HIGHSNOBIETY: Attention, makeup mavens: your high-shine beauty routine is about to get a shakeup. The European Union is banning plastic glitter, including that used in cosmetics.
The move is part of a larger effort to crack down on microplastics, which are polluting the air and water. As a result, they’re infiltrating wildlife and even the human body — in 2022, scientists found microplastics in the lungs of surgical patients and in the blood of anonymous donors. That said, it’s not yet clear how these plastics harm human health.
There’s cause to be concerned about microplastic pollution, but there’s no need to panic over the future of your favorite glitter eye or thousand-watt lip. A document published by the European Commission specifies that the ban only applies to sparkles made of “non-biodegradable, insoluble plastic” — in other words, glitter that’s biodegradable, water-soluble, or made of natural materials (such as mica) is exempt.
Brands like Submission Beauty and Projekt Glitter offer glitter makeup, minus the plastic. Brands also have a generous grace period for phasing out any plastic glitter they may use: Glitter for rinse-off cosmetics has until October 16th, 2027, while glitter for leave-on cosmetics has until October 16, 2029.
According to The Guardian, shine-happy shoppers are taking advantage of this transitional period and stocking up on packets of the shimmery stuff.