Mica is a group of silicate minerals that is widely distributed in different types of rock. Mica often occurs as flakes, scraps, or sheets.  In cosmetics, mica platelets are coated with metal oxide of nano-particles with a high refraction index such as titanium oxide to give them their pearlescent glow. Mica is regulated by the FDA, and is considered safe in amounts consistent with good manufacturing processes. Restrictions include:

Lead - not more than 20 parts per million

Arsenic - not more than 3 parts per million

Mercury - not more than 1 part per million


Food and Drug Administration. (2011, April). Subpart B- Drugs, Sec. 73.1496 Mica. Code of Federal Regulations, 21 (1). Abstract retrieved from Food and Drug Administration Department of Health and Human Services database. (Cite No: 21CFR73.1496).

Kingman, L.C., & Kleintop, M.E. (1980, April). Pearl pigments in lotions and creams. Cosmetic Toiletries, 95, 23-26. Abstract retrieved from Toxicology Data Network. (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/)