KmS Mineral Essentials Clear Skin Challenge – The Beginning and Week 1

This product was given to me by KMS Mineral Essentials for trial use. Even though I received this product as a gift, all opinions expressed in this posting are my own, and all results are genuine. I do not receive any additional compensation if you click on any of the links included in this post.

A few weeks ago, I applied for consideration to participate in the KMS Clear Skin Challenge… And I was chosen as one of four women who get to participate! I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity, and can’t wait to share my progress with you!

What is the KMS Clear Skin Challenge?

KMS Mineral Essentials is a mineral makeup specially formulated for people with sensitive skin and acne. Kristi Shannon-Brooks founded KMS Mineral Essentials 9 years ago, specifically to help those of use with “problem” skin. See, most of us with problem skin cannot wear mineral makeup of any kind without it causing even more problems for us; that’s because most mineral makeups contain bismuth oxychloride. Bismuth oxychloride can cause skin irritation for everyone – even those people with “normal” skin can have problems with products containing bismuth oxychloride! So, Kristi created KMS Mineral Essentials, a makeup line with formulas free from bismuth oxychloride, other common irritants, talc, fragrance, gluten, and parabens. The makeup doesn’t just make you look good without irritating your skin, it is also designed to help your skin! Yes, while wearing it, the makeup works on your skin to help reduce various problem conditions!

The challenge itself, is to wear this makeup for 30 days (and follow all other skin care tips), and see if it helps my skin! I was chosen, along with three other women, to participate in this challenge. So, for the next 30 days, I will be following a skincare routine using products provided by KMS Mineral Essentials in the hopes that it will finally help with my skin problems!

Why was I chosen?

Technically, I was chosen for my horrible skin! (Insert semi-sarcastic laugh here) Well, actually, I was chosen because I have suffered from problem skin most of my life. I first got acne at 8 years old (yes, that was fun… NOT). From age 8 until about age 15, my face was completely covered in blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, and the deeper cysts. Thankfully, it stopped being quite so gross about halfway through high school, but it was still pretty bad (instead of 100 zits at a time, I maybe had 10 at a time and countless blackheads). Right after high school it calmed down a little more, but I still have a few zits at all times, and my blackheads seem to be permanent residents. Yes, I’ve been living with constant acne for almost twenty years now.

On top of the acne, my skin is incredibly sensitive. I have complex allergies, and other sensitivities; I used to touch just about anything and get a rash and itchy. I’ve had contact dermatitis more times than I can count (or care to, for that matter). This makes my skincare extremely tricky. I have “extreme combination skin” (a phrase I think I made up), where my cheeks and nose are very dry, but the rest of my T-zone is beyond oily. However, most stuff designed for “combination skin” causes me to breakout because it doesn’t seem to be designed for skin quite like mine. I also get irritated by anything more than the simplest of products. Thus, I’m always stuck having to use the “sensitive skin” formulas, which aren’t usually properly balance for my skin. Because it was so complicated, I used to just wash my face and not do anything else (I didn’t start wearing any lotions until I moved to Colorado, which is drier than the area in Southern California where I grew up).

My sensitive, combination skin doesn’t just make the washing routine tricky, but it also makes makeup complicated. I pretty much never wear makeup. I mean it. Never. I’ve worn it for some special occasions (the big dances in high school, my wedding, and the two weeks I worked at DressBarn). In high school, I would try to wear makeup on normal days, but it never went well. Over the years, I’ve discovered: I cannot wear powder foundation of any kind, as it makes my face feel even oilier and then it starts itching horribly; I’m allergic to most mascaras and get itchy bumps around my eyes if I use the wrong one; and I can actually wear most eye shadows and most lipstains/glosses just fine (lipstick dries out my lips to an uncomfortable level). I wear cream foundation, without any powder of any sort, if I feel the need to wear a full face of makeup. Usually, I just wear eye shadow (and sometimes lip color of some sort) if I feel the need to “get fancy.”

My skin sensitivities and problems have only gotten worse since I got ill.

What will I be doing?

I was sent a kit to use during the duration of the challenge, and instructed not to use any of my other products until the 30 days is up! The kit included: African black soap facial wash, moisture renewal cream with açai berry, flawless mineral foundation, intensive mineral night treatment for acne, and the pro round blending brush to apply the foundation and night treatment. (I now own one whole makeup brush!)

