Colour Complexities

purple mica

It’s not enough, today, to say a product is all-natural and chemical-free. There are so many layers to what ‘natural’ actually means and how the raw ingredients are procured and processed on their way to workshops.

Sparkle Rethought

Ever consider what you’re sending down the drain to meet the fish?

When I heard about biodegradable glitter I rolled my eyes. I thought, oh the poor fish, now they’re going to see that these silly humans are hoping they eat sparkly food in addition to their first course of plastic and micro-beads. Envisioning the fish rolling their eyes at us, if only figuratively! As it turns out, my attitude was short-sighted.

With a custom order negotiation for International Women’s Day with an interest in a huge batch of purple swirled soap, I found myself investigating deeper into the world of soap colours to create an authentic purple.


Let’s talk about where makeup colouring really comes from…

Mica, commonly used in craft soap making, comes in all sorts of iridescent pretty colours. It is natural, yes, but ethical: no! It’s the beauty industry’s dirty little secret, although there are likely others. I feel relatively new in this scene, so I’m sharing what I’ve discovered (not so you change your ways, per se, but so you can make informed decisions that suit you.)

Mica, is mined primarily in India. Deep along forest pathways are tiny openings that lead to deep mining shafts. Small children fit best into these holes in the ground to extract the shards of mica that colour the faces of the west. They say that much of the mica mining that takes place is illegal, that deaths of children and adults go un-documented and that the many mines are completely unregulated. That’s not surprising from the evidence caught on tape (and the many documentaries available when investigating this topic.) Something needs to change here!

I’m not associated with any of the companies mentioned, mica or bio-glitter, or affiliated in any way with the video posted below. It is simply the best short representation I could find to portray the issue surrounding mica, that happens to be new to me. Perhaps it’s new to you too? I encourage you to watch (04:00) and come to your own conclusion related to the products you buy.

The Future of Colour

Rethinking how we take and return colour to the earth.

Biodegradable glitter, as an alternative, is created from plant cellulose, primarily from the eucalyptus tree. Only when it’s washed off and meets soil and/or waste water does it then take 90 days to fully decompose.

With Refresh Tea & Soap Co, we’ll stick to our ground roots, leaf powders and tea, but if required, biodegradable glitter is a friendly alternative for custom orders.

Thanks for reading, watching and considering what’s in your cosmetics!