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Pigmently Asks: What Is the Difference Between Mica and Mica Powder?

Welcome to Pigmently, our online store for high-quality mica powder pigments and liquid dyes.

At Pigmently, we receive questions about pigments, dyes, and mica powder on a daily basis. So we've decided to start a new series called Pigmently Asks, where we'll provide detailed answers to common questions about our products and the activities that make use of them.

In this article, we'll be covering the question: "What is the difference between mica and mica powder?"

Let's begin.

What Is the Difference Between Mica and Mica Powder?

The difference between mica and mica powder lies in the their name. Specifically, mica powder is the same as mica, but in powdered form. This powdered serves its own purposes, which we'll cover a little later.

But first, let's take a closer look at mica in general, so that we can then explain how we get to mica powder and why it exists.

A close up view of phlogopite, one of the mica minerals.

What Are Mica Minerals?

Mica is the label given to a large group of 37 different silicate minerals. These minerals all share a few distinct traits:

  • They have perfect mineral cleavage.
  • They have a reflective sheen.
  • They're easy to mine, clean, and grind into dust.

Perfect Mineral Cleavage

Having a perfect mineral cleavage allows mica to serve a variety of useful functions. It's used as an insulator in electrical applications; it's well suited to the creation of heat-resistant materials; and it has appreciable aesthetic properties for its smooth, shiny surface.

At Pigmently, the aesthetic value of mica and mica powder is what we focus on, with our range of colorful mica pigments.

A Reflective Sheen

Mica minerals are also highly reflective. When mined and cleaned, they exhibit a beautiful sheen that sparkles in direct light. This functions as a pleasing aesthetic trait that many people appreciate for its artistic and cosmetic potential.

Easy to Extract and Process

Another significant trait of mica is that the various minerals are easy to mine and process. Because of this, certain types of mica have become readily available in many regions, with vast supplies being distributed throughout the world for a wide variety of uses.

Other Notable Aspects

Along with those traits, there are other aspects shared only among a portion of these minerals, such as color diversity and ease of access.

With a wide supply and easy extraction, the most common mica minerals have become a lot more accessible in general, enabling a wider range of users to express themselves creatively in distinctive ways.

These abundant mica minerals are often ground into mica powder, which we'll talk about next.

A selection of mica powders spread out on a white surface.

What Is Mica Powder?

Mica powder is the ground up form of any mica minerals. These most commonly include muscovite, phlogopite, and biotite. While phlogopite and biotite tend to be more oriented toward electrical and industrial applications, muscovite can be used for those plus aesthetic applications as well.

Muscovite, the Mica Mineral Most Used for Cosmetics

Of the 37 distinct mica minerals, muscovite is the one most commonly used for cosmetic and artistic applications. This particular mica mineral comes in a sizable range of light and gentle colors, including green, light brown, violet, and some neutral tones.

This particular mineral has many different uses, but is most commonly seen in eye shadow and nail polish cosmetic products.

It's also used in a variety of our mica powder pigments.

An epoxy resin tray made using Pigmently Mica Powder Pigments.

Common Uses of Mica Powder Pigments

Mica powder pigments are designed specifically to be used as colorants. Though they can be solely made from mica minerals, it's not uncommon for them to be combined with other ground non-mica minerals to produce more striking, vibrant colors.

Some uses for mica powder include:

  • Cosmetics (eye shadow, nail polish)
  • Epoxy resin art
  • Candle making
  • Soap making
  • And various types of painting

You can learn a little more about these uses here.

Pigmently: Your Trusted Source for Premium Pigments and Dyes

At Pigmently, our pigment products are all produced to high standards for quality and safety, ensuring long-lasting color that won't fade or morph. Each of our colorants has been carefully formulated to achieve high potency, with no fillers or subpar ingredients used during their creation.

When you buy Pigmently, you get not only a colorant of unparalleled quality but also the peace of mind that comes with choosing the best.

In our store, you'll find a wide array of mica powder pigments, with many different colors and textures available. We also offer a curated selection of potent dyes, which can be used to imbue your creations with subtle or intense tones.


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