What Is It?
Mica is a naturally occurring group of silicate minerals. In cosmetics and personal care products, Mica, from muscovite mica is used in the formulation of a wide variety of product types, including makeup, nail products and skin care products.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
Mica imparts a sparkly white appearance to cosmetics and personal care products.
Mica is a group of silicate minerals that are widely distributed in different types of rock. Mica often occurs as flakes, scraps, or sheets, and has been used by humans since prehistoric times. Because Mica come from the earth it may contain trace amounts of heavy metals. The levels of heavy metals in Mica are regulated by the FDA, and the small amounts that may eventually be in cosmetic or personal care products do not pose a risk to human health.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists Mica as a color additive exempt from certification. Mica, is safe for use in coloring products, including cosmetics and personal care products applied to the lips, and the area of the eye. FDA also includes aluminum and potassium silicate (Mica) on the list of indirect food additives and permits its use as a colorant for polymers with incidental contact with food. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) has deferred evaluation of Mica because the safety has been assessed by FDA. This deferral of review is according to the provisions of the CIR Procedures.
More safety Information:
All color additives used in foods, drugs and cosmetics in the United States must be approved by FDA and listed in the Code of Federal Regulations. In some cases, FDA requires that each batch of color produced for use in regulated products can be used only if it is certified by the agency to meet strict specifications. FDA maintains a laboratory especially for this purpose and color manufacturers must pay a fee to support this activity. FDA only approves colors after extensive review of all safety data and publication of the basis for its approval in the Federal Register.
FDA: Link to Code of Federal Regulations for Mica
Mica, is considered to be a cosmetic ingredient rather than a color in Europe and it may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.
More Scientific Information:
Mica used as a colorant is a white powder obtained from the naturally occurring mineral, muscovite mica. Muscovite mica consists predominantly of potassium and aluminum silicate. Mica may be identified and semiquantitatively determined by its characteristic X-ray diffraction pattern and by its optical properties. When used a colorant in cosmetics and personal care products, Mica must comply with FDA specifications.