Pride month is here! Although many of the bigger events here in the UK have been cancelled (thanks covid), there are still plenty of wonderful smaller events scheduled to go ahead, and you can rest assured we’ll be getting glittery here at EcoStardust HQ!
We are an eco-conscious company selling certified biodegradable Bioglitter® made from plant matter. It’s our mission to look after people and planet, and bring a little sustainable sparkle to the world.
As a party brand with both a workforce and a following that is diverse, inclusive, and oh so colourful, pride is very close to our hearts and we are huge supporters of LGBTQIA+ rights all year round.
It’s so important to us that we play a part in making Pride events safe and fun for everyone, and you might be surprised to discover that glitter plays a big role in that!
Not only can the wrong glitter be damaging to the environment, it can also be damaging to your skin and health. It’s essential to make sure your glitter is both skin-friendly and planet-friendly.
Cosmetic vs craft glitter
When you were a kid, did you ever get yourself absolutely caked in glitter and look fabulous, but then when you had to take it off your skin would be scratched and sore and itchy? Yep, we’ve all been there! The chances are that you were not using skin-safe cosmetic grade glitter.
Cosmetic grade glitter is specifically formulated to be suitable for use on the skin. That means for nail art, body art, face and eye make-up looks, and of course for festival and Pride looks where you want to be a walking talking rainbow unicorn (who doesn’t).
Craft glitter on the other hand is not subject to the same tests, and may contain chemicals or residue that is not safe to be applied to the skin. It may also be too big or uneven in size, and present the risk of scratching or tearing the skin.
Harmful heavy metal: antimony
Antimony is a heavy metal that, when applied to the skin or ingested, can have some pretty nasty effects on health, both short term and long term.
In plastic polyester glitter, antimony is a by-product of the catalyst used in the manufacturing process, but some remains in the glitter after the manufacturing process is complete. With repeated use, antimony and other heavy metals from polyester glitter can be absorbed through the skin and lead to serious health problems.
Levels of antimony in cosmetic glitter are capped at 150 parts per million (PPM), whereas there is no regulation at all for non-cosmetic grade glitter! That means there may be much higher, much more dangerous levels of heavy metals in this glitter, and we definitely want to avoid putting that anywhere near our bodies.
Antimony is not a by-product of Bioglitter® production. The glitter we sell here at EcoStardust has low levels of heavy metals and is officially antimony free at less than 0.5ppm (below detectable levels).
Isn’t it amazing how looking after yourself and looking after the planet so often go hand-in-hand?
The other thing to consider is the size of the glitter you are using, especially if it’s going on or near your eyes.
Many polyester glitters, especially effect pigments such as micas or pearlescents, can contain a variety of shapes and sizes. This means that the wearer has less control over the glitter and it can behave unpredictably, which can be dangerous!
Bioglitter® is a precision cut product and all particles in the pot are guaranteed to be the same size, and it is much softer and therefore gentler on the skin. Your skin is precious, treat it kindly!
PS. Although there is no strict guidance on the maximum size you should be using, generally we suggest being very careful with chunky glitters around the eyes! No one wants a stubborn piece of glitter in their eye when trying to live your best life at a pride party.
Now go forth and be glittery, and have an incredible Pride month! Remember: cosmetic glitter is safe, and cosmetic Bioglitter® is safest and sustainable. Look after that beautiful face of yours.
We hope you loved learning a little health and safety today. If you have any more questions or concerns you can contact us any time, we’re more than happy to help.