I have been asked many times about mica powder and why I don't use it in my products and I could never come up with an answer that satisfied the question. My answer was always "Because I don't know what it is." and at the time that I was asked, I didn't know what it was.
Fast-forward a two-years later and I'm still not using mica powder. Not because it's unsafe for our skin but because of where it comes from. But before we get all into that let me tell you what mica is.
What is Mica?
Mica is a group of minerals used to create a sparkle to products. 37 different types of mica are found and mined, with the majority of the miners being illegal.
Mica in Products
Electronics, painting, construction are the top three buyers of mica. The 4th is cosmetics.
Mica can be found in most beauty products and make-up. If the product shimmers, shines, or gives a glow most likely it has mica in it. For example, blush and eyeshadow are created with mica. So is toothpaste and conditioner.
So what makes mica so bad you asked? The illegal mining.
Image Credit: NBC News
Illegal Mica Miners & Children
It's no secret to the industry that there are illegal mica mines. Okay, let me stop saying illegal. The miners are children, babies in caves digging for rocks. The youngest child is 5 years old.
It has been reported in India alone over 22,000 children worked as mica miners. They work all day in the dangerous mines and when they are done they have to sit in the heat to count their findings. They send the smallest children to the narrow shafts of the cave you reach what the adults can't.
These babies risk breaking bones and/or getting stuck in one of the tunnels from the debris falling and caving in which causes death. 1 of 10-20 children dies in Indian mines every month.
My Stance on Mica
De'Vine Beauty Shop products will not contain mica or dye, for that matter. All of our ingredients will be used in their natural form, except for our dessert-style candles and 3D wax melt which would contain dye only. Not using the product is the best way not to contribute to the horror of the mica caves.