Is there anything minerals cannot do? Not according to Bare Escentuals! However, labeling this a “groundbreaking treatment” is like labeling a typewriter groundbreaking technology.
This eye treatment contains something called ActiveSoil Complex, which they claim “harnesses mineral electrolytes and marine peptides” to take care of all manner of complaints relegated to skin around the eyes. First, the ActiveSoil Complex is just a fancy way to say this eye cream contains dirt, listed as “soil minerals.” Of course it doesn’t tell you what minerals they are, so there is no way to know what you are really putting on your skin.
Second, using the term “mineral electrolytes” in the claim is just silly because electrolytes in humans (essential for the skin’s and body’s homeostasis) are minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium, and chloride. But again, there is no way to know if this product contains any of those as “soil minerals” because that is too vague; actually, “soil minerals” isn’t even permissible as an ingredient listed on a skin-care product because it isn’t specific enough.
There is some research showing that applying electrolytes topically to skin can help barrier repair, but lots of ingredients can do that, plus that is not a special or unique function for the eye area (Source: Skin Pharmacology and Skin Physiology, January-February 2005, pages 36–41)
Although this eye cream contains some excellent non-mineral ingredients, it also contains fragrant ylang ylang oil, which is a problem for use anywhere on the face, especially around the eye, although probably not in such a small amount. The main mineral in this “treatment” identified on the label is mica (which is not an electrolyte), which simply adds some shine. Shine isn’t skin care and overall this eye cream offers little hope for those concerned with improving signs of aging.
A groundbreaking treatment designed to minimize the look of fine lines, restore firmness, and reduce puffiness. This advanced, ophthalmologist- and dermatologist-tested age fighter visibly smoothes fine lines and wrinkles, boosts firmness, and brightens skin in the delicate eye area. Infused with the RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex, it harnesses mineral electrolytes and marine peptides to rejuvenate skin around the eyes instantly and over time.
Water, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Wheat Straw Glycosides, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Squalane, Glycerin, Mica, Tocopherol, Soil Minerals, Titanium Dioxide, Polygonum Fagopyrum Seed Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Pelvetia Canaliculata Extract, Peucedanum Ostruthium Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Flower) Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Sodium Phytate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sorbitan Olivate, Sorbitan Palmitate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum
Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. The self-proclaimed "healthiest, purest makeup in the world" was founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s, and is now run by Leslie Blodgett, who appears regularly on QVC and the company's own infomercials to support and demonstrate her products. Blodgett is largely credited with turning the line she began into a $150 million business—no small feat. The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skin-care products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.
Supporting the company's portrayal as a leader in purity are the corresponding claims that the bareMinerals makeup does not contain fragrance, oil, binders, preservatives, emulsifiers, or any other harmful chemicals. Although this line does have its advantages for someone with sensitive skin, as it turns out, bismuth oxychloride, a major ingredient in the powder formulations, can cause skin irritation, while the other minerals can be drying (Source: www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Bismuth_oxychloride-9923103). Regarding bismuth oxychloride, it is interesting to note that bismuth (a metallic element) seldom occurs in nature. Instead, it is a by-product of copper and lead refining, or is manufactured synthetically. Chemically, it's similar to arsenic, a fact you won't see in any advertising for bareMinerals. However, just as cosmetic-grade mineral oil is not identical to the petroleum from which it originated, neither is bismuth oxychloride identical to bismuth. The bismuth oxychloride used in cosmetics is non-toxic, but this background offers a good example of how skewed a company's definition of "natural" can be.
Aside from the health and purity claims, loose powders are as messy as it gets in terms of your vanity (countertop, not ego) and your makeup bag. The powder just gets all over the place, and the very basic packaging does not do much to minimize the mess. Additionally, while there are softer neutral shades, and some fairly exotic shades as well, most are mildly to extremely shiny and make any amount of crepey skin look more so. The face powder does provide some amount of opaque coverage, but the shine and the thickness can be a bit much. The loose powder eyeshadows and blushes apply in a somewhat lighter way, though they still provide significant coverage. Many women ask me about mineral makeup and whether or not it really is better for skin. The answer to that question is "No."
Although most mineral makeup is innocuous, the texture, appearance, and application have difficulties that make it not comparable to today's best liquid or pressed-powder foundations. We agree with bareMinerals' stance that foundation shouldn't look or feel like a mask, nor should there be a line of demarcation where the application stops. However, their foundations are not the only ones able to achieve this, and there is no inherent benefit to this type of foundation over numerous other options.
There isn't much to say about the skin-care products, but what's worth paying attention to is noted in the At-a-Glance section.
For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit www.bareescentuals.com.