MICA: Beauty's ugly secret

What is Mica?

Ninety percent of the earth's crust is made up of silicate minerals. Mica is one of them.

Evidence shows us that humans have used mica since ancient times. The ancient city of Teotihuacán, located in Mexico, was once one of many civilizations that used this mineral.

As we continue to evolve, we have found many uses for mica. Mica was used primarily in the electrical industry. 


Today, we use mica in tech-products such as cellphones and watches. One industry today that thrives from the use of mica is the beauty industry. The reason why mica powder is so viable in the cosmetic industry is for its shiny and glossy aesthetic.

mica stone
mica shiny

A hidden dark secret

Various journalists and human rights activists have exposed this secret. The hidden truth begins to unfold in multiple small communities in India. Children as young as eight years old are mining mica every day to put food on the table. Who hires these children? We do not know, but what we do know is that these sub-contractors find a way to ship this mineral legally into the United States and stay unidentified. The mica sourced by these children is in many of the cosmetics we buy and labeled as legal.

Watch as Refinery29 Senior Beauty Editor Lexy Lebsack uncovers the truth behind unethical mica.

The Indian government is unsympathetic about these events, even after constant reports of dying children who work these mines. 

Children are often hurt while mining due to dangerous conditions. Many of the hurt children live in pain due to the injuries. The lack of regulations and protection for these children is what keeps these illegal practices alive. There are no alternatives for some of these children, which is why they continuously put their health and lives on the line to gather this mineral. 

As mindful consumers and creators, we need to find solutions to this injustice. Education is the first step. The second is taking action!

List of things you can do to help protect these children and aid them:

  1. Support only vegan and ethical makeup brands*(find a list below)

  2. Supporting organizations aiding children from child labor:

    KSCF, Terre des Hommes, BBA

  3. Pressure Beauty Brands to be more Ethical by asking them questions and more transparency.

  4. Share this information (you never know who you can impact). 

hand mica

The cosmetic industry is thriving more than ever before! This trend has to do a lot with the explosion of technology (e-commerce and social media). This has helped makeup aficionados become creators of their own makeup lines, and everyday, ordinary people have access to tutorials and even products from their favorite artists or celebrities.

As fashion lovers, we are excited as you are too about this trend! We love that today everyone and anyone passionate about the art of makeup can recreate looks and buy their favorite products.

Before we continue to glorify the beauty industry, we want to educate ourselves and everyone in this movement about the ugly side of the beauty industry. The beauty industry is not all glitz and glamour. There is a great deal of ugly hidden truths that we will uncover on our following posts. 

mica kid mine

You can save the kids NOW!

The injustice behind unethically sourced mica ingredients is a topic we feel needed attention in our movement. We need to protect children from these injustices. 

Not tomorrow! Not in the future! Now!

As mindful and compassionate consumers, let me remind you that our actions have a significant impact. We can all make thoughtful decisions by continuing to educate ourselves on the products we buy every day. There are solutions to these injustices! These solutions start with our own actions. I encourage you to continue to educate yourself and others about these products.

 * Vegan & Ethical Beauty:


Vote for people! Especially children! They are the future, and it is our duty to protect and care for those who are most vulnerable. We cannot continue to look away.

jacqueline galvez
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