Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

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Fonctionnement d'une poudre matifiante visage.

Matifying Powders: How do they work?

The foundation of successful makeup is the complexion. Foundations, tinted serums, concealers, powders... there are so many formulas available on the beauty market to perfect your skin and camouflage its imperfections. But what is the purpose of a mattifying powder? What types of ingredients does it contain?

What is a mattifying powder?

A mattifying powder is a cosmetic product designed to prevent the skin from shining throughout the day due to excess sebum. It also helps to set the foundation or tinted serum as well as the blush applied on the cheeks. It provides a velvety appearance to the skin, while unifying it.

In the cosmetic market, mattifying powders are available in translucent or tinted varieties. The transparent ones are suitable for everyone, while the pigmented mattifying powders provide light coverage and should be chosen according to one's skin colour.

To determine if the shade of a mattifying powder matches one's skin tone, nothing could be simpler! All it takes is to test it by applying a small amount to the jawline.

The two types of complexion powder in cosmetics.

Matifying powders exist in loose formulas or pressed forms.

  • The loose powder is by definition light and volatile. It provides a very natural finish to the skin. Its "dry" texture helps to counteract the sometimes shiny effect of the foundation or tinted serum applied just before. Loose powder is applied with a suitable brush. Compared to pressed powders, loose powders are often more difficult to measure and apply. It is quite common to dirty one's clothes during the application of this type of product.

  • The pressed powder or compact is typically reserved for makeup touch-ups throughout the day as it is convenient to carry and easy to use. It is a makeup product that is usually tinted and provides a certain level of coverage. It is the equivalent of foundation but in a "solid" powder form. It helps to conceal enlarged pores, blur imperfections, redness and dark circles for a smooth and unified finish. However, it can be criticised for emphasising fine lines more than loose powder due to its richer and "heavier" texture. Unlike loose powder, pressed powder is usually always tinted.

It should be noted : mattifying powders are most often loose powders. Indeed, ideal for combination to oily skin types, they generally contain substances that absorb excess sebum.

What ingredients typically make up mattifying powders?

Matifying powders contain one or more of the following types of ingredients, which can be more or less harmful to health or the environment.

  • Mineral powders

    Matifying powders contain absorbent agents capable of absorbing impurities and oils. These include mineral powders such as thegreen clay(I.N.C.I.: Montmorillonite) or white clay (I.N.C.I.: Kaolin / Montmorillonite) whose lamellar, or layered, structures allow for the absorption of lipids.However, caution should be exercised with certain mineral powders, such as talc. Indeed, in 2012, ANSES concluded that it was not possible to rule out the presence of asbestos fibres in some talc deposits. Moreover, studies have demonstrated harmful effects on the respiratory system following the inhalation of talc.

  • Silicon-based derivatives

    Silicones are sometimes present in compact mattifying powders to make the application smoother and the touch softer. Even though not all silicones have harmful effects on health and some are completely safe to use, the cyclotetrasiloxane (D4) and the cyclopentasiloxane (D5) are both suspected to be endocrine disruptors . The same applies to cyclomethicone, often found in mattifying powders, which is a mixture of silicones D4, D5 and D6. As a reminder, at Typology, we exclude silicones from all our formulas as a precautionary principle.

  • Preservatives

    To prevent the growth and colonisation of bacteria, antimicrobial agents are often added to the formulas of mattifying powders.For instance, one might find phenoxyethanol. This compound can cause skin allergies, neurological disorders, as well as effects on reproduction. Furthermore, the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products attributes side effects such as moderate to severe eye irritation to this preservative. Given these factors, it is advisable not to opt for a powder that contains phenoxyethanol. Moreover, some powders contain parabens, recognised as endocrine disruptors (= which disrupt hormonal balance). Therefore, avoid choosing a mattifying powder that lists, for example, Butylparaben or Propylparaben in its INCI list.

  • UV filters

    Some mattifying powders contain these types of compounds and therefore indicate an SPF on their packaging. However, be aware, certain UV filters found in powders on the market are suspected endocrine disruptors, such as ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate.

  • Active ingredients

    Skincare makeup has become indispensable in recent years. As such, many formulators are adding active molecules to makeup products. In mattifying powders, we sometimes find sebum-regulating actives such as the zinc , or even hydrating molecules like hyaluronic acid.


Understand your skin
and its complex needs.

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