Is Mica Powder Safe?

Is Mica Powder Safe?

Mica powder is versatile and can be used in lots of different ways. Mica may be found in a variety of skincare products, including blue bath bombs, gleaming silver cosmetics, and hot pink shimmering body washes. But you may also fully mix it with your epoxy resin, swirl a little bit in to produce a galaxy appearance, or simply flick some over your artwork for a speckled look. 

It's unusual to come across any beauty products, colored cosmetics, or DIY epoxy projects that don't include it. And we understand why you'd be obsessed with it. The glitz and stunning hues can easily catch your eye.

But is mica powder safe? Let’s find out.

The history of mica

Mica - also known as nature's glitter - refers to a group of silicate minerals that can be broken down into a gleaming powder. It is often used in cosmetics and epoxy crafts. The colors of the minerals range from silver and white to pink and purple tones. Flake mica is found naturally in Arizona, Dakota, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Carolina in the United States. Cosmetic mica, on the other hand, is mostly imported from other countries. Mica originates primarily from Indian mines. It's a successful business, with a revenue of $71.3 million in 2019.

Uses of mica powder

Cosmetics 

Mica is a key ingredient in shimmering cosmetics including eyeshadow, highlighter, blush, and lip gloss. Some concealers and skincare products with a radiant look also include it. Powdered white mica is also included in some toothpaste products. Because mica sparkles naturally, it may give the skin a beautiful shine and a smoother appearance. This makes it really appealing to both beauty businesses and customers. 

Epoxy resin

Mica is also used to give a dazzling organic finish to epoxy projects. It opens up a whole range of design choices. Mica powder is best known to give a perlaceous effect. Your project will never be the same once you discover how to tint epoxy resin using mica powder. And isn't it true that you can never have too much shimmer?

Natural vs. synthetic mica

The need to grasp the term "natural" is more vital than ever as more people become aware of the detrimental effects of dyes and synthetics in personal care products. There are two types of mica: natural and synthetic - which differ in many ways.

Synthetic mica is a type of mica that is created in a laboratory and has the same properties as natural mica. And while synthetic mica is brighter and more consistent in color and polish, the hue of natural mica can range from grey to murky. Natural mica's edges are inherently uneven, but manufactured mica's surface and form are exceedingly smooth. Because synthetic mica is smooth and not abrasive like genuine mica, you may use a much bigger particle. The bigger the particle, the more sparkly the finished result will be. 

Synthetic mica, although being a man-made material, is a greener alternative to widely used plastic glitters. 

The risks of using mica

There are certain concerns about the usage of mica in skincare, which have sparked debate. 

One debate centers on the ingredient's mining in India's Jharkhand state, where child labor and extreme poverty are common. In this case, synthetic mica is preferred as it does not require mining and does not have the possibility for child labor.

Another serious hazard related to mica is inhalation. Mica can be harmful if breathed since the particles can enter the lungs and cause scarring. As a result, any powder or aerosol product containing mica should be avoided. 

Mica is listed as a color additive exempt from certification by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Good Face Index also determined that mica is non-toxic as a cosmetic component. Mica is safe to use in cosmetics and personal care products as a coloring agent. However, Cosmetics Info says that mica may include trace levels of heavy metals because it comes from the ground. The FDA regulates the quantities of heavy metals in mica, and the little amounts that may end up in cosmetics, epoxy powder, or personal care items do not represent a health concern.

People also ask…

Is mica powder safe for skin?

Many people have the difficulty of using a product that is not suitable for their skin. Mica, on the other hand, is a nice relief because it is suitable for all skin types and is safe to use.  Mica as a skin care product (such as eyeshadow or body wash) should not have any negative side effects - even if used on a daily basis. Thus, having no additional skin adverse effects such as rashes or irritation, mica can also be used safely by epoxy enthusiasts.

 

Is mica the same as talc?

The difference between talc and mica is that talc is a soft mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate whereas mica is any of a group of hydrous aluminosilicate minerals characterized by highly perfect cleavage. Talc has a soapy feel and a greenish, whitish, or grayish color that usually occurs in foliated masses. Mica can be easily separated into very thin leaves that are more or less elastic.

Should I take any precautions when using mica?

One major problem when utilizing a natural material like mica is the existence of other minerals such as lead, arsenic, and mercury. Many firms use synthetic mica to avoid the presence of undesirable minerals, which may be quite harmful. However, if you choose to use natural mica, remember to use adequate protection and to not inhale the powder.

In general, pure epoxy resins are considered non-toxic, and the danger of harm induced by ingestion of epoxy resin is thought to be quite modest. It can be an irritant or a sensitizer, causing toxic eczema or allergic contact dermatitis. Thus, when handling epoxy resin and mica, provide adequate ventilation, use a filter mask, safety goggles, and gloves. Use a full-face respirator with multi-purpose combination (US) or type AXBEK (EN 14387) respirator cartridges if exposure limits are exceeded or if irritation or other symptoms occur. 

Before you go…

Remember that nature has everything we need to help us thrive - and mica does just that! Our world is a lovely colorful environment if we're prepared to put in the time and effort to draw our energy from it.