The truth behind mica’s child labour crisis

By Becky Bargh | Published: 11-Jun-2019

Cosmetics Business lifts the lid on the beauty industry's illegal mica trade, the initiatives working towards regulating the supply chain and the beauty brands are showing their support

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Mica, unlike retinol or hyaluronic acid, is one of the less well known ingredients in cosmetics but is present in many products.

Formed from naturally occurring mineral dust, this combination of silicate is found underground and gives cosmetic products their sparkle - from eyeshadows to nail polishes.

But the ugly truth behind the ‘shimmer effect’ and ‘Instagram-worthy’ highlighter, is that an estimated 20,000 children, some as young as five years old, across the ‘mica belt’ of India are forced to enter dangerous, unregulated and illegal mines in order to collect it.

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