Saturday, January 26, 2008

Does Mineral Makeup Cause Dark Skin To Look Ashy?

  Many women with dark ethnic skin tones have been concerned about their skin turning ashy when they use mineral cosmetics. This has been expressed to me on more than one occasion so I decided it was probably time to explain exactly why this happens with some mineral makeup, but not with all minerals. Many also insist it is linked totally to the use of Titanium Dioxide in the products. This is only true to a degree.

Titanium Dioxide, when used in high concentrations, can cause an ashy appearance to dark skin since it is considered a pigment for lightening shades. It also has excellent light refracting properties only surpassed by diamonds, giving a brighter appearance to the face. However, not all minerals use this ingredient in high concentrations even if you see it as the first ingredient on the list. It may only be at a 5-25% concentration in the overall formula. If an ingredient list is primarily Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides and Mica, odds are this would be a formula that can cause considerable problems for turning dark skin gray or ashy.

A high quality blend of minerals and / or botanicals should readily melt with any skin tone if the ratios are put into proper proportion and Titanium is utilized more as a sunscreen component rather than a pigment for changing depth of shades. Different mineral makeup blends can achieve the lightening effects on pigments without it causing a white-out effect. Our blends of dark mineral foundation shades melt with your skin tone and the effect is the same for Delicate Rose Petal™, Dewy Rose Petal™ and Velvet Rose Petal™.

Another reason you may also appear ashy or gray is you are choosing the incorrect shade for your skin tone. If you should have a lot of golden, yellow or red in your skin using a shade that is geared toward neutrals, dark olive or cool chocolate (blue/red skin tones) will definitely create an ashy / gray appearance to the skin. So what you may have once been blaming on Titanium Dioxide, may actually be caused by too cool of a shade for your color. Also some companies may use black oxide in excess to darken shades and this will actually gray the shade instead of darkening it.

One other likely reason, and one that many dark skinned women don’t wish to accept at times, is heredity can give you a greenish / yellow cast to your face. This is your natural skin tone and is usually indicative of Olive skin. If you stray too far from this natural skin tone by trying to infuse too much red to counteract the yellow / greenish cast, you will appear as though you are wearing the wrong shade and can look pasty and ashy. Try to enhance your natural skin tone since this will look best on you. Other shading options are available through blush and bronzer if you wish to perk up a certain skin tone. A mineral makeup foundation done properly that truly matches and mirrors your natural skin will enhance it and you will suddenly appreciate what you were blessed with since your face will glow with the correct shade using a premium mineral makeup.

Another variation; dark skinned women wanting to counteract the deep reds they have in their skin for more of a golden yellow. Yet again, covering the deep reds that you possess naturally due to the depth of color you have, this will make you look like you are wearing the wrong shade. Too much yellow on a deep reddish brown skin will give you an unnatural appearance.

The best way to avoid a problem is to always try samples and make sure you purchase those in the warm deep golden / red tones if you have a reddish brown to caramel skin, or maybe try a more neutral tone to mix to adjust shade color or to enhance a true Olive skin. Sometimes unless the blue / red skin tone is quite obvious such in very dark skin tones, you may just not realize what you are doing to your skin with the incorrect shading. Sending a photo of yourself in natural daylight which includes face, shoulder, and neck and chest area to Sterling Minerals™ is always helpful so that I or one of my staff may further assist you in getting you close to a skin tone match with minimal sampling. You can send your photo to us at

Follow these simple practices and you will learn to “Celebrate Your Natural Beauty™”.

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