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 (13)

about 4 months 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 3 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 3 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 4 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....... :(


about 4 years ago

this is my favourite lush product it is soo nice and also makes ur body smell good zoella u can see her youtube vedeos she is my cousin and she is crazy about lush so do check her vedeos and also check my vedeos my name is makeupbymandy24 and zoella is zoella


about 4 years ago

I love the glittery things. I was really sad when they stopped making Fairy Jasmine bath bombs, they were my go to bomb to cheer me up. I get that being covered in glitter isn't everyone's cup of tea though, but there's so many goregous things that there's something for everyone.


about 4 years ago

exacttly ur are right my freind works at lush at she gets me discount she aalso does youtube vedeos do check that out at if any of u want discount just reply to me thx


about 4 years ago

Its funny how we are all different I absolutely adore the glitter but there are enough products to satisfy the diversity of opinions. This is a company who you can trust with your skin.


about 4 years ago

I hate how many Lush products have glitter in them, I dont want to be covered in glitter after a bath, nor do i want to be scrubbing it off the bath after.

about 4 years ago

One of the many benefits about using Lush exclusively for all beauty and skin care is that when those pseudo-news stories show up declaring "how your makeup is killing you" and "do you know whats in your face wash" I can completely ignore it. Almond meal and bits of lavender are in my face wash and i suppose if I swallowed a bottle of lipstuff I could choke to death, but then I would of lost "Perspective" both figuratively and literally. Lush communicates so well with its customer and is always so open about its ethics, its sourcing and its processes that after 20yrs as a customer I trust it implicitly. I don't care what the latest beauty killer is, I know Lush will always do the best they can for the environment, the people they touch and the products they make.
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