The Benefits of Makeup without Bismuth Oxychloride

Posted on February 18, 2009 @ 2:24 am
by Marilyn Etzel

Mineral makeup is everywhere you look these days. The minerals in the cosmetics are found naturally in the earth. Using them adds a natural glow to your face. But, all mineral cosmetics don’t only contain minerals but other compounds.

Bismuth oxychloride is a common filler in makeup. It is a compound created from a metal on the periodic table, bismuth. It is sandwiched between arsenic and antimony. If you don’t know what antimony is, you’ve most definitely heard of arsenic. Bismuth in its natural state gives off toxic fumes when burned.

Bismuth undergoes a process of refinement for it to become cosmetic grade. Bismuth is combined with chlorine first. The reaction produces hydrochloric acid as a byproduct which is still dangerous. Oxygen is then thrown into the mix to produce a stable bismuth oxychloride compound. It has two textures: diamond and pearl. Both are used in mineral cosmetics.

Bismuth oxychloride feels silky to the touch. Alone, it resembles a crystalline powder. It provides smooth coverage in mineral makeup and helps the minerals stick to the skin.

As filler in makeup, bismuth oxychloride adds a shine to the skin. Some women like it and some do not. A pearlesque bismuth oxychloride results in a matte finish to your makeup. On the other hand, the diamond texture leaves the skin shimmering.

Flawless coverage with a natural look and feel is the desired effect of mineral makeup. This coverage is achieved with minerals whether bismuth oxychloride is present or not. Some manufacturers don’t use this filler because of its less than desirable properties. Check your makeup labels for any evidence of bismuth oxychloride.

Why you are better off without bismuth oxychloride

1. Bismuth oxychloride adds shine and shimmer to the skin. For many women this look is over the top as far as looking natural. If you have oily skin, the shimmer makes the oily look more noticeable. No one will object to how bronzing from the sun makes their faces look, but they’ll want to eliminate the shining.

2. Large pores appear larger when bismuth oxychloride is present. The compound doesn’t do a good job of concealing that fact. Using makeup is one way to reduce the appearance of larger pores when bismuth oxychloride is not present.

3. Bismuth oxychloride is not a naturally occurring mineral. The basis of mineral makeup is to use natural products to enhance the look and health of your skin. Traditional minerals blend into the skin when it warms and do no harm even to people with skin issues. As a manufactured compound, it can cause problems.

4. Bismuth oxychloride is an irritant to the skin of some women. If you are that unlucky woman, the filler compound can cause skin breakouts, itching, and even rashes on otherwise healthy looking skin. It’s hard to tell if bismuth oxychloride will affect you in this way so it’s safer to avoid it altogether.

Are you using mineral makeup? Be sure that your brand doesn’t contain bismuth oxychloride, a known irritant for some skin types.

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