Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kaolin Clay May Be A Scapegoat To Makeup Woes!

Hi Everyone,

Today I wanted to share with you one of the many exchanges I receive from those believing the ingredient Kaolin Clay is causing problems for their skin.

Kaolin Clay as a whole is a very gentle mineral used for decongesting pores, pulling toxins from the skin and to absorb excess oils. It can be found in many brands of makeup, commercial and professional lines, is quite translucent, and this mineral is the purest and mildest of all clays. It offers moisture control for keeping the skin fresh looking throughout the day. It also has nice oil absorbing properties without drying out the skin and helps to reduce shine on the face. It does not pull the natural oils from the skin, but only absorbs excess so it can be used by those with dry skin as well in small amounts. It leaves the skin incredibly soft, especially when this mineral powder is used in a facial masque. When mixed with distilled water or a combination of botanical oils and other home remedy ingredients, the results for those with acne are extraordinary. This mineral has shown to work well for even those with Rosacea.

A customer had originally inquired about Delicate Rose vs Dewy Rose and if we offered Blush shades without Kaolin Clay in them. Below is the latest email exchange between me and my customer concerned about using Kaolin Clay:

Dear Katherine,

Thank you for responding quickly. I am a busy mom and don't always take time to read everything in fine detail.

I think I'm sensitive to the clay because I used a sample of your foundation (delicate) and my face became much clearer during this time, no bumps where I used it alone and no other irritations. I used the blush on my cheeks where I predominantly have rosacea and applied it over the foundation, less irritation, but I always seem to have slight irritation even when I go a few days without makeup which I do often (weekends or days when not working) just maybe a little more whenever I use any blushes. I inquired about the blush ingredients out of curiosity because you make the foundation without it. I can't be 100% about the clay but I used other brands with the same ingredient list plus the clay and those irritate my whole face more. What type of reaction have other women you've spoken to have? Maybe this will help me pinpoint what the irritant is. I know your particles are coated in methicone so I was also considering that maybe other brands that don't do this are irritating it. I use only synthetic brushes and clean them regularly.

Anyhow, I have been wearing makeup for years and only became extremely sensitive over the last couple. It's been lots of trips to the dermatologist and using prescriptions and moisturizers with very few ingredients and figuring out that my extremely expensive makeup had parabens which I developed an allergy to and the other brand I switched to had bismuth which I am sensitive to also. Thanks for your time. If you have any suggestions please let me know. I've read your beauty board and learned from that. I guess I'm just looking for the perfect things that are going to make me look as good as I want to without the irritation.


Clay, NY

Happy Easter Susannah,

Needless to say I am up quite early this morning due to a backlog of orders and wanted to get back to you ASAP.

Now to address your concerns on Kaolin Clay. In reading your email, it can be quite confusing on what you are experiencing since you stated you also have some irritation even when you don't wear makeup. Rosacea is a tricky thing and all by itself can be irritated just touching it. Not knowing how severe yours is, I am hazarding a guess. But here is some information you may find useful and to help you clarify what might be occurring.

First off the use of our synthetic brush is very helpful. Also make sure you do very little buffing since our minerals don't require it. Checkout our flawless face technique page for instructions since other mineral makeup brands do require a lot of buffing to get it to disperse. This is another factor as to why it makes ours gentle to skin due to the application method.

Also if you are experiencing irritation only where blush goes it may not be the Kaolin Clay at all. In other blush formulas they use dyes and lakes, (we don't use these) which are irritating and parabens can also be a skin sensitizer. Kaolin Clay usually causes dryness or itchy skin when we learn of reactions and it is not from our products typically, but from women thinking it is this ingredient by the time they arrive to us. So again I am not exactly convinced when we hear from ladies this is the problem since they are coming from using a makeup that was full of Mica also.

I believe Mica sensitivity has been the problem in these cases outside of the obvious Bismuth reaction, and certain micas also can cause severe dryness depending on their coating.

The reason I hesitate to say it is Kaolin Clay as a sensitizer is the fact it is also in the eye colors. Since you are using these without watery, itchy or swollen eyes, then I am inclined to think it is a rosacea stand alone thing or perhaps Mica sensitivity to other products where it is used as a whole in the mixture. A Kaolin Clay sensitivity would be present around your eyes if you had one. Nothing is more reactive to sensitizers than our eyes. Although our minerals are soothing and reduce erythema, rosacea seems to cause problems simply with using the wrong cleanser, perspiration, heat, shampoo and conditioners flooding across the face in showers, many factors. Women are surprised to be able to use our other products with Kaolin Clay similar to your experience, without reaction, only adding to the confusion since they were convinced it was this ingredient. I believe the Rice Powder mixed with Methicone in all of our formulas is what keeps the skin soothed and free from problems. That is why we have created these formulas. The overall results have been excellent.

I hope this has helped you and I really am confident that the Dewy formula won't cause you any problems since there is such a small amount of Kaolin Clay in the overall formula. Try it it by itself without any blush at all and see if you do fine with it. Then build from there. Thanks and I hope for the best with your skin issues. If you have any other need for assistance don't hesitate to let us know.


Dear Katherine,

Thank you for your thorough reply to my concerns. Dermatologists seem to not know most of these answers, I guess due to no personal experience.

