All that shines is not gold.

Let’s first make clear that products sold in the USA must be safe for the user. Products manufactured in the USA usually are, because big companies are very careful to follow the law. Small companies like Skin Actives are particularly careful but there are many products, especially imported from countries with lax law enforcement that I would not risk.

However (there is always a “however”) what you buy somewhere may not necessarily follow FDA guidelines and the handful of inspectors still working at the FDA can’t cope with the millions of products manufactured here or imported every year. So don’t assume anything. Read the ingredient list, always and if you can’t make sense of it, ask me. I can help.

What is glitter?    From Wikipedia: “Glitter describes an assortment of small, reflective particles that come in a variety of shapes and colors. Glitter particles reflect light at different angles, causing the surface to sparkle or shimmer.”

Glitter, i.e. shiny little particles that will make our skin shine has been used since antiquity. Mica, hematite, crushed beetles, malachite and even lead mineral (poisonous!) were used to make skin shiny or sparkly.  Nowadays glitter is likely made of plastic particles covered in any number of shiny materials like aluminum, titanium dioxide, bismuth oxychloride, etc. are used as glitter and incorporated into cosmetics.  It could be argued that this glitter is unnecessary and gives no benefits to your skin, but fun stuff doesn’t need to be useful.

Still, we have to start worrying at some point about the contribution of cosmetics to environmental pollution and although it is true that we have bigger (in volume) problems caused by plastic bags and straws and bottles, maybe we should start thinking about avoiding stuff we don’t need if they are polluting something we do, like drinking water and the sea.



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