All that glitters is not gold; at least according to Submission Beauty, which has just launched a line of plant-based, biodegradable glitter as a sustainable substitute for the environmentally damaging original. 

‘Traditional glitter is simply microplastic by a different name,’ says the brand, and it’s true that glitter’s fun, shiny appearance belies the fact that it is a harmful pollutant. Typically made of aluminium and plastic, glitter is one of the many microplastics regularly entering the global water systems, and subsequently ingested by aquatic creatures and by people. 

Submission red glitter next to pomegranate

So harmful is the substance that last year a number of UK supermarket chains, including Waitrose, Aldi, and Marks & Spencer, banned glitter from all their Christmas products, citing its damaging effect on marine life. 

So how does Submission Beauty make a planet-friendly alternative? The brand has replaced the plastic used in standard glitter with a cellulose base made from eucalyptus trees. This plant-based material creates a unique iridescent effect that is more pared-down than your typical party glitter and provides a broader array of applications. It also feels better, since its non-toxic formulation won’t irritate skin or scalp

Submission blue glitter next to oyster

The product is the first from the Los Angeles-based brand, and will be followed by a multifunctional balm in both matte and shiny editions later this year. Submission Beauty aims to be a radical force for sustainability in the beauty industry beyond the creation of eco-friendly glitter. Everything the brand produces will be plastic-free, from product to packaging. 

‘Having organic or plant-derived ingredients is second-nature for many beauty brands at this point,’ says Submission Beauty founder and former beauty editor Zenia Jaeger. ‘But claiming a product is clean or sustainable when it comes in single-use plastic packaging is disingenuous, and totally misses the bigger picture.’

Submission pink glitter next to flower

‘We’re focused on the total impact our products have on the consumer and the ecosystem, and that means evaluating every stage of the product’s lifecycle, especially those that the public doesn’t see.’ 

So as the world starts to open up again, why not celebrate by slipping some glitter into your make-up regime? Especially now that it’s an easy way to lift your spirits without harming the planet. §

woman wearing submission biodegradable glitter in blue