A while ago I remember talking to a plastic surgeon and telling him that most women would love to have the option to go without make-up every day. His response was that that simply wasn’t possible as we grow older.

Over time, the effects of aging, including sun damage, increased sensitivity, uneven skin tone and larger pore structure do require us to wear make-up to put our best face forward. The good news is that the make-up we apply no longer needs to be heavy or an obvious cover-up. Mineral cosmetics are a much healthier choice. The absence of talc, glycerin, paraffin, waxes and fragrance normally found in traditional foundations allows these finely milled products to protect and correct all day. Simply formulated from titanium, zinc and iron oxides, mineral powders and liquids smooth out the appearance of the skin instantly, do not clog the pores, offer sun protection, correct oiliness and break-outs and calm irritation. They are also gentle enough to be applied after cosmetic surgery and laser treatments.

Applying make-up can be a daunting prospect for many of us and this is where mineral cosmetics offer another advantage. They are really easy to apply, leave no demarcation line on the jaw and can be layered over problem areas without looking heavy or bulky. In other words, your skin looks flawless without the assistance of an expert make-up artist!! As a facialist who has seen countless break-outs and clogging caused by poorly formulated make-up over the years, I give mineral cosmetics my 100% approval.

Final tip: the brushes used to apply the powders should be washed at least once a week. For more tips on how to take care of your cosmetics and when to replace them, check out the Past Articles/What’s in Your Cosmetic Bag section on this website.

Annual revenues from the beauty industry in this country currently run at about $20 billion  and a good part of that figure comes from the sale of cosmetics. We are clearly making quite an investment to put our best face forward, so how well are we caring for that investment? Here are six ways to protect it:

1. Sterilize make-up tools and brushes every week with a gentle liquid soap (baby shampoo, for example). Use a tall glass for brushes, dilute with warm water and a touch of rubbing alcohol. Let brushes soak for one hour, rinse them thoroughly with cold water and then stand them, end up, in the empty glass to air dry.

2. Rotate and wash sponges regularly and if you use your hands to apply make-up, make sure they are clean. Be close to the sink, not in your car when putting on your daily face. It is safer in every way.

3. Do not keep mascara or eye liners for more than three months. There is a particularly nasty strain of bacteria called ‘pseudonomas’ that just loves the taste of cosmetics and can cause a very bad infection in the eye area. Never share products with friends.

4. Duplicate all essential make-up in a correctly-sized ready-to-travel kit and keep it stocked. This way you are both prepared and protected.

5. Powders (mineral or otherwise) tend to be safer especially if your are keeping your brushes clean. If you are using a liquid foundation, make sure it is packaged in a tube or closed top container rather than a pot.

6. Don’t forget to clean lash curlers with an alcohol/antiseptic wipe after each use and really important, wipe off cell phones after each use.