What is it? Sericite mica is a semi-sheer fine grey-white powder that is hydrated potassium alumina silicate. It is commonly found in cosmetics thanks to its airbrushing and adhesion properties.
INCI Mica (CI 77019)
Appearance Fine grey-white powder
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture Soft, smooth powder
Scent Slightly dusty
Solubility Insoluble
Why do we use it in formulations? Sericite mica plays many roles in cosmetic formulations. It diffuses the appearance of light, giving the skin a more airbrushed appearance and making makeup appear more life-like. It absorbs oil relatively well and helps boost adhesion. It is also used to improve slip and dilute pigments.
Do you need it? If you want to make makeup, sericite mica is essential.
Strengths Sericite mica is an excellent, inexpensive ingredient that plays many important roles in cosmetics.
Weaknesses Some people are allergic to mica and will need to avoid sericite mica.
Alternatives & Substitutions If at all possible I really don’t recommend substituting out sericite mica. If you have to, consider a combination of white kaolin clay or a starch (corn, arrowroot, wheat, etc.) with some silica microspheres. The clay or starch will provide the bulk while the silica microspheres contribute to airbrushing and additional oil control. Keep in mind that silica microspheres should not go through a coffee grinder, so they will need to be added after grinding is complete. Silica microspheres are significantly more oil absorbent than sericite mica—to the point of being quite drying—so do not substitute silica microspheres for all of the sericite mica in a recipe.
How to Work with It Include in the ground portion of a powdered recipe or blend into a melted oil base in creamy products.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, sericite mica should last indefinitely.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Sericite mica is available as a plain product or with a variety of coatings or surface treatments (like magnesium myristate, lauroyl lysine, or various waxes). Make sure you are using the variety called for in the recipe. If nothing is specified, assume plain sericite mica.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3.3oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier.

Some Formulations that Use Sericite Mica


Posted on

December 12, 2018