A naturally trusting person of generous spirit, there are, I admit, times when a curmudgeon sits on my shoulder whispering cynical and distrustful ideas in my ear. This often happens when I am confronted with mineral make up. Don't get me wrong, there are some good ones on the market. Sadly, there are many more that are hitching a ride on a bandwagon. Youngblood Natural Mineral Loose Foundation is one of those.

The mineral make up bandwagon needs to be regarded with caution. The premise is that these products have only pure and natural ingredients that will effortlessly give your skin an all day glow. In fact, many of them contain additives and irritants, they are difficult to apply and can make dry and aging skin look dry and old.

Youngblood Natural Mineral Loose Foundation contains two paraben preservatives that are not and never could be considered minerals (plus they are known pollutants). More worryingly, it contains (as do many mineral make ups, by the way) a pearlizing agent that gives mineral makeup that candlelight glow. This agent is bismuth oxychloride. Strictly speaking, it is a mineral, but it's not found in the earth. Bismuth is a byproduct of lead and copper processing. Bismuth oxychloride is also frequently used to bulk up or bind products and is considered a skin irritant and, in large amounts, can cause cystic acne. It is to be avoided if you have acne, rosacea or sensitive skin.

As for the minerals, well there aren't an awful lot of them in Youngblood Natural Mineral Loose Foundation. In fact, there are two: mica, which serves to reflect light, and zinc stearate. The ingredients list says, rather vaguely, that it "may contain titanium dioxide".

UPDATE 11/2009: Since this original post, Youngblood has reformulated and removed the parabens in its Natural Mineral Loose Foundation. The current ingredients are listed below:

Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Mica (CI 77019). May Contain (+/-) Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77489, CI 77492, CI 77499), Chromium Hydroxide Greens (CI 77289), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288).