Minerals as Natural Cosmetic Exfoliants
How Perlite and Diatomaceous Earth Are Used
We often discuss the industrial and safety applications of diatomaceous earth and perlite. The uses go well beyond the practical needs, and you might be surprised you use items every day that have been impacted by these minerals. Today, we’re taking a look at how perlite and diatomaceous earth can used as natural cosmetic exfoliants and other applications of the minerals in the beauty industry.
Perlite Microspheres as Natural Cosmetic Exfoliants
Perlite is one of nature’s most versatile and efficient minerals. It is formed by molten (magmatic) rock, also known as volcanic glass. In the beauty industry, it is known for its:
- 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
The Microbead-Free Waters Act
Perlite became a main player in exfoliating and beauty products when the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 was established. This act prohibits the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of rinse-off cosmetics containing plastic microbeads. It 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, like exfoliating scrubs and toothpaste, that contain added microbeads.
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 is an effective physical exfoliant, sometimes offered in cream forms that combine physical and natural acids.
A New Exfoliating Cleanser with Dicaperl’s Perlite
The Maroon Group introduced a new exfoliating cleanser that’s part of their formulary line of products. It features Dicaperl HP-100 as the 100% natural exfoliant and sensory modifier.
Dicaperl HP-100: All Dicaperl Microspheres start with perlite ore mined from the Socorro, New Mexico facility which is specially processed to ensure consistency. As much quality control as possible is accomplished upstream of the expansion facilities ensuring the best possible product for our customers. The Socorro facility uses two different laser diffraction particle size analyzers to meet the proprietary specifications for the Dicaperl Microsphere ore. Final quality control tests are performed at each expansion facility to ensure that the Dicaperl Microspheres our customer’s specifications.
- Mineralogical: perlite-amorphous mineral silicate
- Physical form: dry powder
- Particle shape: multi-celled bubble
- Color: white
The Dicaperl Difference
Our Socorro deposit location has proven reserves of over 10,000,000 tons and is believed to be the deepest known commercial perlite deposit in the world. These characteristics give the expanded and processed Socorro ore unmatched quality and consistency.
In addition, we own and operate both the perlite ore mining locations and the processing and expansion facilities, allowing us to maintain a much higher level of quality control and ensuring volume and supply for our expanded perlite customers. Our perlite is available from 40-300 microns. The selection of the grade would depend on final requirements based on the product type.
Diatomaceous Earth as Natural Cosmetic Exfoliants
Diatomaceous earth, also known as diatomite and DE, is the naturally occurring fossilized remains of diatoms—single-celled aquatic algae. It is a near-pure sedimentary deposit consisting almost entirely of silica. Diatomaceous earth’s silica particles are small, friable, have a high surface area, and are angular in shape, giving it mild abrasive properties.
These abrasive qualities of diatomaceous earth make it another fantastic, natural addition to the beauty world. Others are used in personal care as abrasives, absorbents, anti-caking and bulking agents, non-surfactant dispersants, and opacifying agents. They also can be applied topically as a facial mask or scrub.
Dicalite’s Natural Diatomaceous Earth
Our natural diatomaceous earth meets the NOP (National Organic Program) standards. It is sourced from our Basalt, Nevada facility and is dried and sized without further processing and sold in its natural form.
Dicalite D4 has many certifications, such as OMRI certified, registration with the FDA in the food facility registration module, compliance with Halal/Kosher requirements, and maintaining FSMA compliance where applicable
Additional Personal Care Uses for Minerals
You can find perlite and diatomaceous earth in some beauty products you use every day.
- Whitening toothpaste: The abrasive properties of both perlite and diatomaceous earth make them popular, natural additions to whitening toothpastes.
- Hair/Nail strengthener: Along with gelatin and biotin, silica (like that in diatomaceous earth) is essential for building strong, healthy nails and hair. This claim involves the silica content, not the actual mineral.
- Anti-caking agent: Diatomaceous earth can also be used as an anti-caking agent in a variety of cosmetic products.
- Oil absorbent: Perlite is also excellent at absorbing excess oils and moisture in the skin, without drying it out. This means that it can help to mattify and reduce the appearance of shiny skin without dehydrating it.
- Shampoo: Perlite is sometimes used in natural anti-dandruff shampoo, increasing the scrubbing power to get rid of flakey, peeling skin on the scalp.
Request Your Free Sample.
There are hundreds of studies that explain the researched, tested, and proven uses of diatomaceous earth in the beauty industry. Our sales and technical services team work closely together to ensure you get the right mineral for your product. Call us today at 866-728-3303 for a free sample and to speak to one of our knowledgable team members.
Join Our Mailing List
Our blog offers insight and information about new and exciting uses for perlite, diatomaceous earth, and vermiculite deriving from years of research and application. From passive fire resistance to mineral depth filtration, by subscribing to our mailing list, you will receive the latest information surrounding the Dicalite, Dicaperl, and Specialty Vermiculite brands and products.