Mica refers to a group of silicate minerals that can be ground down into a fine powder for use in cosmetics. Mica is responsible for adding a shimmering effect to products such as foundation, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, hair and body glitter, lip gloss, mascara, nail polish, and many more. This is why mica is often referred to as “nature’s glitter”. These shimmering properties allow mica to reflect light from the face, creating the illusion of a smoother, softer, and more radiant skin tone. Since makeup can often appear very flat, adding an iridescent ingredient like mica can create depth and add contouring and highlighting to the face that looks natural.
Mica can be combined with other ingredients to create different types of effects. For instance, by covering flecks of mica in titanium dioxide, the pearlescent powder can reflect all the colors of the rainbow. Combining mica with iron dioxide can help create earthier and more golden hues. You’ll also find mica in cosmetics such as nail polishes and lip glosses due to its iridescent, shimmering properties. Mica may be listed on a product’s ingredient list as “CI 77019”, which is its INCI name.