What Is Biodegradable Glitter?

What Is Biodegradable Glitter?

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    No one wants to add to the worsening situation with the state of the environmental crisis as it is and where it is headed towards. Regular glitter, in the past, was one of the worst environmentally damaging products. Fret no more; however, biodegradable glitter is here!

    Introduction picture

    What is Biodegradable Glitter?

    Biodegradable glitter is, you guessed it, environmentally friendly glitter. You can buy two authentic biodegradable glitter products, compostable glitter or glitter made from cellulose extracted from trees, cotton, coffee bean skins, fruit skins, and seaweed (used by the cosmetic brand LUSH). It would be best to be careful when buying biodegradable glitter because some products are falsely advertised as biodegradable.

    The following biodegradable glitter products are available on the market:

    1. Cellophane-Based Glitter – It is made from natural plant fiber but has a chemical structure that will not allow it to biodegrade in the natural environment.
    2. Cellulose Acetate Glitter – This will not break down in the natural environment. This is the same material used for making cigarette butts.
    3. Modified Regenerated Cellulose – The material used to make this biodegradable glitter is environmentally friendly, but the coating is typically not. The coating tends to be made from a thin plastic layer for extra shine.
    4. Compostable Glitter – This glitter product can only decompose when the right conditions are met, such as high temperature, environmental pressure and bacteria. This is only achieved when the glitter is taken to a compostable plant. The use of bio glitter must be careful not to wash off into the natural environment as it will cause pollution of the water it seeps into.
    5. PLA (Polylactic Acid) Glitter – Like compostable glitter, this product can only biodegrade once certain industrial conditions, such as high temperatures, are met.

    Inexperienced customers of glitter may be deceived as the false marketing surrounding bio glitter can sound very convincing. When buying biodegradable glitter products, you need to look for a specific certification, namely the TÜV Austria certificate. This certificate is globally regarded as the highest level for testing biodegradability as the test includes sensitive environmental areas in which glitter tends to end up.

    What else is essential to know about biodegradable glitter? And is there a better product to buy if you want to purchase biodegradable glitter?

    3 Things You Should Know About Biodegradable Glitter

    What is the freshwater test?

    The market is full of ‘so-called’ bio glitter products. For this reason, you must look out for the TÜV Austria certificate to guarantee that the product has passed the freshwater test. It is essential to understand the freshwater test to purchase authentic bio glitter.

    The glitter must be tested in the following natural environments:

    • Lakes and Rivers: a freshwater test that gives the OK Biodegradable WATER Certification.
    • Oceans and Seas: a marine biodegradability test.
    • Soil and Bath/Shower Water: a soil and wastewater test which provides the OK Biodegradable SOIL Certification.

    The glitter is exposed to a pre-grown microbe for the test, specifically bacteria existing in natural seawater and freshwater environments. The test aims to imitate the natural habitats in which the glitter will likely end up, such as streams, lakes, and rivers.

    The most important test is the freshwater lake and rivers test. The test results will show how much carbon is converted to carbon dioxide and oxygen. The higher the result, the more biodegradable the product is. Depending on the company, the glitter should take roughly 4 weeks to have biodegraded over 90%.

    Can you substitute biodegradable glitter?

    This section intends to inform you of the substitutes you can use for your body and face instead of body or face glitter. They are not exactly suited to replace DIY crafts and home décor improvements except the substitute of colored sand.

    If you wish to use these glitter substitutes as a replacement for body and face glitter during the day, you will need to use an SPF 30 first. Then, you will need to apply Vaseline on the areas of your body that you wish to decorate.

    If you still feel wary of biodegradable glitter and its sustainability, you can use other materials as a substitute and Vaseline as a natural epoxy. You can use the materials listed below:

    • Colored Sand – You can use already colored sand or sand that you have spray painted instead of glitter.
    • Salt – You can add powdered food color to some salt and then use it as a form of body art in place of glitter. This is a good alternative as salt is water soluble. The salt will not dry your skin if you have used Vaseline as your epoxy.
    • Sugar – Like salt, you can add powdered food sugar and then use it instead of glitter. Rock sugar is also good to use for solid colors.
    • Blended Colored Rice – You can use dyed rice ground into a powder instead of glitter. This is also an affordable option.

    Some websites suggest using crushed-colored glass, but I do not recommend this for anything.

    Which biodegradable glitter is better for shine?

    If you are looking for more shine, use holographic biodegradable glitter instead. Holographic glitter depends on how light interacts with the evenly distributed minute fiber engraved on the surface of glitter particles. This gives holographic glitter its reflective, shimmering quality.

    Therefore, you can still achieve a shiny, rainbow effect despite holographic glitter not being dyed or pigmented. Even better, biodegradable holographic glitter is now available on the market, since 2022, made from fruit skin or other natural materials.

    More Information

    In recent times between 2022-2023, biodegradable glitter has become more and more readily available on the market. There is now more variety, including a range of materials from biodegradable glitter is made from.

    These materials include:

    • Cellulose taken from eucalyptus trees.
    • Fruit skin.
    • Seaweed.
    • Coffee Bean Skin.
    • Cotton.
    • Polylactic acid.


    How can I be sure that what I am buying is biodegradable?

    Ensure that the product you are interested in has been awarded the TÜV Austria Certificate. Another thing to be careful of is if the product you are interested in has been independently tested. If so, then it is biodegradable.

    How should I remove biodegradable glitter from my skin?

    Use an oil cleanser, follow with a hydrating cleanser and then moisturize. Do not use tape, peel-off masks, or anything of that nature, no scrubs or fingernails. You can use a clay mask, also. Make sure that there are no essential oils, denatured alcohol, or fragrance in your skincare products.

    How should I store biodegradable glitter?

    You can store it the same way you would store traditional glitter. Biodegradable glitter is stable until exposed to specific conditions or bacteria. You can keep it in any designated glitter pot for convenience and organization.


    Many humans in general, especially children, makeup enthusiasts, and arty people have been intrigued by shiny, glittery materials. In the past, this was an unknown sustainability issue. Now that we understand sustainability and have the technology to help counter pollution, biodegradable glitter has become a new, upcoming product, notably since 2022. After reading this article, you will be aware of what makes a glitter product authentically biodegradable.


    Many people wish to start with glitter for DIY projects. Many people also aim to establish a business in the arts and crafts industry. Thus, glitter is something that a DIY crafter or a manager of an art business needs to be aware of.

    Business leaders in the arts field need to be ready to answer questions about glitter. How to increase the durability of glitter decorations, the best sizes to use, and how to layer. These are a few examples of what to expect.

    PDYAGLITTER is the company that can help. We harbor over ten years of experience working with glitter. The purpose of this blog is to help entrepreneurs establish a business in the arts field. We are also looking to help general customers create their DIY products.  

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    Evan Ng

    Hi, I'm the author of this post. I've been working in the glitter industry for more than 8 years now, and I can answer any questions you may have about wholesale glitter or related products. Feel free to get in touch if you need help sourcing supplies or want to know more about the manufacturing process!

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