Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mineral Makeup "Fillers". Debunking The Myth!

The Sales Hype

As I peruse the internet or watch television I am inundated with statements about mineral makeup fillers and how they don't belong in "true mineral makeup".

I read about it on the message boards, forums, blogs, mineral cosmetic sites and see it on TV know the ones that keep you company in the middle of the night when you can't sleep. I find it utterly fascinating at the postulation from resellers of minerals, advertisers for the large box companies and those that use minerals, inform us how products containing cosmetic fillers is in some way "bad". As a mineral cosmetics formulator I am forced to wade through sales hype and exaggerated claims in order to try and set the record straight for many women who write to me.

In their letters to me they express frustration and are feeling very confused about this subject since they are having trouble with the so-called "all minerals - mineral makeup" and can't understand why. They are further confused after reading all the misinformation and the advice in forums and message boards from the expert makeup users that have little to no knowledge on cosmetic formulation or how varying ingredients actually can be used to turn a substandard product into a superior one. They pretty much are only repeating what that they have been sold through marketing hype. Along with this well intentioned advice comes myth and rumor about many things and it will take on a life of its' own until it is finally viewed as "fact".

Not only do I champion for our products of course..... I also will provide unbiased answers to those that use other minerals or skincare products saying how much they love what they currently use, but are now worried the products they are using may cause them problems down the road.

The advertisers and other resellers have been successful in accomplishing their goal....creating confusion in the consumer followed by concern, whereby convincing the consumer the mineral makeup being advertised or promoted is the only "true mineral makeup" on the market and the one they may be currently using is not giving them the protection needed or is causing great harm to their skin.....I say "Phooey!"

Filler Myth Debunked

The word “filler” is a sales tactic and is used by cosmetic experts and competitors to attack products they either don’t approve of or are in direct competition with. The phrase “filler ingredient” seems to imply that a cosmetic company includes certain ingredients within a formulation that are not necessary or don’t create a purpose for making a product perform better.

“Filler” by definition is any inert ingredient used to create bulk, texture or lubricity to a finished product. Every filler ingredient in our minerals or skincare line serves a purpose. It makes no sense to us to utilize an ingredient that can cause harm, irritation or any other problems for the user or the product overall.

It would be more responsible for cosmetic sellers to use terms such as "bad" or "harmful" ingredients since there are many out there and literally unnecessary by today's standards....but to categorize certain ingredients as filler is not only inane but the fact is all ingredients, botanicals, chemicals and minerals alike can be considered fillers depending on their purpose of use and their category on the ingredient list, such as "other ingredients" or "inactive ingredients".

For Example: There are far better suited filler ingredients to replace certain known irritants such as (Bismuth Oxychloride or Mica) and still be an exceptional mineral makeup. It is about the delivery of essential Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide (main minerals) to the face when blended with one or more of these ingredients.

First two most commonly found in mineral makeup; Bismuth Oxychloride, Mica (Sericite), (treated or untreated).

Less commonly found; Rice Powder, Silk Powder, Silk Protein, Boron Nitride, Arrowroot Powder, Tapioca Starch, Silica Spheres, Methicone, Dimethicone, Silicone, Cornstarch, Talc and Kaolin Clay, only to name a few.

Out of these filler ingredients we have chosen the best and avoided the rest. They aid in adhesion and ease of application similar to Bismuth and treated Mica, but the ones we have chosen actually provide additional healing benefit. And with some of these ingredients their expense is considerable as in the case of Boron Nitride. This highly superior ingredient for giving a mineral cosmetic incredible performance is extremely expensive to produce and purchase from suppliers.

All mineral makeup has some sort of filler ingredient in it so don't allow advertising claims to convince you otherwise. According to professionals and suppliers in the cosmetic industry, Bismuth and Mica are categorized as filler ingredients since their primary function is to create bulk, texture and lubricity to the mineral makeup. Without additional filler ingredients the makeup would not have slip and the essential minerals Titanium and Zinc (active ingredients) and pigments of Iron Oxides and Ultramarines would stick to your skin causing unevenness in shading and much irritation. Plus colorants combined with the two essential minerals will never achieve a smooth texture making them difficult to use.

In reference to my earlier statement, even titanium and zinc are considered filler ingredients since they are also utilized as colorants to create a desired appearance to the product.

