Mineral Makeup FAQ: What does micro-formulated or micronized mean?

Question from Julie: Many mineral make-up brands advertised as being micro-formulated or as containing micronized minerals. Does this mean that they use nano technology in their production process?

Answer: Many mineral makeups are micronized - which means that they are finer particles than mineral makeup brands that contain crushed minerals. Advocates of micronized minerals (mainly the companies that sell them) say that because the particles are smaller they give a smoother and finer finish.

Extremely small micronized particles are called nano-particles. Nano-particles are used primarily in skin care, especially sunscreen. There has been some concern that the nanoparticles are small enough to enter into the blood stream of the body, either through the skin or by breathing it in and that they may pose a health risk.

I am in the process of researching this topic and as far as I have been able to determine, none of the companies on this website use nanoparticles in their mineral makeup. Because of the potential risk with nanoparticles, I personally would not knowingly use a product that contained them and I am currently researching and contacting companies to ensure that they do not contain nanoparticles, although they may have micronized minerals.

Bare Minerals does not contain micronized minerals.

Comments for Mineral Makeup FAQ: What does micro-formulated or micronized mean?

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Dec 06, 2014
by: Vanessa

When I emailed bareMinerals to ask if their matte foundation contains nanoparticles, they told me that was proprietary information. Just wanted to confirm with you that the current formula doesn't contain nano. I really like my bareMinerals matte and that's what I've been using and I just want to feel confident that it safe. Thanks

Apr 28, 2009
response from Bare Minerals re micronization
by: Anonymous

This is the answer I received today from Bare Minerals in response to my asking if the company uses micronization or nanoparticles:

"When we mill our bareMinerals, we do so using a process called micronization. This is an extremely precise technique, and all of our products are milled to a particle size of 10 microns or higher. This is a coarse particle size, and it cannot be absorbed into the pores or skin. bareMinerals does not utilize nanoparticles in our products, nor have we ever. We keep up with routine testing both independently and through the FDA to ensure that our products are precise and consistent, and each batch of our bareMinerals does undergo microbiological testing to ensure this as well."

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