I hope this post finds you having a fabulous day! Have you tried mineral makeup? Do you currently use mineral makeup? What are your thoughts about mineral makeup?
Today I have the pleasure of posting an email interview with Katherine Corkill, owner of Sterling Minerals. Katherine is one smart cookie and a wealth of information. I'm very pleased to introduce you to her and her company, Sterling Minerals!
What is your background?
For over 25 years through extensive research I have incorporated holistic and homeopathic remedies into my family's lifestyle, including providing holistic health care for pets for 13 of those years. Other studies include chemistry, aesthetics and color theory and I have been the master formulator for our cosmetics for the past 4 years not including research and development of an additional 2 years.
How did you get started in the cosmetic industry?
Basically, I have dealt with skin issues off and on for many years and only recently due to the onset of peri-menopause have had dry and itchy skin frequently. I discovered the benefits of mineral makeup, however, many were consistent in ingredients that continued to cause problems for my skin. Bismuth Oxychloride and Mica based products caused irritation and ongoing itchiness and I knew there had to be a better way since overall I believed in the less is more philosophy to skincare. So I began my journey of trial and error in creating my own line of mineral makeup and other skincare products. Sterling Minerals Cosmetics was born!
What is mineral makeup?
It is comprised of what I consider to be the main minerals of an excellent mineral powder: Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide and we only use untreated USP Grade in all of our mineral cosmetics. Minerals offer sun protection benefits as well. In ours we use a perfect balanced blend of the main minerals and combine them with kaolin clay and surface treated mica encapsulated in Methicone which prevents moisture loss to the skin, and then to create a cooling effect with Boron Nitride which reflects light and heat away from the face while also giving excellent performance to the different formulas we offer for different skin types. To enhance our mineral makeup, we then combine botanical ingredients with the minerals for an overall holistic benefit for keeping skin looking and feeling its best. Rice powder has been used for centuries in the Art of Ayurveda for healing skin ulcerations and bleeding pimples. And of course Jojoba and Allantoin for the benefits they offer for keeping skin healthy and healed. Women have raved about how they are able to wear our products when no others would work. I believe we have captured the perfect formulas for the best overall performance of water resistance, natural SPF and healing properties rolled neatly into a fantastic mineral makeup. Mineral Makeup can be more than just minerals with a caveat: those with preservatives and other chemicals are unnecessary and only expose the skin to other possible irritants. With ours we try to keep it as simple as possible only using those ingredients which truly show a benefit to the user.
Is mineral makeup better for your skin?
I believe it is, based on what I stated in the last question. To elaborate, it allows the skin to breathe, is cleaner application overall, and provides anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits. In cases with ours we have had many women suffering from acne, rosacea and psoriasis proclaim great results. Our natural SPF is perfect too. Although we cannot make a particular claim as to how much SPF without FDA testing, we have shown in our own field testing of us achieving with moderate coverage, up to SPF 25. Also we always advise women that darker colors will have less Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide so SPF will drop. And it is always subjective to how much is applied including with other brands that have received an SPF rating.
Is there a difference between natural and organic ingredients?
Well again this is subjective and often causes confusion to the consumer. There can be natural ingredients used in a skincare lines considered a botanical or mineral, and then there is organic which is typically certified as organically grown botanical. However nothing natural can be added to a cosmetic or skincare product without going through a chemical process to make them safe for cosmetic use. There are processes which are gentler than others minimizing the need for chemical extraction such as cold pressed oils and steam distilled. Organic is a botanical grown free of pesticides and is certified as such, and is overseen by the USDA and their National Organic Program (NOP) Examples of being able to make a claim for organic are:
100% Organic: The product contains only organically produced ingredients. It may bear the USDA Organic seal.
Organic: The product contains at least 95% organic ingredients. The USDA Organic seal may be used.
Made with Organic Ingredients: Contains at least 70% organic ingredients. The product does not qualify to carry the USDA organic seal.
Are there ingredients for mineral makeup that aren't good for your skin?
Basically anything which can be occlusive. Silicone oils for example have been added to some other lines of minerals and these can block pores, and for some can be a potential skin irritant along with the use of parabens. Also commercially prepared blends are actually loaded with nothing but chemicals and possess a dash of titanium and/or zinc and call it mineral makeup....this is why it is essential for consumers to always read labels to know exactly what they are getting and not go by face value of a title on a box.
