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What are Mica powder and Pearl pigment ?

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Author : Joyce Dong
Update time : 2022-11-13 19:20:45
What is mica powder?
The answer is simple and clear. Mica powder refers to the mica that has been processed and ground into powder. The mica here mainly refers to natural mica minerals, but also includes synthetic fluorophlogopite.
Mica powder mostly has thin flake microstructure, the whiteness of pure mica powder is not high, around 75 only, don’t have vivid colors, apply a little on skin, it gives a little pearl luster effect. If it is mixed with other fillers such as calcium carbonate, talc, etc., the whiteness will be greatly improved.

Picture of Natural pure mica powder:


There is another interesting but very important phenomenon about the word “Mica powder”.
When you open the web browser, enter “MICA POWDER”, select the picture option to search, you will see a variety of colorful, vivid, shiny and sparkling powder pictures, similar as the picture below:

So what’s this and why? It brings us to our second question:

What is Pearl pigment?
Pearl pigment is not pigment made by natural shellfish pearls, its more formal name is “Pearlescent pigment”, which has pearl-like luster and rich colors at the same time. Mostly it takes transparent natural or synthetic mica lamella as base material (core layer), coated with metal oxide film with strictly controlled thickness. Or coated with both metal oxide film and organic colored pigment. Now, you must already know above colorful “Mica powder” picture is actually “Pearlescent pigment”.
Different coating layers thicknesses、different metal oxide coating layers will produce different colors pearlescent pigment, roughly as follows:

 
Base material
(Core layer)
Coating layers Color of pearlescent pigment Pictures
Natural mica
Or
Synthetic mica
Thinner TiO2 Coating layers Silver white  
Thicker TiO2 Coating layers Interference Rainbow  
Fe2O3 Metallic  
TiO2 + Fe2O3 Gold  
TiO2 + Organic colored pigment Colored  

Why do we always see pictures of PEARLESCENT PIGMENT when we search for MICA POWDER on the Internet? We speculate that it is because pearlescent pigment is widely & directly used by independent artists, DIY enthusiasts, nail art and beauty talents except for its industrial batch applications; As mica powder is the base material of pearlescent pigments, always appear at the first item of the chemical ingredients list of pearlescent pigments, over time, large number of end users began to call pearlescent pigment “mica powder” , and shared various beautiful application effects on the Internet, forming a new widely accepted, conventional name of pearlescent pigment.

Therefore, when you visit ORCHEER’s website, please kindly note that all “mica powder” appear on our website are pearlescent pigment. ORCHEER don’t produce and supply mica minerals that was ground into powder, only except for high quality sericite powder that can be directly used as cosmetics raw material or filler. 
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