The routine is quite simple: wash face, apply moisturizer, wait a few minutes for the moisturizer to do its thing, use the brush and apply either the foundation (AM) or night treatment (PM). I do this routine twice a day. That’s really all I have to do! Well, and make sure I don’t use any other products (I can use my own eye shadow, mascara, lip color, and blush if I so choose) so we can all be sure my results are coming from the KMS Mineral Essentials, and not from something else.

How’s it going so far?

I started the routine on December 31st, so hit my one week mark on January 7th! (This post is just going to focus on the progress for week one, as I took all the pictures the morning of January 8th.)

To apply for the challenge, we were required to submit some before pictures. Here are the pictures I submitted:

Here is the before picture (just front of face) that I got Dan to take for me the morning of the 31st right before I started the routine:


“Before” Picture – Dec. 31st

As you can see in my before pictures, my skin has a very rough, bumpy texture, and I’m quite oily. I also have many red, splotchy areas.

So, I set off on my routine! Thankfully, there is a “how-to apply KMS Mineral Essentials” video, because I had no idea how to use mineral makeup prior to watching it. As I said, I now own one whole makeup brush thanks to having one included in my kit!

The routine

First, I have to wash my face. Now, I’ve always been really bad at washing my face in the sink, and I get water everywhere. Dan actually saw how much water I got around, and said it really wasn’t that bad, but I’m still hoping it will get better with practice. (Prior to the challenge, I primarily used facial cleanser wipes if I wasn’t going to be taking a shower.) The African black soap gets my face fantastically clean! It’s a gross looking soap (seriously, it’s brown), but it feels fantastic!

Then, I apply the moisturizer. This moisturizer smells like berries (it should, it’s made with several types of berries), which can be a little too strong when I’m having a bad day with my sensory issues, but otherwise smells delicious! It actually doesn’t taste too bad either, which I only know because I accidentally got a little on my lips, didn’t realize it, and licked my lips. I would not recommend actually tasting it, because it didn’t actually taste good either! It goes on super smooth and luxurious feeling. However, as your skin starts to absorb it, it does get a little tacky. Pay close attention while you apply it or you’ll end up tugging on your skin!

After you’ve given the moisturizer about 6 minutes to soak in completely, you get to apply either the foundation (in the morning) or the night treatment (at night, or on days you don’t feel like wearing the foundation). Remove the lid, expose just a few holes, tap some product into the lid, then swirl your brush around in the product to get it evenly distributed through the bristles. Tap off any excess then apply it to your face using circular motions.

Seriously, that’s all the steps!

My results

While two of the other women participating in the challenge have had fantastic results, mine have been (sadly) rather lackluster. My skin, especially my cheeks, feels more moisturized and, therefore, a bit smoother and more supple. The splotchy redness has also decreased a bit. I do, however, still have quite a decent amount of acne, sadly. I have also noticed that, even with proper moisture, my face gets itchy after I’ve been wearing either powder for a few hours. It’s the kind of itchy you get when your skin is dry, usually, and primarily happens around the “edges” of my face (jawline, the part of my cheek right next to my ears, the tip of my nose, and my hairline). Since it’s near the edges, however, it may mean I just need to be sure to spread the lotion out a bit better in those areas.


Week 1 (side) progress picture – Jan. 8th


Week 1 (front) progress picture – Jan. 8th

Overall, however, I love the facial wash and lotion, and quite like the night treatment! I’m still neutral on the foundation, as I can’t usually tell I’m really wearing it (though it does definitely deaden the redness on the bad days). The facial wash and lotion make my face feel heavenly, clean, and moisture balanced. The night treatment usually feels quite lovely when I put it on. It’s a white powder, so it does lighten up my skin a bit (but, since I’m fair skinned anyway, it’s not terrifying looking). The effect the night treatment has on my appearance is actually quite lovely: it smooths the appearance of my skin (hides the bumps), reduces redness, gives me a matte finish and evens out my skin tone. I haven’t had many lasting effects yet, but it makes me happy when I apply it!

Be sure to keep an eye on the blog, my Instagram, and my Facebook page for updates on my progress!

You can follow KMS Mineral Essentials for more information about the makeup and to get in on any giveaways Kristi decides to run!

To learn more about the products, and shop, visit the KMS Mineral Essentials website:

4 thoughts on “KmS Mineral Essentials Clear Skin Challenge – The Beginning and Week 1

    • Really? I’m so glad you could notice! I spend so much time looking at my own face that I can’t always tell.
      The company is pretty amazing, for sure, and I’m enjoying the journey so far.
      Thank you for commenting! ❤


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