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Mica is a naturally occurring silicate mineral. It is a fine, off-white and pearly powder and in cosmetics, it is used to impart a shiny and transparency appearance to products. This is due to the fact that mica adheres well to skin and reflects light, making skin appear more luminous. Therefore, it is the main ingredient applied in facial powders, especially those that are transparent.
Found in many women’s makeup bags, facial powder is one of the most essential cosmetic products. It is generally available in two forms, loose and pressed, and may provide full or transparent coverage. Full-coverage powders predominantly contain talc (hydrated magnesium silicate) with other covering substances including titanium dioxide, kaolin, magnesium carbonate, magnesium stearate, zinc stearate and cornstarch to increase opaqueness. Some of these ingredients may also provide additional functions. For example, magnesium carbonate can improve oil blotting, keep the powder fluffy and absorb any added perfume; kaolin (hydrated aluminium silicate) may help absorb oil and perspiration. Today’s transparent powders are based on the same formula as full-coverage powders but include less talc and covering pigments. Instead, their light, shiny appearance is produced by nacreous pigments such as mica, bismuth oxychloride, titanium dioxide-coated mica or crystalline calcium carbonate.1
The main purpose of facial powder is to improve the appearance of skin, and the application of powder tends to be an easy and fast way to cover complexion imperfections, absorb grease and oils, and give a smooth, matte finish to the face. Due to this convenience, facial powder was chosen as the product form into which proliposome-coated mica without bioactives (PCM) and with bioactives (PCMB) were incorporated, to provide skin care benefits beyond camouflage effects.
This is only an excerpt of the full article that appeared in Cosmetics & Toiletries, but you can purchase the full-text version.