Summer Shimmer Part 1: Body Oil

Summer Shimmer Part 1: Body Oil

A shimmery body oil is the perfect summer accessory! You can achieve a photo-perfect glow on your skin by massaging in a bit of oil loaded with mica. It’s a simple concept and easy to make. 

However there are a couple of issues with your common shimmer body oil. The first is usually obvious after a day or two: since mica is dispersible but not soluble, it will settle out of any liquid with time. Therefore the liquid needs either a thickening agent or suspending agent to keep it ‘afloat’. You can choose to ignore the settling issue and just shake up your oil before use, but we like to solve formulating problems so we’re choosing to rather go the hard route on this one!

We solve this problem by adding a rather strange addition considering this is a purely anhydrous formulation: an emulsifier. You want something that thickens oils, and emulsifiers do just that as they have inherent thickening properties! 

You may ask, why don’t we rather use a butter or fatty acid, as those are typical viscosity modifiers. The answer is that fatty acids (which are found in butters) tend to settle out of liquid oils as well, especially if there are temperature fluctuations. Have you ever had a grainy shea butter? Or a coconut oil that liquefies and solidifies whenever the temperature changes? That is due to the fatty acid content. Fatty acids have different melting and solidifying temperatures compared to liquid oils, and it’s quite a fine balance to get consistencies right, which is why body butters are actually quite technical to make.

So rather than struggle with fatty acids, we’re simply going to use an emulsifier. It’s oil soluble, has its own thickening properties and isn’t a fatty acid trying to fight back. problem solved!

The second problem with shimmer body oils is transfer. Now this is a common problem across even well known beauty brands, and without a bunch of waterproofing agents, there’s unfortunately just not a whole lot we can do about it. So don’t use shimmer oil with your favourite whites - the mica will likely transfer with friction and time. Also be strategic about where you apply the oil; applying to areas where clothing won’t touch such as arms, may be better than the chest area for example.

Shimmer Body Oil

96%  oil of choice, or even something like  hemisqualane

3%  OliveM 1000 

2-3%  mica - I find a blend of different shades is best to achieve the perfect glow for your skin tone


Weigh out the oil and OliveM 1000 into a beaker and gently heat until the OliveM flakes are fully melted. Then stir in the mica. While the mixture cools, stir periodically to ensure everything is evenly incorporated. Then decant into a pretty bottle and enjoy the glow!

We still advise shaking the bottle before use, just to make sure the mica is evenly distributed for maximum shimmer.

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