What are your thoughts on essential oils vs fragrance oils used in cosmetics?
Essential oils are by far the better choice for skincare products as they are the oil which is derived from the plant extract and provide holistic properties. Fragrance oils are artificially reproduced to capture a certain scent and are full of synthetics and typically don't offer any healing properties.
In your opinion, what do you think is the biggest misconception in regards to cosmetic ingredients?
That natural is always better than synthetic or otherwise described as chemical. Everything in nature is a chemical. Water is a chemical. Also those that wish to cast aspersions against the chemical (synthetic industry) due to our skin absorbing these supposedly harmful chemicals, the same can be said for natural chemicals. They too will absorb into our skin and some can have similar potential risk of complications as a synthetic chemical. What has not been determined or proven is whether or not anything through the skin will actually cross into the blood brain barrier. Believe me, there is more harm coming to our bodies through breathing our air, drinking our water and the food we eat. The use of cosmetics to date has not been shown to cause any disease, cancer or illness in any way, shape or form....just a lot of speculation and marketing ploys brought on by the those that wish to disparage the use of certain ingredients just to sell their own products. Also the consumer wishing to use primarily organic ingredients should pay close attention to what is known as "green washing". This is basically where a touch of organics are used and the rest are synthetic ingredients....only the manufacturer calls it organic on the label and its in violation of FDA regulations.
Educating consumers on cosmetic ingredients is important to me. What are your thoughts on how the consumer is being educated?
Unfortunately, the consumer is being fed a whole lot of recycled garbage brought about by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Many compact signers (most of which are in non-compliance to some degree) use the CFSC entity to market their products and by doing so in essence, give an illusion that theirs are in some way better than the competitor who doesn't sign. This is not the case as we were once a signer until we requested they remove us after learning how they were hurting the industry as a whole with disinformation. Our products are exceptional, but I refused to use bad information to promote Sterling Minerals Cosmetics.
The EWG and CFSC currently use the Skin Deep database for their profiles on ingredients and claim this is actual educational information and is accurate and up to date. This couldn't be farther from the truth or accurate in the least....most data is attributed to MSDS (material safety Data Sheets) and possess significant data gaps. To the trained eye like you and I and other chemists we can sift through the info, but to the average consumer who lacks the basic knowledge of how formulations are designed become fearful and paranoid based on scare mongering tactics by these two entities. Percentages in terms of ratios are not even addressed and are based on full strength contact of an individual ingredient. So instead of actually educating the consumer they are being fed "hazard" info instead of "risk", which there is none in regard to the consumer since their exposure is extremely diminished. The actual analysis is compared to those within a manufacturing facility or taking a full dose injection under the skin as they do to rats and claim "possibility" of illness. To my knowledge no one is eating their cosmetics or injecting them under the skin.....and again to date, there is no unequivocal proof that any of these claims are accurate. No one has ever died or gotten cancer from using cosmetics or skincare products.
Any closing statements you'd like to make?
I feel that it is our jobs to always educate and inform consumers of the facts in terms of all ingredients within the industry and show pros and cons with reliable information and promote our products based on merit rather than disparaging others with false claims. I am constantly debunking information put out by others in the cosmetic and skincare industry that go beyond rationale....I further believe there are many in our industry creating a disservice to the consumer by regurgitating speculative research with incomplete data and only continues to do more harm to their own businesses in the long run...as for those that continue the undying research and only deal in facts and not scare tactics or use bogus claims to sell their products, we will eventually come out on top of those that wish to use this type of marketing ploy. Consumers crave the information, but they want accurate information, something I continue to strive toward. As long as I keep it safe, real and fun, my customers will continue to seek us out and use our products because of those 3 factors I employ in my business model. And bottom line..... truth and integrity will always rise above the fear mongers....it's tough at times, but we can do it together as industry leaders bringing the best we can in safe cosmetics and skincare products to our loyal customers.
I'd like thank Katherine for taking the time to respond to my interview questions via email. What did you think about this interview? Is there a topic you would like to learn more about?
Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a wonderful day!
Cactus & Ivy