Wednesday, January 9, 2013

There are many reasons to make the switch to non-toxic products, but for some people it is acne that motivates the switch. While we know that acne can be caused by a myriad of factors (hormones, environment, and so on), we’re big believers that non-toxic products made with natural and organic ingredients do make a difference in clearing your skin. However, it should be known that not all natural ingredients are good for your skin. 
One big time offender is Bismuth Oxychloride. By definition Bismuth is a natural mineral, but did you know that it is a byproduct of lead and copper processing? It is also labeled as a “skin irritant” on its Material Safety Data Sheet. To top it off, its primary use is in the manufacturing of fishing anchors and shot gun pellets. We can’t imagine that the same ingredient could ever be soothing, calm, or even beneficial for skin.  If you look on the periodic table of elements, you'll find bismuth with an atomic number of 83. It neighbors lead, tin, antimony and polonium on the periodic table - Heavy Metals.  Bismuth does occur naturally in the earth but in very small amounts. Most of the bismuth produced in the US is as a by-product from refining lead, tin, copper, silver and gold ores.  Bismuth must be refined and combined with other elements to produce bismuth oxychloride in order to be safely  used in cosmetics.  Doesn't seem as "natural" as some would have you believe!

Skin irritation from bismuth oxychloride is not unusual. According to the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) bismuth oxychloride poses a risk of being potentially irritant to humans when it comes in contact with the skin or eyes.  It's a very heavy element, which makes it irritating for many people. The heaviness can result in clogged pores or irritated skin.  Those using mineral makeup with Bismuth Oxychloride have experienced clogged pores, papules, pustules, whiteheads, extreme blackhead problems, itchiness, irritation, dryness and more! Mineral makeup made with it has finer granules with a lighter feel.
Bismuth Oxychloride is commonly used by makeup companies because it adds an attractive pearlescent shimmer, adheres well to the skin, and has a good “slip,” which means that it has a silky feel. Many resources, including the FDA, deem it safe to use because Bismuth is labeled as non-toxic on the periodic table. It is also affordable, which keeps prices low.
After watching an infomercial (I won't mention any names but I think we all know which one I started with) on loose minerals I too jumped on the bandwagon!  In the beginning I absolutely LOVED them, however, over time and with continued use my skin was getting dried out. I tried many other brands with no luck.  I thought that there was an age limit to using loose minerals that I had passed!  I preferred using loose minerals to liquid foundations so started doing some research and learned of potential risk of irritation caused by Bismuth Oxychloride.  I finally came across Mineral Hygienics and noticed a difference as soon as I opened the container.  The granules were much finer and lighter!  So when I opened Keeping it Natural I chose to carry them as my premiere loose mineral makeup.  
If you have had a similar experience with mineral cosmetics check your ingredients.  If yours has bismuth oxychloride try one without it - like Mineral Hygienics.  Afterall, you have nothing to lose and a healthier, more radiant complexion to gain!
As an incentive we'll give you 15% off your purchase of any Mineral Hygienics item now through 1/31!  If you're in the area drop by 220 E. Clayton St, Athens, Ga. or shop online at and use code MH15.

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