The Difference Between Conventional, Mineral, and Plant-Based Makeup

It’s very easy for cosmetics brands to trick consumers into thinking they’re organic with their fancy “natural-looking” packaging and their wild claims. There is a huge difference between conventional, mineral, and plant-based makeup that is overlooked in the industry. The main difference between the 3 types of cosmetics is the ingredients within the products themselves. 


Conventional makeup

Conventional makeup is big brands that you can find in your local drug store or mall. These brands use ingredients in their products that contain chemicals, preservatives, and silicones to make the products work better, but essentially are doing more damage than good. The FDA does NOT regulate what goes into our cosmetics. This means conventional brands can write a claim on a product for example: “hydration lasts up to 72 hours!” or “made with natural ingredients” without any proof it actually can or has those ingredients. 

Think about it...You purchase a conventional liquid foundation from the store. Conventional makeup can be water, silicone or oil-based, therefore it needs preservatives in it to keep bacteria from growing in the product. You pay a high price tag for a product that’s water-based and has nasty ingredients in it, not ideal right? Silicone products can clog the pores causing breakouts and irritation. 

Mineral-based Makeup

Mineral-based makeup contains ingredients like Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Mica and Kaolin Clay that are ground up to produce makeup. It can be less irritating to the skin compared to conventional makeup. Most mineral cosmetics are free of chemical dyes, fragrances, and mineral oils. 

It’s known to not perform or last as well because it is essentially just crushed rocks being blended onto the face. When the skin is oily, these formulas will adhere and last but if the skin is dry or you don’t have a liquid foundation or skin product underneath, these mineral-based formulas will fall off throughout the day -- making them low performing. 

Additionally, many minerals are not as healthy as you’d think. If you see “micronized technology” on an ingredient label or minerals don’t have “non-nano” before them that means that the particle size is very small. When that’s the case, these minerals are absorbed by the skin and therefore can be toxic. Make sure when shopping you look for non-nano minerals -- which is what we have in our line for added sun protection. But with that being said, our line is a plant-herb based line… keep reading for more on why that’s the best for you!

Plant-Based Makeup

This is the use of raw, organic materials and ingredients that are sourced to make cosmetics. This means it's far less toxic and better for your skin. Natural/organic makeup is great for sensitive, acne-prone and damaged skin types.

Joe Chappell, professor of plant biochemistry at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, notes that plant-based products contain active molecules that deliver nutrition, protection, and vitamins. While these nutrients are designed to fuel plants, humans can take advantage of these ingredients to work their powers on our skin. 

Aisling Organics only uses naturally derived ingredients in its makeup making it an organic cosmetic brand. Some of the ingredients the brand uses in its products are aloe vera, chamomile, rice powder, elderberry and more. If you want more information on the benefits of these ingredients for your skin, click here! 

Tips + Tricks for knowing what you’re buying


As tempting and pretty packaging can be, it’s probably what most of your money is going to when you purchase a product. Organic looking packaging has NOTHING to do with what is actually in the container. It’s easy for brands to put green graphics on a package to make it appear more natural. The only way you can really tell if a product is natural or not is to CHECK THE INGREDIENTS


Try saying “sodium hydroxymethylglycinate” five times fast. If you can’t pronounce it, it probably should not belong on your face. This harsh ingredient is a preservative that lives inside conventional makeup products. The Dirty Dozen is a list of 12 nasty ingredients that you should try to stay away from in your cosmetics. For a detailed list, The David Suzuki Foundation has a detailed list of why you should stay away from them. 


Reading reviews can turn you onto some of the best beauty products on the market. Chances are if people love the product THAT MUCH, they'll take the time to leave their positive comments. This is where you can get recommendations on shade range, undertones, finishes, and longevity. 


    An Esthetician is someone who specializes in beautifying the skin. They aren’t someone who can perform medical treatments or prescribe acne medicine (if you need such things you should see a dermatologist) but someone who can perform cosmetic skin treatments, facials, chemical peels, body treatments, and waxings. They know what they’re talking about when it comes to beauty products and routines. 

    If you’re unsure if your beauty routine is helping or hurting you - connect with Aisling Organics CEO, Krysta Lewis. She is a licensed holistic esthetician that can educate you about everything there is to know about the beauty industry and your current beauty routine.  


    Moderation is the idea that an individual should avoid extremes and instead focus on having a life committed to balance. If you want to wear that waterproof mascara on your wedding day - GO FOR IT! Nobody should be committed to one set way of doing things. Awareness is the first step. Once you can use up and replace your everyday products like your lipstick or foundation for more natural alternatives, it will make moderation much easier. 


    Always be examining and observing your skin. Your skin is the largest organ of your body, which means it can be susceptible to infections, reactions, and burns at a cost of conventional cosmetics. Aloe vera is an all-natural remedy to help soothe and treat the skin from all sorts of reactions. Stay away from chemical-filled lotions and treat your skin with aloe vera or coconut oil that have the same if not more moisturizing ingredients than conventional products.