Before we explore which one is better between mineral mica and synthetic pearl pigments, let’s first explore the difference.
Pearl pigments can be made in two ways. They can be made from naturally occurring mica substrates. Mica is a silicate compound that is mined in areas with high silica content. Sometimes the mica has natural color and luster. The color and pearlescent effects can be enhanced by coating the mica with a metal oxide.
Where mineral mica substrates are not available, manufacturers make their own substrates from inorganic compounds. These synthetic substrates are then coated with a metal oxide to give them their color and shimmer.
Which one is better?
We’ll give you a few facts about each one of them, and let you decide which one you like better.
Pearl pigments are loved for the color and shiny appearance. Synthetic pearl pigments have more color, better shimmer, and are more responsive to light. Mineral mica pearl pigments may not be very colorful, especially if the colors have not been enhanced with a metal oxide.
Why is that so?
Synthetic substrates are made through a controlled process. The manufactures ensure that refractive indexes of the various surfaces that make up the substrates are precise. The result is better light interference, richer colors, and more shimmer. The earth’s natural process that develops mineral mica might not be able to achieve the same kind of precision.
Synthetic pearl pigments are more expensive than those made from mineral mica. The process of producing synthetic pearl pigments is longer and more engaging. The higher price tag might be as a result of their better looks as well.
Pearl pigments are generally non-toxic, but synthetic pearl pigments might contain traces of non-human-friendly elements depending on what is used to make the substrates. Mineral mica substrates are less likely to contain any toxins. Either way, it is not advisable to expose yourself to dust from either of the two.
These are the main distinctions between mineral mica and synthetic pearl pigments. Your choice will bow down to personal preference. For instance, if you are working with a tight budget, you will most likely opt for mineral mica pearl pigments. On the other hand, if you are adamant that you want the brightest shimmer you can get, synthetic pearl pigments are your best bet. Weigh your options and decide what works best for you.