If your mica is larger than 150 micron, you cannot use it in cosmetics. You may use it in soap.
This is a very obscure rule hidden deep within the FDA files, so to speak. I unearthed it and will share it with you.
CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 – Mica
The line we need to be paying attention to regarding micron size is:
(a) Identity and specifications. The color additive mica shall conform in identity and specifications to the requirements of 73.1496(a)(1) and (b).
Well what does that mean? I wanted to find out!
Pay close attention to:
(b) Specifications. Mica shall conform to the following specifications and shall be free from impurities other than those named to the extent that such other impurities may be avoided by good manufacturing practice:
Fineness, 100 percent shall pass through a 100-mesh sieve.
Now we know that for a mica to be used in cosmetics, it must pass through a 100 mesh sieve. Using a handy dandy conversion chart, we can see that 100 mesh equals 149 microns. Courtesy of Skylighter.
Therefore, any mica over 149 microns cannot be used in cosmetics per the FDA. This includes body butters, bath bombs, nail polish, eye shadow, lipsticks, etc.
Micron Size and Mica
If making cosmetics, you should know the micron size of the mica you’re using. If you don’t, there is a way to know if the mica is questionable.
If the mica you’re using has a very fine or small micron size, it will be matte in appearance. As the micron size increases, the mica will be much more glittery. If you have a mica that is very shimmery or glittery and you don’t know the micron size, it is best to ask the manufacturer or supplier before using that mica in cosmetics.
What About Synthetic Mica?
Synthetic mica or fluorphlogopite is NOT subject to these regulations! This means that you can still have the sparkly goodness of a high micron mica in your products, but it must be synthetic mica. Good examples of synthetic mica are our Super Sparkles or our EnviroGlitter line of colors.
Many people will back away at the mention of synthetic mica, maybe thinking it’s not as pure or desirable as naturally mined mica. Actually, the opposite is true. Synthetic micas are made to be nature-identical in a lab, and they are much more pure than their naturally mined counterparts. They offer more clarity of color, are generally brighter, and are just as amazing to work with as naturally mined micas.
If you make cosmetics and want high-impact sparkle, synthetics are 100% the way to go. Then you can know that you are using an approved product and rock the shimmer!