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Why dancer's glitter is killing the planet, and what you can do to stop it

We at The Dance Guru have recently learned a startling fact, that glitter, loved by all children, dancers, gymnasts & performing arts people was made of plastic.

For years now we have been learning of the environmental disaster upon use through single use plastic such as bottles and cartons. More recently we begun to hear about micro-plastics which were used in certain cosmetics such as shower gels to cause micro-dermal abrasion and how harmful these were for the environment. Luckily the UK Government took action and these were successfully banned from UK cosmetic products in 2018.

But there has been little awareness of plastic in glitter products. For a long time glitter products have been used in art and craft activities, children’s party materials, pens & pencils, party & fancy dress costumes and of course by dancers and other performers in makeup, hair, nail polishes and lipsticks. We’ve even seen it on hoof polish for horse hooves! Glitter is everywhere and it’s killing our planet.

The trouble with micro-plastics

Glitter is a micro-plastic. A micro-plastic is a garment of plastic less than 5mm in length and therefore when they enter our seas and rivers the marine animals see them as an appetising starter! We are now seeing micro-plastics in the human gut, related to the consumption of seafood.

The Blue Planet 2 programme and the Sky campaign on plastic has raised awareness of all plastic wastes. As dancers we have used glitter and glitter products for decades without realising the consequences. We see glitter in dance makeup for competitions, glitter in dance hairstyles, and then adorning your hairstyle with plastic gemstones. Dance makeup for kids competitions would often use extreme amounts of plastic glitter.

Most glitter is made of aluminium and a plastic called PET. It is now known that PET can break down to release chemicals that disrupt hormones in animals and humans. Next paragraph a number of cancers and neurological diseases have been linked to the ingestion of glitter.

Luckily there are now several Cosmetic companies such as Lush investing in biodegradable glitters that will not harm marine life and had an average lifespan of four weeks. We hope many more cosmetic companies will follow in providing biodegradable alternatives to traditional plastic glitter in the new future.

We need to take action against plastic now

The Dance Guru is a conscientious dance lifestyle brand and when we heard about the problem with traditional glitter products we just had to take action to inform our readership. We need to spread the message that traditional glitter is not acceptable anymore and we should be looking for alternatives.

So if you simply can’t stop using glitter because your dance life depends on it (we know that feeling), what are the affordable alternatives?

Well, let’s start with biodegradable glitter. We believe biodegradable glitter products are essential for the conscientious dancer of the future. Biodegradable glitters break down in around 4 weeks when exposed to microbes and wet conditions. They are made from plant cellulose, are eco-friendly, are compostable, contain only environmentally sourced renewable raw ingredients to FSC standards and are cruelty free and Vegan approved.

They are safe for use on the face, body and hair and are applied with body balm, Vaseline or cosmetic glue as directed.

Where can I get my biodegradable glitter we hear you scream?

Well there's this little Company in the UK called Dust & Dance who have a fabulous range of biodegradable glitters.

Who are Dust and Dance?

Dust & Dance are based in the UK but they ship all over the world and their glitter is actually affordable. Biodegradable and planet-friendly doesn’t have to cost you the earth.. literally!

Their 3g pots start from as little as £3.25 and their 10g pouches are all around £6.

They ship to the UK for £2.95 per order or £9.95 for guaranteed next day delivery or £5 to the rest of Europe or Zones 1 & 2 of the rest of the world £6. So shipping doesn’t cost the earth either, although buying in bulk would help reduce some carbon emissions with the delivery services!

Biodegradable glitter is supporting Mental Health in young people

So what does bio degradable makeup glitter have to do with Mental Health in young people?

Well, Dust and Dance donate 10% of their profits to the UK Charity Young Minds which helps “fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges”.

So, the more glitter you buy from Dust and Dance, the more you help to save the planet and help Young Minds to help young people get their sparkle back.

So please think of the planet, ditch the plastic micro-bead glitter, switch to biodegradable glitter and look fabulous at your dance competitions and dance shows whilst helping young people’s mental health.


The Dance Guru Partnership with Dust and Dance: We are an affiliate partner of Dust and Dance. Each time you click through a link on our page and make a purchase through Dust & Dance we earn a small commission. We only promote products that we support, buy and use ourselves here at The Dance Guru. We are conscientious, not unscrupulous. You won’t see annoying pop-up adverts on our website and we always advise you when we are using an Affiliate link to products. Affiliate links help us to earn a small residual income from our website and this enables us to develop our website further and bring you more quality content in the future.



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