Mica on the Mined

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When considering color cosmetics, we recognize that their impact is not just limited to color alone. Equally important are the materials that create textural and visual effects.

Mineral ingredients such as talc, kaolin and mica can provide tactile qualities and structure in a formula. Mica can also be a key ingredient in pigments that provide brilliant sparkle and pearlescence in color cosmetics. The combination of platy materials, including mica and borosilicates, along with colorants form the basis of effect pigment technology.

Modern effect pigments can trace their history to the 1960s, when muscovite mica was first used in combination with titanium dioxide to create a pearlescent appearance. Mica has been fundamental to the manufacture of pearlescent pigments since then. A naturally abundant mineral, mica is extracted from the ground as a sheet-like rock. It is then ground and classified to the desired sizes appropriate for cosmetics. These resulting particle size fractions are then coated with a variety of cosmetic colorants to create unique appearance effects.

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BASF has a nearly 50 year history of innovation using mica as a key component in effect pigments, from the earliest titanium dioxide and iron oxide coated pearlescent pigments, to more modern multi-layer specialty products. Since the 1980s, BASF has sourced high quality muscovite mica from our owned and operated mine in the U.S. Sourcing from our own mica mine in the U.S. offers BASF Care Creations the ability to closely monitor processing and quality, as well as ensuring dependable supply and responsible sourcing to best serve the cosmetics and personal care industries.

Our natural mica is sold under the Mearlmica® performance mica trade name, while our mica-based effect products include Timica®, Flamenco® and Cloisonné® pigments as well as our more complex specialty products such as Gemtone®, Duocrome®, Cellini®, MultiReflections™ and Chroma-Lite® colors.

Our cosmetic effect pigment range (based on mica, borosilicate, bismuth oxychloride and synthetic mica technologies) offers an unmatched range of solutions to BASF Care Creations’ customers.

Research and development continues at BASF sites in the U.S. to develop the next generation effect pigments desired by cosmetic customers worldwide.


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