When we think mineral makeup, we think all-natural, right?

Well, according to a survey by SpecialChem, the response was overwhelmingly quite the opposite. When 120 professional cosmetic formulators from around the world were asked if they honestly considered mineral makeup to be natural, a surprising 80% said no.

I was a little shocked to see that so many industry professionals didn’t think that mineral makeup was all-natural, especially with maven brands like Bare Escentuals advertising their makeup to be “so pure you can sleep in it”. Mind you, as we mentioned in our mineral makeup post, this is a common misconception of mineral makeup, especially considering many do contain talc, a suspected carcinogenic).

The entire question posed by SpecialChem was: “Do You think mineral makeups can be considered natural with many of the ingredients used in them being minerals of synthetic origin?” We can consider how the questions was phrased to begin with that may have swayed respondents in a certain way; but nonetheless, compared to respondents from North America and Asia with only 7-12% in agreement that mineral makeup is natural, a whole one-third (or 33%) of Europeans answered the same.

The reason? It could be said that they are more aware of the regulations in their respective countries and how they can lead, for example, to adding color additives to mineral makeup. In the US, for example, regulations stipulate that color additives be of synthetic origin. Once these additives are in the mix, you can already say it’s not purely natural. In Europe, they are able to use natural iron oxides as long as stringent restriction for heavy metals are met — meaning in the end, most of their mineral makeup is put to a higher and stricter standard for review.

Even though “natural”  includes synthetically derived ingredients, it is still legal for make up companies to describe their products as all-natural Sephora’s top ten makeup awards, many additives in (even if it’s not 100% so). As you know, in our take ofmineral makeup include titanium dioxide, a photosensitizer some scientists believe can lead to an increased production of free radicals, and bismuth oxychloride considered to be a harsh irritant.

We’re friendly with certain makeup brands though — check out our 5 Best Mineral Makeup Products for starters. They may not be all-natural, but they’re not all-bad either!