Is titanium dioxide natural?

Posted on November 07, 2008 by kate | 2 Comments

Titanium dioxide is mined and purified before it can be used as a cosmetic pigment. In fact, all minerals are purified before they can be used medicinally (for example, in mineral tablets from the health food store) or as cosmetics. Indeed, virtually all cosmetic 'chemicals' are refined in some way - essential oils are extracted from plants, plant oils are pressed or extracted with solvents, and purified in various ways, soaps are catalyzed with lye, and almost everything is preserved one way or another.

Mineral pigments, including titanium dioxide, are very highly regulated by the FDA, and must adhere to strict standards for purity, particle size, etc. Frankly, we wouldn't have it any other way.

The term 'natural' is bandied about in the cosmetics world quite a bit these days. Cosmetic grade mineral pigments are generally considered to be natural because they are purified, natural substances. One industry standard bearer, BDIH, has a comprehensive list of guidelines they use to certify natural cosmetics, and you can read about them here.

What is not natural are the many polysyllabic synthetic chemicals that populate the long ingredients lists of most conventional cosmetics, and even many claiming to be natural. You can find some of the worst offenders here.

Alima Pure worked hard for our BDIH natural cosmetics certification, and we're proud to carry the symbol of assurance that our ingredient deck has been carefully audited, and falls within meaningful guidelines.

If you have any questions, please ask us. We love hearing from you.

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Posted in Alima Makeup, mineral makeup safety, natural cosmetics safety, titanium dioxide safety

Is mineral makeup organic?

Posted on November 06, 2008 by kate | 0 Comments

We get this question quite often, and the answer may surprise you. Mineral makeup is not organic but 'inorganic'. Being of mineral origin, it is inert, and doesn't breakdown the way, say, flower petals do. Because it's inert, mineral makeup don't require preservatives to stay fresh, and it has great longevity.

How do some mineral cosmetics manage to call themselves organic? They add a little organic something - corn starch,  lavender oil, or plant extracts, for example.  Just a little bit, and they can claim to be 'organic minerals', however non-sensical that may sound to a chemist. And with that they need preservatives, because they are no longer inert.

We prefer to keep it simple. Pure minerals, and nothing more. It's really all you need.

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Posted in Alima Makeup, organic cosmetics, organic mineral makeup

Titanium Dioxide safety and mineral makeup

Posted on October 10, 2008 by kate | 2 Comments

We were not a little dismayed to discover that The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has reclassified it's titanium dioxide safety rating from 1 to 6. It appears that EWG in the process of reassessing all mineral cosmetics containing this particular ingredient, so it's only a matter of time before most of the cosmetics which had a '1' (low hazard) rating will have a '3' (medium hazard) rating.

After discussions with EWG, we discovered that the reclassification is related to their mistaken belief that nano-sized titanium dioxide particles, which are often used in sunscreens because of their transparency, are a component of mineral cosmetics. We would like to go out on a limb and say that it is very unlikely that any mineral cosmetics manufacturer, not just Alima Pure, uses nano-sized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for precisely this reason: nano-sized particles are so tiny that they are nearly transparent. Transparency is great in sunscreen, but totally useless in, say, foundation, where coverage is the point.

We've been in contact with EWG about correcting their records. Meanwhile, Alima Pure is committed to bringing you the very safest, purest cosmetics available, and we are following this issue carefully. As you know, all of our products are compliant with the European Union Cosmetics Directive and the strict standards of the BDIH. For our part, we intend to err on the side of caution in our formulations. We'll certainly keep you posted as this issue unfolds, and please let us know if you have any questions.

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Posted in Alima Makeup, EWG, mineral makeup safety, nano-particle safety, titanium dioxide

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