description of ingredients we will use include, plant and animal based products ie. beeswax, silk powder, and yes, Carmine. though, obviously they are not in every product. You can see by ingredients that aren’t in our products, what does NOT adhere to our definition.
For the mineral element- If it were a pure piece of metal – Iron, Titanium, Zinc, Magnesium, etc and it were exposed to catalysts such as light, heat, air, moisture, and/or an electrical current in nature, would it become that ingredient? If the answer is yes, then we will consider using it. Notice I said consider. There have to be greater benefits and uses than just being natural, and natural doesn’t even guarantee safe or effective either. (poison ivy is natural, but we sure aren’t rubbing it into our skin!)
Our one concession to this is Ultramarine Blue, Ultramarine Blue used to be made solely from lapis lazuli, as semi precious stone, and was very expensive. A contest was held by the, Societé pour l’Encouragement d’Industrie to offer, in 1824, with a prize for the production of the precious color. There is some debate over whether a French or German Chemist was first. Since the French Chemist, Jean-Baptiste Guimet failed to published his findings in 1826; and Christian Gmelin did publish his in 1828, Gmelin is credited with the discovery, and the modern Ultramarine blue was created.
In very simplistic terms, iron free kaolin clay and silica (both ingredients we already use) are super heated in a kiln until sulphur dioxide is created, which results in the blue pigmentation. Since both ingredients, and catalyst fit our definition of Natural, we happily use this gorgeous pigment. Based upon the different proportions of silica, charcoal, sulfur, and even fine white sand (where silica if from) these can all produce different shades like purple, and even green. (isn’t science cool?)
Now understand ALL minerals, for safety, are made in a lab. They take a piece of metal, or rock as in mica, that has been mined, and they remove all heavy metals like lead and arsenic. They may then expose it to those catalysts named above, and get the resulting end mineral pigment like Red Iron oxide. This ensures that all of the ingredients are free of harmful by products. ( no going back to the 17th century French Court where their cosmetics were, LITERALLY, killing them with arsenic poisoning) But the process by which they are made are still as would happen in nature in these cases. And the catalyst doesn’t alter the structure in such a way we feel to be harmful. For the minerals, like mica and the diamonds that we use, those are mined, purified, and then typically ground, and often pigments are added to create colors. We, Again, only use those colored with natural pigments, not dyes, or other synthetics colorants. And we have certification establishing that our diamond powder is obtained from a Conflict free source.
Not all minerals adhere to this, some are actually 100% manmade, or are created using a catalyst that doesn’t adhere to our natural guidelines, and you won’t see them in our products.
We also avoid the use of dyes, as we feel that dyes are not a health direction we want to go in, we prefer nature made over manmade. Not to mention the usage restrictions for safety of dyes is much stricter and often not adhered to correctly by many companies.
As always we have our ingredients listed directly on our site, as we believe in full disclosure. All Our foundations are all vegan, and gluten free (our creator is Gluten intolerant) And many cheek and eye colors are also vegan and gf, and we are right now adding a V onto all the Vegan shades to make it easier for those of you choosing a Vegan Lifestyle.
In that Spirit we will choose, as our sample of the week, Duchesse Brown A gorgeous satin brown. And yes, Vegan! (sample size included in any full-sized order)