Nothing illustrates Western society’s decline into self/selfie-obsession like slathering on a face mask full of shimmering flecks of pollutants-causing plastic and smiling for the front-facing digital camera. Okay, perhaps I’m being a tad bit harsh. But the point remains: Can we stop it with the glitter face masks already?\ They’re not appropriate for your skin (more excellent on that later). They’re no longer suitable for the environment. The most effective component they may be the type of correct for is an Instagram publish… But seeing as it’s increasingly unwell-advised to market it the truth that you make contributions to gratuitous glitter waste on social media, I’m going to mention that closing one is likewise categorically now not appropriate. On the other hand… In case you’re applying a glitter mask and not taking images of it, what, I civilly ask, are you doing together with your life?
It’s written right there within the product descriptions: “Be affected person and take plenty of selfies,” GlamGlow directs users of its #GlitterMask GravityMud Firming Treatment, a mixture of synthetic “dust” and famous person-fashioned polyethylene terephthalate plastic. “Treat yourself with this IG-worthy masks,” Wet ‘n’ Wild advises of the ironically-named Detox It Purifying Glitter Mask, which lists best the reality that the ingredients are cruelty-unfastened, gluten unfastened and vegan inside the “benefits” phase of the product listing. Maybe because there aren’t any different discernible benefits.
“Glitter [in skin care] is in general used for aesthetics,” Kelly Dobos, a beauty chemist with Sun Chemicals, tells Fashionista. “Many manufacturers are seeking to create an Instagrammable revel in for customers to share, and glitters create a unique appearance.” Dermatologists agree: When asked if there are any advantages to consisting of glitter in skin-care formulations, “no longer than I’m privy to” became the unanimous solution from the healthcare specialists Fashionista spoke to for this tale, together with Dr. Joshua Zeichner of Zeichner Dermatology in Manhattan. “The simplest advantage of using glitter in face masks is to enhance the classy look of the masks itself,” he says.
To kingdom the obvious: There are zero precise motives to “improve the cultured look” of a 20-minute mask meant to be used in the privacy of your bathroom. Replace the above with “a pretty makeup product meant to be worn all night,” although the line starts to blur. I get it. I’ve seen how massive glitter has been at the runways, season after season, and I’m not immune to the glowing charm of a shiny splendor look. But that enchantment becomes loads duller while we recall what we now recognize about the environmental outcomes of microplastics. And yet, manufacturers are nonetheless widely formulating with them. Earlier this month, Glossier Play delivered four “dialed up splendor extras,” consisting of Glitter Gelée Multigrade Paillettes, a glitzy eye gel full of polyethylene terephthalate debris. Though the release changed into lots-anticipated, the brand quickly found out that everyone who glitters isn’t always #desires; at least, not anymore. The patron backlash towards Glitter Gelée was fast and fierce — and honestly, to be anticipated. Glossier’s consumer base is made from millennials who remember sustainability as a middle fee. Almost right away, it introduced a plan to segment out the paillettes.
Beauty manufacturers without Glossier’s level of visibility or aware client base are nevertheless flying underneath the radar, although simply in time for competition season. The other day, I acquired a PR blast that exclaimed, “a water bottle and glitter are competition packing necessities!” Glitter has emerged as the cosmetic equivalent of cut-offs and a flower crown, any other way to bring you younger and carefree at Coachella. But being “carefree” in that way isn’t cute anymore. With all that, we recognize about plastic, pollutants, and the planet’s future, companies and clients need to care. Of route, there will continually be individuals who don’t manage, for whom sustainability is not simply a concern. And to them, I ask: Do you care about your face? If the issues with that bright plastic merchandise began in vain and became environmentally irresponsible, that might be one aspect. But the plastic found in glitter masks can also actively harm skin — the exact opposite of what a show is supposed to do. “Glitter is pores, and skin-care factor causes inflammation, in particular in those with sensitive pores and skin,” says Dr. Sejal Shah of SmarterSkin Dermatology. “The fabric can be abrasive, feeling hard on the skin,” Dobos adds.
Granted, now not all usually used pores and skin-care ingredients are beneficial for the lengthy-term health of pores and skin or proper for the environment (what’s up, phthalates and silicones). However, it’s almost impossible to consider any other pores and skin-care product that blatantly disregards both like glitter masks do.
“Glitter is essentially a flattened microbead, a fabric banned within the U.S. In 2015 for its adverse consequences to our environment,” says Rebecca Richards, the founder of green glitter employer BioGlitz. “Glitter was capable of flying beneath the radar of this ban, and it is nonetheless used nowadays in endless merchandise.” Like the outlawed microbeads, glitter is considered a microplastic, which poses a genuine risk to surroundings.
“Microplastics are much less than 5 millimeters long,” explains Susan Stevens, the CEO, and founder of Made with Respect. When those particles get rinsed down the drain, they end up in the sewer gadget. “They are too small to be filtered out in water treatment flora, and in maximum cases, emerge as in our waterways, contributing to the pollution of rivers, lakes, and oceans.” Once introduced to water delivery, microplastics are eaten up using marine existence and subsequently end up in our food chain.