Perlite’s Role in Personal Care Products


The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 prohibits the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of rinse-off cosmetics containing plastic microbeads. The law addresses concerns about microbeads in the water supply, which may not be filtered through treatment filtration and then end up in lakes and oceans, where fish and other animals may mistake them for food. (It is not the result of concern for human health.) The law covers rinse-off cosmetics, including toothpaste, that contains added microbeads intended to exfoliate or cleanse the body.

Cosmetic companies sprang into action, looking for microbead alternatives, including:

Physical exfoliants: physically scrub off dead skin
Enzyme exfoliants: help dissolve the dead skin on the surface
Chemical exfoliants: use acids like BHA and AHA to remove dead skin at a deeper level
Cream exfoliants: use a mixture of physical and natural acids to exfoliate

Perlite: A Physical Exfoliant for Personal Care Products

Perlite is one of nature’s most versatile and efficient minerals, formed by molten rock, also known as volcanic glass. This mineral has been a longstanding member of the cosmetic community, even well before the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. Perlite microsphere properties include:

  • Gentle exfoliation
  • Gentle abrasiveness
  • High absorbency
  • High matting control effect
  • No volume changes after liquid absorption
  • Medium refractive index (no traces, invisible on the skin)
  • Good fragrance retention


Perlite Microspheres can directly replace polyethylene beads with minor formulation changes. They are used in a variety of applications, including:

  • Body and face scrubs
  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Makeup
  • Suncare
  • Skin care
  • Shampoos

Perlite Microspheres exhibit powerful abrasive properties, perfect for the formulation of personal care products for gentle exfoliation. The addition of perlite also improves the foaming abilities giving a richer lather and a glowing skin feeling and look.  Products like body and face scrubs, anti-dandruff shampoos, shower gels, and exfoliating soaps are just some of the products that exhibit greater performance with the inclusion of perlite.

Dicaperl’s Perlite Specifications

Our perlite is available from 40-300 microns. The selection of the grade would depend on final requirements based on the product type. Our sales and technical services team work hand-in-hand, so we can help you choose the right perlite for your product.

Request Your Free Sample Today.

When it comes to the components of your personal care products, we know you have options. That’s why we want to send you a sample of our perlite microspheres so you can see for yourself the difference this mineral can make. Call us today at 866-728-3303.

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