Choosing the right makeup that works best for your skin type and a makeup that performs well under varying conditions can be a challenge. Many woman, myself included, invest time and and effort into selecting something that not only looks great, but gives us just the right coverage for our skin type, and provides us with the look we want and which works synergistically with our skin tone, climate,  and work environment. Providing the correct amount of coverage and hiding imperfections, our foundation may be worn every day and once we find something that works great for us, we are not apt to give up our choice of foundations very easily. Controversy was apparent from feedback from many women who wrote in and expressed frustration and even some anger after a popular physician TV host suggested  on a recent program  that there could be some dangers for those of us who wear powdered or mineral type makeup.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, of the Dr. Oz Show explained during the broadcast that it is the size of the particles contained in some of the makeup preparations that we need to worry about.  The [mineral makeup] particles are so tiny they fall quickly through the air and can be inhaled easily into your lungs. These minerals get into the lungs and cause scarring. According to Oz experts say the long-term use and inhalation of minerals in makeup can lead to inflammation, irritation, and lung disease in women and girls. Oz went onto say that at the present time there are no clinical studies which substantiate the amount of potential  danger that mineral makeup could present, but talked about effects  in fields like mining or construction,  where  workers in these environment wear masks to protect themselves from inhaling certain particles. Although Oz was very clear during the broadcast that the evidence is not yet in on products like mineral makeup, he said that women should stop using mineral makeup and switch to a liquid formulation instead.

The backlash from women who wrote in and asked us about this issue was immediate and passionate.  Women on many online forums apparently had strong feelings about the show and the information presented and many said that they would not stop using mineral makeup and were upset at the way the issue was addressed. Some posters said that they wished instead of simply telling women to stop using mineral makeup that there could have been some suggestions given on how to possibly make using powdered makeup preparations safer.
Bare Escentuals Cosmetics, one of the makers of mineral makeup put out a statement saying

"The safety and wellbeing of every customer is of paramount concern at Bare Escentuals. We would like to assure our customers that there is absolutely no credible scientific evidence that our mineral cosmetic products can be easily inhaled into the lungs, much less linking our mineral cosmetic products with negative health effects. Unsupported allegations that all mineral cosmetic products are “dangerous,” based on what unidentified “experts” have supposedly said, are unnecessarily alarming and fear-inducing because such allegations are simply not supported by any credible evidence. We stand behind our products and look forward to continuing to provide high quality products to the millions of women whose lives have been touched by bareMinerals.
Leslie Blodgett
CEO, Bare Escentuals"

dangers-of-mineral-makeup From some of the postings that I read,  it seems as if some of the  woman who were upset, may have been frustrated by the warning from Oz to “stop using mineral makeup” and would have been more likely to heed  the information  from the talk show host if he would have simply stuck to the point that there are still no studies out which can provide consumers with clear cut evidence on this issue but presented his concerns about it, and shared the info regarding lung damages from particles in construction workers and miners with certain types of lung ailments.   The issue, Oz did say, was that sometimes it may take many years, upwards of 10 or more years in certain types of studies  to show that some products could be potentially harmful. But women, who are used to hearing Dr. Oz support viewers in arming themselves with information and questioning their physicians as they advocate for more healthy lifestyles for themselves,  may have felt that the advice given out in the broadcast regarding mineral makeup was too harsh and didn’t support giving viewers both sides of the issue and allowing them to make up their own minds about their makeup. Some viewers also felt the show did not present enough information on possible risks from chemicals in certain liquid products either.

What do you think? Should you be concerned about mineral makeup and did Dr. Oz handle the issue appropriately? If yes, share your thoughts, and if you think the issue could have been addressed in a better way, let us know your thoughts about that as well.

As with any medical issue, if you have specific questions or concerns about any product, you are encouraged to consult your own physician.  It is always a good idea to consult your own experts, and to do your own research regarding foods you eat, products you use, and services you seek because the more knowledge you have, the better decisions you can make about your health and your life.