A beauty trend which shows no sign of abating this season is glitter; from the understated gold cheekbones as seen on the Chanel show to the not-so-subtle full face at Giambattista Valli’s autumn/winter 2018 show (there is a pic below), glitter is maintaining it’s presence in the beauty world. With plastic pollution a critical concern however, glitter has come under close scrutiny of late and consequently over the past couple of years there has been a massive increase in the availability of biodegradable glitter.
I transferred over to solely using biodegradable glitter about two years ago. As with everything its a gradual process and as I ran out of the conventional stuff I simply replaced with an eco alternative – even my daughter only uses bio glitter in her artwork at home.
We know that environmentally it is a significant improvement on conventional glitter (although I admit still not perfect as you will read later) and arguably its nicer on the skin. The particles feel softer somehow; this sounds strange but this is one of the first things I noticed when I stuck my fingers in a pot of the stuff – I thought I was imagining it but it was later confirmed to be true.
It is important to point out that not all bio-degradable glitters are the same. There are a varying materials and methods used in the production of create biodegradable glitters, the ones I am aware off are listed below:
- Eucalyptus tree extract (cellulose) is metallised with a thin layer of aluminium and coloured to give it its sparkle.
- Polylactic Acid is made from (amongst other things) corn starch and has the looks and feel of traditional petroleum based plastics.
- Synthetic mica which is a man-made material designed to mimic the shimmer effect of natural mica.
N.B: The name Bioglitter (and it’s logo) are registered trademarks of Ronald Britton Ltd who are a global supplier of metal powders and glitters. The brands who stock Bioglitter are doing so under license of Ronald Britton Ltd, any other name name for bio-degradable glitter means it is sourced elsewhere and may be produced differently.
Biodegradable glitter is of course biodegradable however it doesn’t happen overnight; it can take six months to compost in commercial composting facility but at home it may take longer as the conditions have to be right (heat, water, oxygen and microorganisms are all required for biodegradation).
Now we are passed the science-y bit, here are my favourite bio degradable glitter suppliers…
This was the first biodegradable glitter I came across back in 2015 – I actually first discovered it on eBay! Glitterlution are stockist of Bioglitter and they offer a massive range of glitters and glitter powders (I believer in excess of 350) in a variety of sizes and colour blends. According to their website over 100 of their glitters are completely exclusive to them so definitely worth checking out if you are look for something a little different. Prices begin at £2.99 for a small sachet.
Projekt Glitter are a Berlin based company who produce a plant-based glitter using natural plant-based film (cellulose); The glitter is natural compostable and is EU certified biodegradable (composting naturally in soil or seawater in the presence of bacteria). They offer a small range of consumer sized glitter sets housed in test tube style packaging, along side some pro-sized jars. They also have created a small range of glitter gels which don’t require any adhesive!
Another Bioglitter stockist, I came across Ecoglitterfun in a magazine article back in January this year. The glitter is housed in little glass jars and sold individually and in themed glitter kits (Pride, pinks, blues, Halloween etc); they have also just launched a kickstarter campaign for their Beards and Braids kits. Prices start at £4.00 for individual jars and kits start at £22.00.
The Mermaid Cave is a supplier with a difference; a mobile boutique providing festival-goers with an ethical and unique style experience with products sourced from small independent producers. Mermaid Cave glitter is plant derived from sustainable and renewable raw materials (such as rayon & glycerin) and is available in a small number of hand-blended mixes with names inspired by some wonderful marine creatures. Prices start at £5.99 and 10% of all their profits go to Oceans.Care.
My final pick is Eco Star Dust who also stock Bio-Glitter. They also stock a mixture of single colour glitters and multi-blends but also offer a custom blend service – great if you need something specific! With sample bags priced at just £1.50 and standard packs at £5.50, 10% of the company’s net profits are donated to Surfers Against Sewage.
Images: (1) LJS -OMUA; (2) Giambattista Valli via Getty Images ; (3) Glitterlution; (4) Projekt Glitter; (5) Ecoglitterfun; (6) The Mermaid Cave; (7) Eco Star Dust