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Ingredients Commonly Used in Mineral Based Cosmetics

Beauty By the Batch's Natural Mineral Based Cosmetics Ingredients Glossary defines several of the most commonly used natural (and nearly all-natural) ingredients used in artisan made mineral cosmetics. Feel free to let us know of any other ingredients that you would like to see added.

Arrowroot Powder: Arrowroot powder is an excellent substitute for talc in cosmetics and body powders. Arrowroot powder also acts as a thickener in moisturizers and water-based products.

Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a silky, powdery starch made from corn. In Britain, it is sometimes referred to as Corn Flour. Cornstarch is a good substitute for talc. Cornstarch can also act as a thickener.

Dry-Flo AF Pure: Dry-Flo AF Pure is a hydrophobically modified corn starch that helps enhance the feel and slip of cosmetics, lip care products, and moisturizers. When used in body powders or make up, it absorbs body moisture and facial oil without whitening the skin. You will usually see it listed as "Corn Starch Modified" within ingredient lists.

Iron Oxides: Cosmetic grade iron oxides are nontoxic and are used to tint blushes, eye shadows, foundations and other cosmetic formulations.

Kaolin Clay: Kaolin Clays consist of the hydrated aluminum silicate (phyllosilicate) clay mineral known as Kaolinite. The clay ranges in color from white to red. The level of naturally occurring iron oxides contained in Kaolin Clays determine the shade of the Kaolin. Its aluminum content gives White Kaolin its pure white color. White Kaolin Clay is the gentlest of cosmetic clays and is the type of clay most commonly used in cosmetics. It holds a small degree of absorption, but is not drying and does not draw oils from the skin.

Lanolin: Lanolin is a waxy substance secreted by sheep and other wooly animals. Lanolin acts to repel water and moisture from their coats to keep them dry in wet weather. Just as lanolin helps to repel water, it also acts as an effective emollient in cosmetic applications. It is especially useful in lipsticks and lip colorants as it helps to provide good slip and color transfer to the lips. Although Lanolin is considered to be a naturally based product, it is not considered vegan.

Magnesium Stearate: (Not to be confused with Magnesium Sulfate) Magnesium Stearate is a soft, white powder used in cosmetics as a dusting additive and as an anti-caking, binding, thickening and gelling agent. It provides good slip and adhesion to mineral makeup.

Oat Starch: Oat starch is a white, free-flowing powder that has the combined attributes of talc and the soothing, anti-irritating attributes of oats. It is highly absorbent, and is used in cosmetics and body/facial powders to help absorb oil, sooth the skin and lighten cosmetics.

Mica Powder: Mica is a group of silicate minerals that provide s shimmering appearance when ground into a very fine powder, and are easy to work with for creating eye shadows, blushers, lip colors and other cosmetics. Mica powders are available in a wide array of colors and are tinted with oxides and other colorants. Not all Mica Powders are safe to use in lip or eye products, so be sure to read all usage instructions of the cosmetics that you purchase.

Stearic Acid: Stearic Acid is a fatty acid that acts as a thickener in cosmetics, moisturizers and other skin care products. It can be derived from both plant and animal sources. If you are vegan and are considering purchasing a product that contains Stearic Acid, ask the artisan if the stearic acid they use is 100% vegetable based.

Titanium Dioxide: A whitening agent used in cosmetics to whiten eye shadows, powders and other cosmetics.

Vegetable Oils: Vegetable oils are used to create lipsticks, lipglosses, lip and eye liners, foundations, moisturizers and other cosmetics. Vegetable oils are also used in minute quantities in many powdered eye shadow formulations to prevent the shadow from causing too much dust after application as the dust effect can cause particles to irritate the eyes. Most vegetable oils are cold pressed from the seeds or nuts of different plants. Vegetable oils that are especially nourishing to the skin include (but are not limited to) sweet almond, watermelon seed, cranberry seed, grapeseed, hemp seed, peanut, avocado, camellia seed, rosehip, evening primrose, borage, macadamia nut, strawberry seed, cucumber seed and meadowfoam.


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