Spend £45 for free UK standard delivery | Pay in three with Klarna learn more


All that glitters...

Razzle dazzle them with glitter that doesn't equate to environmental damage or child labour.

Many glitters contain PET or microplastics. These often end up in the ocean, damaging marine wildlife and polluting our seas with plastics that do not break down. But your love of glitter can be fulfilled without plastic. A new kind of sparkle, made from synthetic fluorphlogopite (also referred to as synthetic mica), is adding the dazzle to bath bombs, shower gels and all kinds of cosmetics.

Synthetic mica is a man-made material designed to mimic the shimmer effect of natural mica, which is made up of natural minerals. So, instead of filling your bathroom with plastics that aren’t biodegradable and potentially toxic to marine wildlife, you can sit back and enjoy your bath safe in the knowledge it won’t have a negative impact on the environment.

Synthetic mica is synthesised in a lab to mimic natural mica. Lush made the decision to move to synthetic mica after encountering some difficulties with the natural mica supply chain which meant we could no longer guarantee that no child labour was being used in the process. You can read more about this in this comprehensive FAQ on Lush and mica.

For these reasons, Lush made the commitment not to use any natural mica based pigments in products. As of the 1st January 2018 natural mica will no longer be used in production. We expect there will still be some stock left on the shelves containing natural mica, which we will be selling through to prevent waste, but no natural mica will be used in the making of products as of the above date. This has involved removing natural mica where it occurred as a sole ingredient, as well as in those cases where it was a component of a pigment.

While mica occurs naturally, the level of processing it undergoes to remove heavy metals or clean it can be very intensive. Once coated with the dye or pigment it is almost an inert material. So, whether it’s synthetic mica or natural mica, there’s always an element of chemical processing to make it safe for human use.

All materials and pigments are controlled by cosmetics regulations, which stipulates what percentages of pigment, or material such as mica can be used safely in cosmetics. We also use other pigments made with borosilicate, which are thin glass flakes made of different minerals i.e. calcium or sodium coated with dye. In terms of environmental impact, these are naturally occuring material, as are the dyes used to coat them. The synthetic mica works as a substrate or a base for the dye to be applied on, so it's basically a mineral coating another mineral at different levels, depending on the desired effect.

Lush products (sparkly or not) use food-safe colourings as much as possible, synthetic mica, minerals and natural starches. Of all the glitter and lustre that flows out through your bathroom, some of which may make its way back to the ocean, it will all be harmless for the environment, and stand against child labour.

You can read more about why Lush will no longer be using natural mica in the production of products here.

Comments (19)

about 3 days ago

I agree with hurrah for lemonade; any additional unnecessary substances added to cosmetics is a bit of a vanity that we can’t afford anymore. Ideally the glitter could be removed or products could be clearly labelled if they contain glitter so that conscious shoppers can avoid them.


about 4 months ago

Yeah, I read the same study from ARU (https://phys.org/news/2020-10-biodegradable-alternatives-environment.html) and got in-touch with Lush to question this. They're looking into it. Personally, I find it difficult to reconcile any environmental impact of the type any kind of glitter might produce with the necessity of shimmer. (Good name for a band?!) Why bother? I'm not exactly a glitterbug (I detest the stuff in all its forms) and I know others will disagree, but is it worth the damage just to be shiny? Make a stand and ditch it, I say!


about 4 months ago

@Lush Cutomer Care any views on this? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201014201020.htm Basically, a new study has found that “biodegradable” glitters have the same negative effect on nature as plastic ones.

Lush Customer Care

about 4 months ago


Hi there! Can you please email us at [email protected]? We'll then be happy to look into this for you :)


about 1 year ago

This post fails to answer the question: "How and why is synthetic mica is ok for the environment?".

Lush Customer Care

about 1 year ago


Hi there, I would have a look at these articles as they might have the information you are looking for: https://uk.lush.com/article/faq-lush-and-mica - https://uk.lush.com/ingredients/synthetic-mica. I hope this helps - Alice

about 1 year ago

I have a request on glitter (synthetic mica). I ordered solid shampoo and conditioner bars recently, the descriptions and ingredients didn't mention glitter, yet it was in the product and all over the packaging and even coated the packing slip! Will you please make it clear which products contain glitter so that those of us who want or need to avoid it can do so? Like many others I don't want any part of the mess it creates as I am disabled and can't physically cope with the additional cleaning required to get rid of it. I also think it is a waste of planetary resources to manufacture synthetic mica just to produce a sparkly product and make a personal choice to avoid it, which lack of information on product pages makes difficult.


about 4 years ago

Where does lush get their natural glitter or how is it made? A friend of mine wants to throw glitter around for a party, I'm trying to make her happy and the environment happy by hoping to find out about lush's glitter


about 4 years ago

Mica is a mineral that can cause problems with the workers who process it as well as people who inhale it. Given the size of the mica particles used for the glitter and the way it manages to spread all over the house from just one bath bomb, I think it might be best to stay away from it. See this link: http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/mica/


about 5 years ago

Can we please have the Glitter Bugs back in the kitchen for a little while??? I miss all the glitter, Shimmy Shimmy just isn't the same....... :(
Related content (2)

Related products

2 items
Bath Bomb
Soothing, calming shimmers
Bubble Bar
Golden pool of citrus