You've probably seen mica powder before. It's the effervescent fairy dust of the crafting world, with a natural sparkle that makes your crafts and cosmetics glisten. Once you've seen the attractive look of nature's glitter, you won't want to use anything else!
But... what exactly is mica powder? Is this magical material a little too good to be true?
If you're looking to incorporate mica powder into art projects or cosmetic products, it's important to know what you're dealing with. After all, isn't mica the name of a rock? (Yes, it is!)
Read on to learn the ins and outs of mica powder, and how you can use it in projects involving epoxy resin and more!
What Is Mica Powder?
Mica is a naturally occurring crystalline mineral. We call mica a silicate mineral or sheet silicate because it naturally forms in layers. The pearly luster of this beautiful rock is what makes it valuable in crafting and cosmetics.
When you see mica in the crafting aisle, it has been ground into a fine, shiny sand or powder-like substance. In stores, mica comes in a variety of colors. Not all of these colors are natural.
There are two types of mica powder that you are likely to see advertised for crafting or cosmetic purposes. They are natural mica and synthetic mica.
Natural mica is what it sounds like - it is genuine mica, mined from nature. It's then crushed into powder and then processed.
The color of natural mica may be synthetic. Almost all mica is colored in a lab, where it is combined with a variety of oxides, such as titanium dioxide. It is best to use natural mica powder in cosmetics and soaps that interact with human skin.
Synthetic mica, also called fluorphlogopite, is completely lab-made. Both the color and the substance itself are produced in a laboratory setting, where all aspects can be controlled.
Is Mica Powder Safe?
If you are considering incorporating mica powder into your crafts or cosmetics, it's important to know what the risks may be. Luckily, mica is not toxic or harmful to human skin. In rare cases, an individual may be allergic to mica, but this unusual.
If you breathe in a large quantity of mica powder, it can affect your lung health. This is more common if you are the person mining it or processing it, as exposure needs to be very frequent to cause issues. For the common crafter, this is not a concern.
If you do have concerns about breathing in the mica, you might consider wearing a mask while crafting.
Mica powder itself isn't regulated by the FDA, but many of the ingredients used to color it are. Many oxides, such as ultramarine blue, are used to color the powder, and these are not FDA-approved for use in cosmetic products.
A benefit of synthetic or lab-dyed mica powder is that the substance can easily be created to meet government regulations. The government is also concerned with the micron size of the mica itself. The mica powder cannot exceed 150 microns.
For the most part, mica powder is chosen for cosmetics specifically because of its texture. It's soft and does not cause skin irritation in the majority of people. You should have few problems using it as an additive in crafts such as soaps and makeup.
Mica Powder and Epoxy Resin
If you are a crafter, you might have made some interesting projects by warming epoxy resin and molding it into a variety of decorative or functional shapes. Crafters use resin to create everything from jewelry to coasters! Imagine how beautiful your resin projects can become by adding shimmering mica powder to the substance while it hardens!
There are a few techniques that you can use to combine your epoxy resin with your mica powder.
If you are using a super-fine mica powder that dissolves well, it's easy to add it to your resin using the sprinkle method. All you need to do is sprinkle some mica powder on top of your resin and stir well. It's best if you add a little bit at a time and then stop when you like the way your project looks.
Some mica powder does not dissolve easily, such as coarser mica powders or mica powders with additives. This makes it hard to blend into your resin using the sprinkle method.
If you still want to use your mica powder, you can benefit by trying the pour method. You will need to pour some of your resin out on a waxed surface (such as wax or parchment paper) and then mix your powder in. This portion of the resin will have a higher concentration of mica powder in it.
You will then add this colored resin to the rest of your resin and stir. Again, add a little bit at a time until you like the look of it. You can then use the colored resin in a mold to create a project!
What Else Can You Make?
There are plenty of crafts to make once you have mica powder on hand! Whether you are into soap making or prefer paper crafting, there is a project for you!
Mica powder can be used for
- Creating natural paint
- Rubber stamping
- Handmade soap
- Bath bombs
- Glass decorating
- Candle making
- Handmade cards
- Art journaling
- Hand-colored clay
- Much more!
Mica Powder: Nature's Glitter
If you're interested in crafting with mica powder, now is the perfect time to try out some cool, sparkly techniques! Few crafting supplies are as versatile and attractive as this awesome natural glitter! With epoxy resin crafting on the rise, you will be ahead of the game when you incorporate mica powder into your hand-poured crafts!
Ready to get started? Check out the catalog of craft supplies and products available from HippieCrafter! We offer both epoxy and mica powder, so you can get started on your next crafting adventure ASAP!
We can't wait to see what you will create!