Mica Good Colouring Agent/Pigment No known benefits Mica at a glance General term for a group of 37 earth-derived silicate minerals Often included in cosmetic formulations to impart iridescent or opalescent shine May also be used to impart varying degrees of opacity Light-reflective quality makes it highly desirable for giving skin a healthy-looking glow Mica is considered safe and can be ethically sourced through the Responsible Mica Initiative Mica description Mica is the general term given for a group of 37 earth-derived silicate minerals that are often included in cosmetic formulations to impart sparkle in the form of an iridescent or opalescent shine. The amount and look of the shine depend on the exact mineral itself, how finely it’s milled for use in liquid, cream, or powder products, and how much is added to a given formula. Mica can also be used to impart varying degrees of opacity. Mica’s light-reflective quality makes it highly desirable for giving skin a healthy-looking glow and can even be used to brighten a shadowy under-eye area. Hues of mica cover a wide spectrum of the rainbow, though in cosmetics it is typically used in its pearlescent white form. It is often coated in titanium dioxide, which maximises the colour resulting from iridescence. Mica is considered safe for use in cosmetics, including those applied to the eyes and lips. Its usage concentration range is wide, going from 1% or less (depending on desired result) to upwards of 60%, although even higher concentrations are permitted. Mica can also be synthetically manufactured. In this form it is often referred to as synthetic fluorphlogopite mica or artificial mica—and takes on a different role as a bulking agent to thicken emulsions. In recent years, controversial child labor practices around mining mica have been exposed. For ethical sourcing, companies can choose suppliers who are members of the Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI). Paula’s Choice only uses suppliers of mica who are RMI affiliated.