Synthetic fluorphlogopite, more widely referred to as synthetic mica, is a shimmering powder made of tiny sparkling flakes.
Where do we get it?
At Lush, most of the synthetic fluorphlogopite found in our products is part of a more complex sparkle pigment. These effect pigments are mostly purchased from external suppliers, however, a small volume is blended to make custom shades at our Lush manufacturing site in the UK. The synthetic fluorphlogopite that is purchased as a single material comes from Germany.
What are the benefits for the people?
Mica is one of the main compounds of granite and it is the name given to a group of similar silicate minerals forming together a shimmering and laminate mineral. It is widely used in cosmetics, especially makeup to add a sparkle effect. Unfortunately, there are new facts about child labour in mica mining coming to light every year. For this reason, Lush remains committed to not using natural mica since completely removing it from production in January 2018 and prefers to use a manufactured version of the material called ‘synthetic fluorphlogopite’.
What are the benefits for the planet?
Glitter and all things shiny have been sought after by Lush inventors and customers for decades. The problem is that traditional glitter is usually made with microplastic (PET) of which the environmental consequences are now widely known. Trying to find the best alternative, Lush tested several options over the years, ultimately sticking with mica-based lustres. Indeed, some film-based glitters degraded too quickly to be usable in all products, and others actually contained small amounts of plastic despite biodegradable marketing. Synthetic mica is not biodegradable but is considered environmentally friendly. It is made up of sedimentary mineral components, which means that it sinks and settles at the bottom of the water system.
What are the benefits for you?
- It is an option for truly plastic-free glitter with a wide variety of effects, shimmers and colours depending on thickness and the oxides it’s coated with.
- Made in a lab, it is purer and thus brighter than natural mica.
- It has a uniform finish and no sharp edges making it particularly suitable for makeup products used around the delicate eye area.
Read more about Lush’s journey with mica here.