As I’m officially in my 40s and noticing subtle changes in my skin (it’s not quite as oily as it used to be), my relationship with foundation has been evolving, to say the least. I’ve been leaning more toward natural-looking, medium-coverage foundations rather than the full-coverage mattes I favored for over a decade. But though my skin is slightly less oily, I still get breakouts (rude), which is why when I learned about The Good Mineral, a mineral makeup brand that’s aimed at sensitive, reactive, and acne-prone skin, I was curious to see how it would work on me. I was already loving the pink-and-gold packaging, so I took that as a good sign.
The Good Mineral's Brand Story
The Good Mineral was started by two sisters from South Africa, Ego and Natasha Iwegbu. When Natasha, a product developer and cosmetic chemist, began formulating the foundation powders, Ego, a beauty entrepreneur, was hesitant to try it at first because she had very sensitive skin that frequently broke out. But Natasha actually had her sister’s skin in mind when creating the powders and made sure not to use fillers or irritants, such as bismuth oxychloride, or any fragrances, oils, preservatives, or synthetic dyes.
"Acne-prone sufferers have reactive skin that can easily be agitated,” explains Ego. "That also means that we are conscious of touching our faces too much and putting stuff on our skin that may be a contraindication for acne. Makeup, whilst often needed to give a bit of coverage, is perceived as, and feels like, it is not good for skin.”
According to Ego, the The Good Mineral powders don’t penetrate the skin but rather act as a protective barrier. The formula contains concentrated pigments, which allows for minimal application, so you don’t have to use a lot to get adequate coverage. "This also adds to the super-lightweight feeling, which is critical for acne sufferers sensitive to feeling the ‘weight’ or itchiness of makeup,” she says. There are also no pore-clogging ingredients. "Clogged pores are everyone’s problem, but more so for acne-prone skin, as we are more susceptible to blackheads,” explains Ego. "For example, our formulations do not contain lauroyl lysine, which is found in many foundations both liquid and powder, and known to clog pores.”
The brand’s Loves You Back 3in1 Foundation Powder acts as a concealer, foundation and powder. It comes in 12 adaptable shades, and something that I found interesting is that each shade was specifically formulated for it and against real skin. For example, beige shades do not contain kaolin clay, which can help control excess oil, and coco shades don’t have titanium dioxide, which is a natural-occurring mineral sunscreen. Every shade contains a varying number of ingredients like zinc oxide, sericite, and iron oxides.
My Honest Review of The Good Mineral Loves You Back 3in1 Foundation Powder
First of all, it was a big deal for me to try this foundation because I literally have not used a mineral foundation in over a decade! I’ve also been pretty loyal to my La Mer Soft Fluid Foundation. (I’ve barely used anything else all year.)
Second, I don’t tend to use powder makeup formulas these days. So it goes without saying I was going to need a refresher on how to apply this type of product. Luckily, I asked Ego for some tips because it turns out there is a certain approach to applying Loves You Back 3in1. The best way, she says, is by using the brand’s Iconic Flat Blending Brush ($25). "Its bristles are just the right length to be firm enough to dab but soft enough to not drag skin,” she explains. "Pick up the powder with the corner of the brush and release it where the most coverage is needed first. Then, with gentle pressing, dabbing or patting action, blend the powder in.” I realized I didn’t have that exact brush but found a similar one in my stash.
The application was pretty easy, though the powder did take some getting used to. I quickly learned to use a tiny bit at a time—a little goes a long way—but it also helps prevent powder from flying all over the place. As I lightly dabbed the powder on my face, I was pleased to see how seamlessly it blended into my complexion. (I used the shade Beige 2.) It left a nice, even coverage, but it didn’t camouflage my acne scars as much as a heavier liquid concealer or foundation would. However, it felt lightweight and easy to wear and held up pretty well after a few hours.
I also tried the Blush Boost in Mellow Melon ($25), which was another product that took some getting used to, as I mainly use cream blushes these days. I’ve noticed that some powder and even liquid blushes don’t work with my skin as well as they did back when I naturally had more collagen. (Sad!) But the blush blended beautifully and gave me perfectly pink rosy cheeks. I’d have to say the biggest surprise was the Mineral Gold Highlighter ($25). I never use highlighter, but the shade True Gold was calling to me. I applied a touch to the highest part of my cheekbones and was immediately obsessed with the glow. It looked stunning.
Overall, I am very impressed by The Good Mineral makeup line, and my complexion looks healthier and more glowy with the makeup on. While I don’t think I could completely commit to an all-mineral makeup routine and give up my beloved La Mer foundation, I love having this as an option. It will be an amazing go-to on days when I’m having a breakout and don’t want to risk aggravating my skin and causing more zit sisters to show up. I also really like how it changed my outlook on powders—I really thought I'd given up on them for good! It goes to show that it’s all about the formula when it comes to makeup. Not all products are the same.
Shop More Products I Swear By for Acne-Prone Skin
This cleanser contains a trio of acne-fighting ingredients—madecassic acid, asiaticoside, and asiatic acid—to help treat breakouts and rejuvenate the skin.
Pop on one of these patches if you have a pimple that needs a little help coming out. It protects your zit from dirt, stops you from picking, and absorbs pus for quicker healing.
If you’re not just dealing with breakouts but also the aftermath, aka scarring, a good serum can go a long way. This one is clinically proven to help minimize the appearance of dark spots, especially ones caused by acne scars.
If you’ve got breakouts, this editor-beloved product is basically a friend in a pen. With a formula containing salicylic acid, lactic, and azelaic acid, it kicks pimples to the curb and prevents future ones from forming when you use it once or twice daily.
This is one of my favorite products for breakouts because it treats pimples (thanks to 2% salicylic acid) while acting as a primer and minimizing the appearance of pores.
Another great serum to try is this one by RescueMD. You can use this on both your face and body to help improve hyperpigmentation, so if you get scars from random breakouts on your chest like me, this is worth trying!
Nothing beats a good zit-zapping clay product. Use this cleanser to help deep-clean your pores, as it contains clay and aloe vera to de-clog and soothe simultaneously.
Marie has covered beauty, fashion, and lifestyle for almost 15 years. She contributes to the beauty section here at Who What Wear. Previously, she was the Looks Editor for Bust Magazine, built the beauty vertical at HelloGiggles as its beauty editor, and was a founding staff writer at Rookie mag, giving fashion advice to teens. Her bylines have appeared in The Cut, Allure, Glamour, The Hollywood Reporter, and more. She was born and raised in Southern California and is based in L.A. Marie is a self-proclaimed costume design nerd and a co-host of Makeover Montage, a podcast about fashion in film and costume design. You'll see her writing about her beauty obsessions: red lipstick, winged eyeliner, pink hair, nail art, and skincare for people over 40. When she's not working, she's playing with her dog, Gnocchi, and writing her style newsletter, Overdressed.
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