Minerals in Personal Care Products

From the abrasive properties of diatomaceous earth to the lightweight texture of perlite and the mild exfoliation offered by vermiculite, minerals can play a unique role in a person’s daily routine. Their distinct properties bring practical benefits to formulations, enhancing the performance of various beauty and skincare products. Read on to learn about the many ways minerals can be used in personal care products.

Minerals 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 because of its gentle exfoliation and abrasiveness, high absorbency, high matting control effect, medium refractive index, and good fragrance retention. Perlite microspheres are used in a variety of applications, including:

  • Body and Face Scrubs: Perlite, known for its gentle abrasive properties, is incorporated into body and face scrubs to provide effective exfoliation.
  • Whitening Toothpaste: Perlite plays a key role in whitening toothpaste formulations due to its abrasive nature. It aids in removing surface stains on teeth without causing damage to enamel. Additionally, perlite enhances foaming abilities, contributing to a richer lather for improved cleaning.
  • Makeup: In makeup products, perlite is often used for its lightweight and soft texture. It contributes to the smooth application of powders, such as foundations and blushes, providing a velvety finish for users.
  • Suncare: Perlite finds application in suncare products for its oil-absorbing properties. It helps in creating lightweight formulations that are non-greasy while offering effective sun protection.
  • Skincare: Skincare products benefit from perlite’s absorbent qualities, making it suitable for use in moisturizers and lotions. Perlite contributes to a non-greasy texture, allowing for quick absorption into the skin.
  • Shampoos: Perlite is incorporated into shampoos for its ability to enhance the cleaning action. It helps in effectively removing impurities and excess oils from the hair and scalp, contributing to a refreshed and clean feeling after washing.

The Microbead-Free Waters Act

Perlite Microspheres exhibit powerful abrasive properties, perfect for the formulation of personal care products for gentle exfoliation. In fact, they can directly replace polyethylene beads with minor formulation changes, which is essential with the implementation of the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, which addresses environmental concerns surrounding plastic microbeads in personal care products. These tiny plastic particles, commonly used as exfoliants in items like face washes and toothpaste, were found to contribute to water pollution and pose threats to aquatic ecosystems due to their ability to pass through water treatment systems. The act prohibited the manufacturing and interstate commerce introduction of rinse-off cosmetics containing intentionally added plastic microbeads, aiming to phase out their use.

Diatomaceous Earth

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.

  • Toothpaste: In some toothpaste formulations, diatomaceous earth is added for its gentle abrasive properties. It helps in removing surface stains on teeth without being overly harsh on enamel.
  • Facial Scrubs: Diatomaceous earth’s fine particles make it suitable for use in facial scrubs. It provides a gentle exfoliation, helping to remove dead skin cells and promote smoother skin.
  • Deodorants: Some natural and organic deodorant formulations incorporate diatomaceous earth for its absorbent properties. It helps in controlling moisture and odor.
  • Liquid Soaps and Body Washes: Diatomaceous earth can be found in liquid soaps and body washes, contributing to their texture and providing a mild abrasive action for cleansing.
  • Dry Shampoos: Due to its oil-absorbing qualities, diatomaceous earth is used in some dry shampoos. It helps to absorb excess oils from the scalp and hair.
  • Powdered Foundations: In certain mineral makeup formulations, diatomaceous earth is included for its lightweight and finely milled texture. It contributes to the smooth application of powdered foundations.


While vermiculite isn’t as widespread in personal care products as perlite or diatomaceous earth, its unique properties make it a suitable addition to specific formulations where mild exfoliation or oil absorption is desired. For example, you might find vermiculite in:

  • Exfoliating Soaps: Vermiculite, with its gentle exfoliating properties, is occasionally used in exfoliating soaps. It helps in removing dead skin cells, promoting smoother and softer skin.
  • Oil-Absorbent Powders: Due to its absorbent nature, vermiculite may be included in oil-absorbent powders used in skincare. It aids in controlling excess oil on the skin, providing a matte finish.
  • Foot Scrubs: Vermiculite’s mild abrasive properties make it suitable for use in foot scrubs. It assists in the removal of calloused skin, contributing to foot care products.
  • Dry Shampoos: In some dry shampoo formulations, vermiculite is utilized for its absorbent qualities. It helps in absorbing oils from the scalp, extending the time between hair washes.
  • Face Masks: Vermiculite may be found in certain face masks for its texturizing properties. It contributes to the consistency of the mask while offering mild exfoliation during application.

See the Difference Minerals Make in Your Personal Care Products with Dicalite Management Group.

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 so you can see the difference minerals can make. Call us today at 866-728-3303 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives today.

You can also use our Product Search Database to search and find your mineral solution and all the related technical information. At any moment in time, you can access our products’ Technical Data Sheets (TDS), Safety Data Sheets (SDS), and sales support materials (when applicable). Finding the right mineral solution is easy: simply apply filters so you only see the products relevant to you. You can also call us today at 866-728-3303 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.

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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.

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