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* Please read TIA’s article on Mineral Make Up and Why TIA Isn’t Always in Favor
Mica is a silicate mineral used in cosmetics for its brilliant or shimmering appearance, according to Wikipedia. The word "mica" is actually thought to be derived from the Latin word "micare," meaning "to glitter." It is mined in thin sheets and is usually found in blue or green hues, although iron oxides are often added to create a brilliant range of bright colors.
Although many minerals are used as pigments in cosmetics, Mica's sheer, translucent and skin-hugging properties make it a popular ingredient in mineral powders. Mica powder reflects light from the face because of its glittering or shimmering properties, and can create the illusion of a smoother, softer and more radiant skin tone (Source). It is also seen in a variety of other cosmetics (nail polishes, lip glosses) as an iridescent, reflective ingredient in formulas.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
Mica has been used for centuries as a pigment and coloring in makeup and cosmetics, and is generally considered a safe and natural ingredient. The CTFA International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook approves its use, therefore it is exempt from FDA approval, although the FDA does approve Mica on the list of indirect food additives, according to CosmeticsInfo.org.
However, there are concerns that Mica products, and other pigment products, are often tested on animals. So PETA has issued a warning about products containing Mica and their potential animal testing policies (CosmeticsDatabase.com).
Recommended Products w/ Mica:
NVEY ECO Organic Erase, Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder, Elizabeth Arden Prevage Body, Tarte Cheek Stains