I bought 2 synthetic brushes, the flat head and dome head buffer, and I have to say the make-up (Dewy) went on so well with the flat head that I was impressed. I compared it to the dome and like the flat head much better, more coverage that is even. You were right, there wasn't any extra irritation from the clay so maybe it has been other formulations I've used. I have noticed itchiness with other products where the main ingredients was mica but nothing compared to bismuth.

I really like the Adonia color as well. I'm quite fair with a moderate amount of ruddiness and the color warms me up in a natural-looking way.

Well, I'll just keep going with what I've got then. Thank you again. I will recommend your products to my friends who have also had problems with other brands. I understand that you are busy. There's no need to reply to this. Just wanted to let you know about the brush preference which some women may not have discovered and say "Thank you".

Happy Passover and Easter,

Clay, NY

As you can see, problem solved through a bit of trial and error, and clearly Kaolin Clay was not the problem but the scapegoat for other ingredients found in makeup. And in terms of blush color, some also use Carmine in their blush to achieve a pink shade (we don't) and this can also be irritating for skin since some can have an allergic reaction to this dye. Click here to learn more about Carmine!

I think it is great when women finally learn what is happening with their skin in order to alleviate their frustration by using a makeup that won't give their skin fits.

Also, even though I explain Mica sensitivity, since she was referring to only mineral makeup issues, it can also be said that any mineral, including Mica can be blamed for an allergy when a product is also full of parabens, silicones, dyes, lakes and other chemical preservatives. These are all known skin we want to make sure we don't turn Mica into a scapegoat either in some instances. It is a culmination of ingredients that makes our skin go ballistic.

This has been the consensus for those with rosacea and acne. We have found out through contact with these women, their skin has improved and they can now go on to enjoy wearing mineral makeup everyday without the worry of letting their skin breathe since quality formulas of gentle minerals and botanicals heal and soothe, and do not block pores.

However for those women we may not have initial contact with, this is why we offer our foundation in a delicate formula since we needed to make sure that we were accommodating to those who believe they too are sensitive to Kaolin Clay. It is only once they give us a try they may learn also that Kaolin Clay is not, nor was ever the actual problem but obviously many factors played a role, some of which I stated and this customer above discovered for herself. Evening Rose Veil has been a big seller for us since it is specifically created for women with acne and rosacea giving them excellent results and its' main ingredient is Kaolin Clay in this formula. She also went on to sample Evening Rose Veil as well!

Another example of what women are discovering:

Dear Sterling Minerals Team,

I received my order last Thursday and immediately applied everything according to your "Flawless Face Technique." All I can say is...I am stunned!! I am simply blown away by what your minerals have done for my complexion! Please, bear with me even though I know I sound quite dramatic -- first, let me backtrack a little and say that I am 43 years old and have been using mineral makeup and natural skincare for about four years. I have tried many different mineral companies (10-12) and even liked several, including the one I've been using the last two years.

I have struggled with adult cystic-type acne for years and have not been able to quite get it under control. I have also over the last couple of years developed areas of small bumps along my cheeks, (strangely enough it's the area where blush is applied.) Anyway, it appeared to me that those bumps virtually disappeared overnight when using your Evening Rose Veil! How is that possible ?! Not only that, but I have yet to get another cystic type blemish and I always have one of those going. I know only time will tell if all the ingredients agree with my skin and don't cause any breakouts. But I have complete confidence that your mineral formula will cover the area and help diminish any redness and give my complexion a "Flawless" look -- no matter what! The coverage and completely natural look, not to mention the staying power of your foundation is unbelievable!!!!!

With your minerals I have the skin I always wanted and please believe my complete sincerity when I say that your Sterling Minerals products are an answer to my prayers.

Many, Many Thanks!

~Sarah B~
Fairview, TN

This email truly touched me as it is abundantly clear in her writing, the excitement and emotion she is feeling knowing she has found her Holy Grail for her mineral makeup needs. Interestingly enough, she is also dealing with the areas of the cheeks specifically where she applies blush, and again this could be a mica based product subjecting her to a possible mica sensitivity. Or it could be a combination of this and dyes or parabens.

Then I received this followup email from the same customer, affirming that Kaolin Clay did wonders for her skin:

Hello again Katherine,

I just wanted to touch base and let you know I am still seeing only good things with my Sterling Minerals experience. In fact, I just placed another pretty big order including two more jars of Evening Rose Veil.

I have decided that this would also be great for my teenage son and pre-teen daughter to use at night as their complexions are now starting to see some breakouts.

With continued success, I am planning on letting others know about your wonderful company on the GoW Forum on Delphi. There are some great gals there and I am sure they would love to know about your products.

Thank you so much, again, for your healing, natural looking, and beneficial minerals!!


Sarah B
Fairview, TN

I am always tickled and overjoyed when I hear how well my customers are doing on our products. Please don't ever hesitate to contact us if there ever is a question or concern with a certain ingredient as we will always do our best to assist you further with identifying a skin issue since Dermatologists don't necessarily have all the answers. They may only know what they are told by the salesperson selling to them their particular line of skincare products. What may sound good and is offered to you by your doctor, may indeed still be causing you ongoing skin problems.

These emails and the phone calls I receive are not unique experiences. I have many customers who have been on products sold to them through their dermatologists only to learn that these products are still loaded with chemicals and synthetics. I don't get it! That is why I always emphasize about reading your labels and understanding ingredients and what problems they can cause skin. Let us know how you are doing?!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter! Here's hoping for sunshine!


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