Golden mica promises brighter skin and more controversy?

The bright and dark side of this illuminating gemstone

Photographers and Instagram baddies alike know that #goldenhour gleans the best photos. Golden hour is the 1-2 hour period right before sunset. As the sun brightens another side of the planet, it casts the warmest light before the moon takes over. Unlike the harsh sunlight cast midday, this light is soft and warm. Your skin glistens as the light picks up warmer undertones. The golden hour gives you a glow that looks like you’re fresh from vacation in the Maldives. No wonder people spend their time chasing sunsets! It’s worth the shot. Once the golden hour ends, we must rely on the technology of our cellphones and artificial light. That is always a hit or miss! 

It turns out that people want that golden hour look for their skincare too! In the past few years, 24K skincare rose in popularity. Many skincare products promised to deliver that oh-so-youthful golden hour glow. Like Masktini’s Metal Head Gold Brightening Mask, many 24K skincare products contain brightening skincare ingredients such as vitamin C, which is also a powerful antioxidant. Apart from vitamin C, another lesser-known ingredient is golden mica. If your first thought is that this is a gold skincare ingredient, you are right. Sort of.

What is golden mica?

Many Angelinos may already know what golden mica is. The Crystal Council, says that it is a “variety of mica that crystallizes in the form of scales, sheets, and flakes.” Its color comes from “oxidized iron and can range in shades from metallic gold to mustard yellow.” In other words, golden mica is a gemstone that sparkles when you cast light on it. Does that remind you of golden hour?

masktini shares golden mica skincare pros and cons

The skincare benefits of golden mica

When it comes to golden mica and its benefits for skincare, reviews are mixed. You can find golden mica in skincare products with brightening or illuminating benefits. So, it is safe to assume that you can find it in many 24K skincare products. Because it is a gemstone harvested from the Earth, it is a natural skincare ingredient. That makes it safe for most skin types. To use it in skincare products, manufacturers grind the golden mica into a fine powder.

Apart from brightening the skin, golden mica blurs fine lines and wrinkles. Note that golden mica is not a permanent solution to premature aging, but it is a temporary fix! Once you cleanse your skin, the fine lines and wrinkles will still be there. For aging skin, use products that contain vitamin A (retinol) and other anti-aging skincare ingredients.

Why is golden mica skincare so controversial?

As mentioned, there are mixed reviews on golden mica. Because it is a natural skincare ingredient, most people will not take issue with that. The controversy behind golden mica is how it’s mined. As golden mica surged in popularity years ago, Vogue UK wrote a brief article that covered some of the issues with mining this gemstone. Around that time, the golden mica used in beauty products came from Jharkhand state in India. This state has the largest deposit of golden mica. With widespread poverty in that state, they used child labor to mine this gemstone.

Because of this, many skincare brands sourced more ethical skincare ingredients for their 24K skincare products. Others partnered with NGOs to combat illegal mining of this controversial gemstone. Despite efforts, it can be difficult to trace the origins of golden mica. 

So, is golden mica good for your skin? Well, if your only concern is skin that glistens or glows for a temporary period, sure. If you want to solve deeper skin issues use skincare products that contain more specific ingredients. Skinimalism calls for specificity in skincare. Meaning, use skincare products with the ingredients that address your specific skin issues. In the meantime, consider Masktini’s Metal Head for all your glowing skincare needs. The golden mica used in this brightening face mask is ethical. Promise. So if you don't have time to chase a sunset for that perfect golden hour shot, this is the next best thing. Until next time.