Potential Irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in Mineral Makeup

Makeup can be a godsend for rosacea sufferers. It might not always cover enough and it might also take some time to find ones that suit you, but covering up a rosacea face can really help your confidence.

Potential Irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in Mineral Makeup

Postby mimicocolulu » Sat Oct 06, 2007 1:19 am

Many rosaceans can benefit greatly from some sort of tint to cover the redness associated with blushing and flushing. But the hyper-sensitive nature of rosacea skin, means that we need to be cautious of anything we put on our skin.

I suppose I want to touch on the topic of Bismuth Oxychloride because I am particularly sensitive to it and I have heard so many stories from other rosaceans who are sensitive to it too. All people have their own chemical makeup, and some will have problems while others won't. However IMHO, I would avoid it where possible.

Mineral makeup is becoming ever popular as we become more and more conscious of what we are putting onto our skin and bodies, especially for those with rosacea. Because of this increased awareness people are asking more questions. And one of the most popular questions is about the ingredient Bismuth Oxychloride. People want to know what it is and why it is in so many brands of mineral cosmetics.

Bismuth is the by-product of lead and copper refining, as well as other metals to a smaller degree. Bismuth occurs very rarely in nature. It is on the periodic table of elements under the symbol Bi at atomic number 83. It is very heavy and chemically resembles arsenic and antimony.

Companies use this in their cosmetics because it is cheap to buy and is an inexpensive filler. It does have binding qualities, so the makeup will "stick" to your skin, so to speak. There are other products that are just as effective at adhesion, and are better for your skin. Because of its molecular make up, it is often viewed as shiny or pearlescent. It is often sold in these two varieties. This makes it highly refractive, which is something companies want. Refraction will camouflage fine lines, wrinkles and discolorations. If you use a brand with Bismuth Oxychloride you'll notice a shiny look after applying the makeup. Not like oiliness, but almost shimmery. That's the Bismuth Oxychloride.

It's a very heavy element, which makes it difficult for many people to wear. It has to be forced into the pores (hence the buffing technique) otherwise it is capable of sliding off the wearer's face. The heaviness can result in clogged pores or irritated skin. Bismuth oxychloride often feels silky and not rough when rubbed between the fingers. Mineral makeup companies that do not use it have a lighter feeling makeup that usually blends into the skin better and with less effort.

People using products made with Bismuth Oxychloride and who are allergic to it complain of clogged pores, papules, pustules, whiteheads, extreme blackhead problems, itchiness, irritation and more. Doesn't sound very attractive does it?!

Its molecular makeup is a crystalline shape, which may be a cause of the itchiness some people get when they wear it. Many people experience noticeable itching when they sweat. Don't forget it is also kin to arsenic, chemically. Your body will reject things it does not like, and if you'll get sick from ingesting arsenic, it would make sense that your skin would get irritated from having arsenic forced into it.

I found a really good list on the web for those who are sensitive to Bismuth Oxychloride and Mica (that's another subject again).

Non-bismuth oxychloride mineral makeup:
- Abby St. Clare
- Ada Cosmetics
- Alima
- Alpha Skin Care
- Aromaleigh
- Artemis
- bareFaced Minerals
- Beaute Mineral
- Beauty Bliss
- Beauty Wise Cosmetics
- Canary
- Coastal Cosmetics
- Ennvoy
- Evan's Garden (but contains cornstarch)
- Everyday Minerals
- Free Spirit Beauty
- Fusion of Color Cosmetics
- GeoGrafx Mineral Cosmetics
- Herbal Natures
- Herbs of Grace
- J.Lynne Cosmetics
- Larenim Mineral Makeup
- LaurEss
- Let's Face It (also contains 100% silk powder)
- M A D Minerals
- MeLange
- Miessence
- Mineral Basics
- Mineral Boutique
- Mineral Essence
- Minreal Pure Makeup
- Mineral Silk
- Minerals by Sandra
- Nature's Infusions (some may contain mica)
- The Organic Make-Up Company
- Pampered Princess
- Pura Minerals (not to be confused with Pur Minerals)
- Pure Luxe
- Sevi
- Strata Cosmetics
- Twisted Fayte
- Valerie Beauty

Non-bismuth oxychloride and non-mica mineral makeup:
-bareFaced Minerals (Velvet Glove and Velvet Plush and Neutral shades in the Original)
- Cory Cosmetics
- Earth's Beauty
- Raesin Images (but is micronized - the only one who does this - why?)

Mineral makeup containing bismuth oxychloride:
- Au Courant
- Bare Escentuals
- Baresense pureMinerals
- Colorscience
- EMANI
- Face, etc.
- Glominerals
- Jane Iredale
- La Bella Donna
- Mineral Secrets
- Philosophy The Supernatural Powder Airbrushed Canvas
- Pixxidust Minerals
- Pur Minerals
- Sheer Cover
- True Colors
- Youngblood

This check list is for those who want a change or who are experiencing irritation and inflammation. Irritation can occur immediately or it can creep up on you, making it hard to pinpoint the source of irritation. I repeat, Bismuth is only bad for those who are sensitive to it, not everyone,
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Re: Potential Irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in Mineral Makeup

Postby Aurelia » Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:26 am

This is an excellent post, thanks. However, I'd like to see it in a more obvious section ... but where?