Truth In Product Ingredients

Just because Bismuth Oxychloride and Mica are categorized as minerals in advertisements, they are still a filler component added to the product only to provide ease of use and to allow the minerals to blend onto the skin. They actually don't serve any other healing purpose and in most cases cause distress in many. But to insinuate they are exempt from "filler" status because the company simply chooses to for purposes of sales hype is not only ludicrous, but is a misrepresentation of the facts. One major reason is Bismuth Oxychloride is created out of a chemical process and is a bi-product of lead and copper refining making it a filler ingredient like all others. Prior to its conversion of the safer non-toxic form, bismuth begins as an impurity related to arsenic and antimony. It is not a mineral directly out of the earth as marketing strategies try to imply.

A one size fits all mentality actually has caused some women to give up on wearing mineral powders due to not having a full understanding of the different working components of these products when they could actually have a wonderful experience with products that eliminate the problem ingredients....bismuth oxychloride being one of them.

Unfortunately, through all the bunk being spewed out in internet land, women think anything else added to mineral makeup will cause other problems or won't really do much for their skin. Other basic formulas offered, though are considered safe for most skin types, prevent women with different skin types or a misdirected understanding due to inaccurate information, to enjoy the benefits of wearing mineral cosmetics.

Many filler ingredients are essential for improvement of a product and to enhance overall performance, whereby giving the wearer a better experience.

My mineral cosmetics are a prime example: I personally could not wear a mica based product or use anything with bismuth oxychloride in it. My face would go ballistic especially after I perspired. This is why my formulations do not contain this ingredient and mica is minimally used as reflected in its' location on our ingredient list, and is also surface treated with silky textured methicone.

Oryza Sativa (Rice) powder is used to cut the minerals for bulk, texture and slip yet provides a healing benefit and helps to control moisture on the skin.

Methicone is used to create adhesion, gives soft focus, with translucence it fills fine lines temporarily, prevents creeping on the skin, protects the skin from trans-epidermal moisture loss and micro abrasion from mica while protecting skin lesions from further inflammation. It feels just like silk on the skin and is extremely hydrophobic (water repellent).

These are two other examples of different types of ingredients improving performance of other ingredients, whereby overall improvement of the product is enhanced....and that's a good thing.

Proof Is In The Puddin'

Not only have I experienced results first hand when using our products, we would not be receiving testimonials from women also discovering the truth and seeing remarkable improvement to their skin if our result driven formulas weren't performing as intended. Those that couldn't even wear anything on their skin after using a commercial brand of minerals are now able to do so due to the healing filler ingredients utilized in our cosmetic formulas which do more than just sit on top of their skin.

Several emails I received recently from women, one of which her experiences are as I described. I am happy to say she is ecstatic over the results: Edited For Content!

I am pleased you take such an interest in your products and in your
customers. You have fast become my favorite minerals company in the
great labyrinth of choices out there.


Donna B.
Fall Branch, TN

Hi Katherine,

I just starting using your mineral make-up - and so far, so great! I have had reactions to mineral make-up in the past, but so far things are great with Sterling.

I was curious, I have always had reactions to eye shadows my entire life. Do you think (and I realize there is no guarantee) that I would be sensitive to Sterling Minerals' eye shadows?

Thanks for any advice you might have.

Karyn M.
Golden, CO

Thank you so much Katherine!

So far my two week experience with Sterling has been amazing!!! I have insanely sensitive skin and had just tried Jane Iredale and had a reaction to it. When I searched on "mica allergy" and read all about Sterling and the success other women had with your make up I was overjoyed!

I will email you once I settle on a foundation.

Have a great day!

Karyn M.
Golden, CO

I cannot tell you how much I adore your mineral make up. As someone who has incredibly sensitive skin and has always had issues with mineral make up I am just in love with my Sterling Minerals Make up. The coverage is beautiful and the make up feels so creamy on my skin. And it lasts forever - I look just as good at the end of the day as I do at the beginning.

I am hopeful that I will have the same luck with the eye shadows.

Thank you so much for creating this wonderful line of make up!

Karyn M.
Golden, CO

I Smile With Contentment And Have Peace Of Mind

My day is complete when I hear from my customers singing our praises because I can tout away at all the wonderful benefits our minerals offer, but to some it is just another sales pitch regardless of the fact we don't use sales hype. It is only when I hear from my ladies out there that the proof becomes evident of how we truly offer the improved alternative to the status quo.

So I smile knowing that my mineral powders truly provide healing results, and at the end of the day I have peace of mind that by providing truth in labeling and marketing, my customers can feel comfortable in contacting me and using our products.

Please feel free to either write to me directly since I love hearing from you, or leave a question or a testimonial through the comment section of this article. I make every effort to assist women that contact me through my skin care guide.

Have a great weekend!

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