News on Glitter

In a world where sustainability meets style, the shimmering allure of glitter has caught the eye of regulatory bodies. Here’s the essence of what every nail enthusiast and professional should know about the future of glitter and its environmental impact.

TL;DR

1) EU’s Microplastics Ban: The EU aims to restrict microplastics, especially in cosmetics, due to environmental concerns. However, encapsulated glitter in nail products remains an exception until 2035.

2) Nail Industry’s Way Forward: Glitter can still be used if it’s encapsulated, e.g., sealed within polish or a top coat, aligning with EU regulations.

3) Mindful Glitter Use: Be frugal with glitter and avoid washing unused glitter down the sink. Recollect unused portions and always seal with a topcoat to prevent shedding

4) For use by nail professionals within nail treatments only

1

The Glistening Debate: Glitter, Microplastics, and the EU Directive

Glitter has long been synonymous with fun, festivity, and flair. Whether adorning our nails, our makeup, or even our arts and crafts, these tiny sparkling particles add a touch of magic to whatever they grace. However, beneath the shimmer lies a more serious debate that’s set to change the cosmetics industry in a big way.

1. The EU Directive on Microplastics

Recently, the European Commission announced a forthcoming ban on microplastics in various products, with cosmetics being a significant point of focus. Microplastics are minuscule plastic particles that are not biodegradable and thus pose a considerable risk to aquatic life and the larger environment when they make their way into our oceans and rivers.

While the primary intent of this directive is to safeguard marine life and our ecosystems from further degradation, it indirectly affects many cosmetics products we’ve come to love and depend on – the most prominent being glitter.

2. Glitter and Cosmetics

Traditional glitter, as we know it, is a prime example of a microplastic. These shiny particles, though minute in size, pack a punch when it comes to environmental impact. With the EU’s pending restrictions, brands and consumers are at a crossroads. How do we keep the glitz and glamour of glitter without compromising on environmental values?

Brands that heavily rely on glitter for their cosmetic products may need to rethink and reformulate. This might be a significant pivot, but it’s not without its advantages. Environmentally-conscious consumers are on the rise, and sustainable beauty is more than just a trend; it’s quickly becoming the industry standard.

3. The Path Forward

There’s a silver (or shall we say, glittering) lining to this. Innovations in the cosmetic industry are developing eco-friendly glitter alternatives that degrade naturally without leaving a lasting impact on the environment. Derived from plant-based materials like cellulose, these biodegradable alternatives offer the same shine and appeal without the environmental guilt. But we’re not there yet in terms of 1-on-1 replacements of our beloved traditional glitters.

While traditional glitter’s days might be numbered in the EU, the spirit of sparkle is far from over. It’s merely evolving to meet the demands of a world that’s increasingly aware of its environmental responsibilities.

In conclusion, while the EU’s directive on microplastics challenges the cosmetic industry’s status quo, it’s also an opportunity. An opportunity to embrace more sustainable practices, to innovate, and to ensure that our beauty doesn’t come at the planet’s expense.

2

Glitter in the Nail Industry: The Exception to the Rule

When we delve deeper into the EU’s directive regarding microplastics, there’s a shimmer of hope for glitter enthusiasts, especially within the nail industry. One might wonder, “Does this mean I have to bid farewell to my sparkly manicures?” Fortunately, not quite.

The Art of Encapsulation

The directive’s main concern is the release of microplastics into the environment. In the realm of nail art, however, there’s a prevalent technique that ensures glitter stays exactly where it’s meant to: on your nails. This method is known as encapsulation.

By encapsulating glitter within nail polish or sealing it with a robust top coat, the tiny particles are effectively trapped, preventing them from being washed away or shed into the environment. This technique doesn’t just serve an environmental purpose; it also provides a smooth, even finish to nail designs, ensuring longevity and reducing the risk of glitter being inadvertently chipped or scraped off.

Innovations in Nail Art

The nail industry has always been at the forefront of innovation. Recognizing the need to be both trendy and environmentally conscious, many nail brands are already adapting to the directive. They are ensuring that glitter, when used, is firmly encapsulated either within the polish itself or under layers of protective coats.

Moreover, this encapsulation isn’t limited to just traditional polish. Gel manicures, known for their durability, are an excellent medium for glitter application. When glitter is embedded within the layers of gel and cured under UV or LED light, it remains securely in place until the manicure is intentionally removed.

An Opportunity for Nail Technicians and a Window of Grace

For nail technicians, this directive serves as an opportunity to educate clients. By explaining the safe and sustainable ways glitter can be applied, they not only address potential environmental concerns but also position themselves as informed and responsible professionals. It’s an added value to the service they provide, ensuring clients walk away with stunning nails that they can wear with pride and peace of mind.

Furthermore, according to Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, this encapsulation method for applying glitter on nails will remain permissible up until 2035. This offers a considerable window for the industry to further innovate and potentially develop even more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

In conclusion, while certain applications of glitter are facing restrictions, the nail industry remains a space where sparkle thrives. Through techniques like encapsulation and the use of innovative products, glittery manicures can continue to shine bright, guilt-free, for years to come.

3

Tips for Environmentally Conscious Glitter Use in the Nail Industry

We created a list. But the most important part is to emphasize on how to dispose glitter residue. Make sure to vacuum glitter, and safely dispose glitter in the bin and avoid flushing any down the sink to prevent it coming in the water system.

1. Be Frugal with Glitter Use: The less you use, the less potential waste. A little glitter can go a long way in creating eye-catching designs.

2. Recollect Unused Glitter: If any glitter spills or is left unused, make sure to gather it and return it to its container for future use. This ensures minimal waste.

3. Discourage Direct Dipping: To maintain hygiene and prevent unnecessary waste, avoid letting clients dip their fingers directly into glitter pots. Use applicators or brushes instead.

4. Maintain a Glitter-free Wardrobe: After using glitter in the salon, ensure that your clothing is free from glitter. Vacuum up any loose particles. Avoid washing clothes with glitter residues in the washing machine to prevent them from entering water systems.

5. Mindful Hand Washing: Before washing hands (yours or your clients’), ensure to remove as much loose glitter as possible. This helps in minimizing the glitter that ends up in the water system.

6. Mix Glitter with Nail Products: Wherever possible, mix your glitters with nail products. This will reduce the chances of them dispersing into the environment as they won’t be loose.

7. Seal the Glitter: After applying loose glitters, always ensure to seal them in with a topcoat. This secures the glitter and prevents it from shedding off.

8. Eco-friendly Glitter: Consider switching to biodegradable glitter, which breaks down naturally without contributing to microplastic pollution.

9. Education & Awareness: Share your knowledge on environmental concerns regarding glitter with your clients. The more they’re aware, the more they might appreciate and support your sustainable practices.

10. Support Responsible Brands: Opt for products from companies that prioritize environmental sustainability and are transparent about their sourcing and manufacturing processes.

11. Cleanup Stations: Having a dedicated area or station for glitter application can make cleanup more efficient. This ensures most of the stray particles are captured and disposed of correctly.

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