David/Jen: Any chance of creating a section or subsection more suitable for good advice on make-up, etc? Thanks!

Kind regards,

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Re: Potential Irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in Mineral Makeup

Postby mimicocolulu » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:55 am

Hey Aurelia,

Thanks so much! You echoed my thoughts exactly. I wasn't sure which section to put my post under. I was going to go for 'Topicals' but the sub forums didn't really apply. Then I thought to put it under 'Blushing and Flushing', but as you pointed out, it just wasn't obvious enough.

David, it would be cool to have a seperate section if possible. I think the girls would love more info and for the guys, it may help to remove the stigma attached to the word 'makeup'. Knowing what to use and how to use it could really give people the self esteem and confidence to do things they wouldn't dream of doing 'unprotected'. It could be called something like 'Conceal and Reveal'. It could mean that on the one hand, you are trying to cover up the redness and with it you reveal the confidence that often is buried deep, thanks to rosacea. Maybe a bit too cryptic? Or 'Correct and Conceal', 'Smoke Screen', ''Preen and Polish', or maybe it needs to be something a little more straight forward like 'Makeup & Camo for Guys and Girls'. I'm not sure about using the word 'makeup' as it doesn't really cover all the products available.

I'm sure you can think of something much better, but it would be terrific to have a specific section. There are so many little tricks and products that people can use to disguise the redness.

Anyway, thanks David and Aurelia!
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Re: Potential Irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in Mineral Makeup

Postby David Pascoe » Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:55 pm

I moved this thread to a new forum under topicals called Makeup & Cover Up. My first stab at a name anyway ... There are lots of good topics around these 2 areas so lets see how this one goes.
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Re: Potential Irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in Mineral Makeup

Postby Aurelia » Sat Oct 06, 2007 1:24 pm

Thanks, David. That's great!

It's hard to decide on categories when starting out with a blank board, so subjects can be reorganised and re-titled as the need arises ... unless Mr Board Owner says otherwise. :ugeek:

Kind regards,

Aurelia
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Re: Potential Irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in Mineral Makeup

Postby David Pascoe » Sat Oct 06, 2007 1:28 pm

Aurelia wrote:It's hard to decide on categories when starting out with a blank board, so subjects can be reorganised and re-titled as the need arises ... unless Mr Board Owner says otherwise. :ugeek:


You forgot to say Mr. Agreeable Board Owner ;)

Forums are easy to rename, move and create. One good thing about the way the URLs work mean that old links will always work even if the forum is renamed or moved (but on the down side, you can never tell from a forum URL where you are going to end up after clicking it).
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Re: Potential Irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in Mineral Makeup

Postby Aurelia » Sat Oct 06, 2007 2:04 pm

David Pascoe wrote:One good thing about the way the URLs work mean that old links will always work even if the forum is renamed or moved (but on the down side, you can never tell from a forum URL where you are going to end up after clicking it).

Thanks, Mr Generally Agreeable and Obliging Board Owner. I didn't know that. I wanted to post a link to Mimi's stupendous post but thought you would probably be moving the thread so any such link wouldn't last long, so instead just suggested that Bihbi check this board. Now I know better.

Kind regards,

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Re: Potential Irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in Mineral Makeup

Postby deegirl » Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:32 pm

Thanks for all the information about the bismuth oxychloride. I've never liked that ingredient in mineral makeup because it irritates my skin. I've been using Everyday Minerals for awhile now and I really like it. It's not expensive ($12.00 for 8 gm), the service is great AND they offer free samples (yeah). You get 3 foundations/1 concealer and one blush (like I need it) in a sample kit.

http://www.everydayminerals.com/g?t=kits

I found a mineral brush I love at Ulta.

http://www.ulta.com/control/product/~product_id=2146418

and also a very nice tinted (if you're fair) sunblock. I think guys might be able to use it too depending on skin color.

http://www.ulta.com/control/product/~product_id=2143506
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Re: Potential Irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in Mineral Makeup

Postby Guiseppe Pascuale » Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:49 pm

Great thread!

So does this mean bismuth oxychloride should be altogether avoided or only when it is the primary ingredient in a formula? I ask because almost every single powder (including non-mineral) on the market has this ingredient listed under the "may contain" section of the list, which leads me to think those products would contain a dusting at best.

Laura Mercier has a great Mineral Powder SPF 15 with zinc oxide as the active agent and pearl powder as the sole ingredient listed before the "may contain" listing of Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride, Titanium Dioxide, and Iron Oxides.
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Re: Potential Irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in Mineral Makeup

Postby redbreanna » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:36 pm

Wow, this is really eye opening. Unfortunately, the mineral makeup I have been using (Jane Iredale) was recommended by my dermatologist! This is on your list of products containing the B.O., so I am a little worried about what I have been putting on my skin. I had never heard of this before, and though all mineral makeups were equally good for the skin. Thanks for the information!
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