Nanoparticles are often not disclosed in the ingredients list. These particles are a million times smaller than a grain of sand (ie. one billionth of a metre in size). Studies are showing that, like asbestos, nano-particles don’t actually break down inside the body. And like asbestos, they can penetrate cell membranes, damaging DNA and triggering a form of mesothelioma.
In 2009, The Age wrote that, “Australian unions are demanding urgent regulation of the nanotechnology industry, citing mounting evidence that some tiny particles used in products such as sunscreens and cosmetics could be as harmful as asbestos.”
In addition to nanoparticles, some people say that mineral makeup aggravates their skin, and this is because other brands will sometimes use bismuth (a metal mineral), which aggravates the pores and can cause blemishes.
Mineral makeup can also contain Talc, which is now shown to be a major cause of ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson were recently ordered to pay $72 million to the family of Jacqueline Fox, whose death by ovarian cancer was linked to her daily use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. It was revealed during the court case that Johnson & Johnson had known about the cancer link for decades, but had failed to warn consumers.
The skin irritation caused by some mineral makeups can also be from the use of synthetic dyes. Eg. Red colour can only be achieved with dyes. Even “natural” brands like Bare Minerals choose to use dyes in their products. And some of the dyes used in regular mineral makeup brands contain lead, and have even been linked to neurological seizures!