If you thought the unicorn beauty trend was *so* last year — think again. From sequin dresses to holographic nail polishes, it appears the obsession for everything glisten and sparkle has progressed with the latest shimmery product that’s out just in time for the summer: glitter sunscreen.
For the glow lovers out there who are giddy at the idea of going full-fledged “shimmery-mermaid-beach-goddess” this summer, this glittery concoction is probably now at the top of your to-buy list. One brand that is quickly making rounds on social media is Unicorn Snot Glitter Sunscreen. Admittedly, a product that can protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and give you a radiant sheen does sound appealing, but just how much protection can a glitter sunscreen offer? Apparently — although it can encourage people to use it more because of its cosmetic appeal — there are mixed opinions as to whether or not slathering on heaping globs of unicorn boogers actually protects your skin from the sun. While some dermatologists say it does offer protection against UV ray absorption, there are others that warn of the fact little testing has been done to prove just how effective glitter sunscreens are at reflecting UV light away from the skin. (Also, keep in mind glitter is not FDA-approved, but dermatologists say it’s considered generally safe for the skin.)
Unfortunately, all that glitters isn’t gold as conventional glitters (which Unicorn Snot contains) are made from aluminum and tiny microplastics called polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. Microplastics, which account for 82% of the plastic currently residing in our oceans, are polluting the waters and winding up in the bellies of our most precious marine life.
To make matters worse, sunscreen on its own can be just as harmful to the planet and even to its wearer! Many sunscreens contain toxic chemicals and hormone disruptors, plus they have been shown to actually speed up the development of skin cancer! Sunscreens also pollute the waters they come into contact with and contain ingredients that are contributing to the decline of coral reefs!
The whole “shimmery-mermaid-beach-goddess” look doesn’t seem so appealing now…
For those dead set on achieving a shimmery glow this beach season, there is one brand that appears to take into account how disastrous plastic glitter is on the earth. Sunshine & Glitter’s Beach Gypsy Glitter Sunscreen and Day is Done Glitter After Sun (they also have a biodegradable glitter lotion) are made with eco-friendly, biodegradable, and polyethylene-free glitter. Infused with natural antioxidants and essential nutrients, they’re also non-metallic, cruelty-free, and are free of PABA, paraben, and phthalates. Keep in mind, as of now their other products (like their SeaStar Sparkle glitter sunscreens) are not biodegradable.
When it comes to glitter sunscreen, it’s best to be mindful of what you’re purchasing, so take the time to read labels. And although plastic-free, biodegradable glitter sunscreen options may seem scarce, there’s a plethora of cruelty-free, eco-friendly glitter brands (sans sunscreen) out there to help you achieve that colorful shine while poolside this summer. Here’s a few to get you started!
Founded by 10-year-old (!!!) Sofia Rizzo, Glitter Girl is a cruelty-free makeup brand that sells vegan, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable plastic-free glitter products. In lieu of plastic, Glitter Girl uses certified compostable glitter made from trees, primarily eucalyptus, that are sourced responsibly. From lip kits to makeup palettes, this brand has everything you need to sparkle and shine without causing any harm to the planet.
Yet another brand proving earth-friendly glitter is possible, Wild Glitter carries an ethical, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free alternative to conventional glitters. Made from natural, plant-based materials, their glitters can be broken down in soil or seawater within 90 days.
With colors like Venus, Dragonfly (pictured above), Atlantis, and Cosmic, GLITTEREVOLUTION’s guilt-free glitter mixes are marine and waste-water biodegradable, certified home compostable, and vegan-friendly. Their products are also plastic-free and are made with renewable raw materials and contain non-GMO ingredients (can it get any better?!).
Have you tried any of these eco-friendly glitters?
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Photos: GLOTATTS via Instagram, Respective Brands