A Guide To Cosmetic Glitters, Bio-Glitters, Lustres and Jewels.

We all want to add a bit of shine to our makes, and what better way to do that than with a bit of glitter? In this blog we will go through the difference between the cosmetic glitters we stock, and talk about how to get the shimmer you are looking for!

Cosmetic Glitters/Poly-Glitters

Cosmetic Glitters, or Poly-Glitters are the staple glitter for the cosmetic industry. They are plastic flakes which are either dye coated or pigment coated. Because of some of their colour coatings, they are not always tolerant of extreme pH conditions, nor certain solvents. This means we cannot recommended them for either Cold Process soaps or certain cosmetic applications such as nail polish, so it’s worth testing them in your cosmetic products to ensure they work as expected.

We currently stock three sizes of cosmetic glitters, micro-fine (.004 Hex), fine (.008 Hex), and medium (.015 Hex). Glitters of .006 Hex and under are approved for use in eye make-up. At the end of this blog we have a downloadable glitter application chart to help you know what Hex sizes you should use for your makes according to industry standard practices.

Glitters may want to float or sink out of suspension in certain product, so a suspension base may be required for certain type of products when adding glitters.

How the micro-bead ban affects Poly-Glitters-

The micro-bead ban includes any plastics under the size of 5mm that are being used in ‘rinse-off’ products, this includes soaps, bath bombs, bath melts etc. If you do have products that contain these you are legally allowed to continue to sell them until June 2018, after that you cannot legally sell them anymore. The good news is this doesn’t affect bio-glitters so these are the natural alternative. You are still able to use these poly-glitters in leave-on products legally. It’s worth noting that Crystalinas are a form of glitter and are included in this ban in rinse-off products.

Click HERE (or on the image below) to shop our Poly-Glitters.


Bio-Glitters are the Eco-friendly alternative to standard cosmetic glitters. They are made on a cellulose base which is completely biodegradable and as such have a huge environmental advantage over standard cosmetic grade poly-glitters. Like standard cosmetic glitter, Bio-Glitter cannot tolerate solvent environments so are not suitable for nail polishes, but they are perfectly fine for most other cosmetic applications, as well as wider glitter applications.

We currently stock two sizes of Bio-Glitters, micro-fine (.006 Hex) and coarse (.040 Hex.) Bio-Glitters of .006 Hex and under are approved for use in eye make-up and also for many lip products in the EU, although we advise testing to ensure suitability. At the end of this blog we have a downloadable glitter application chart to help you know what Hex sizes are best for your makes.

Click HERE (or on the image below) to shop Bio-Glitters or to learn more you can visit the Bio-Glitter website HERE.


Jewels are large shaped particles. Our jewels are approx 3mm in diameter and are covered in a holographic coating. They are perfect for body art and adding large embellishments to your makes. We currently stock two styles of jewels, stars and hearts. These larger particles aren’t appropriate for use within cosmetics as they can irritate the skin. They are perfect for achieving that festival look, or adding a final flair to nail art!

Click HERE to shop our range of jewels.


Lustres are the place where Micas and Glitters meet. They are brilliant for adding a Glitter like shimmer to your products, but with a fine Mica texture. These lustres will not colour your product, instead they will add a certain coloured sheen to it.

Lustres are great for use in liquid products, as they are lighter than glitters and are more Eco-friendly, being mica-based, so you don’t have to feel guilty for washing them down the drain.

Click HERE to shop our range of Lustres.


What is the difference between craft glitter and cosmetic glitters?

Craft glitters can be dyed with non FDA approved dyes so it is important to ensure you are always using cosmetic glitter in your makes. Another major distinction between the two is the cut, craft glitters are often cut sharper than cosmetic glitters, and if used in cosmetic products this can be a skin irritant.

Are your glitters/lustres vegetarian/vegan?

Yes, all of the products mention in this post qualify for being vegetarian and vegan.

What are the difference between your Micas?

If you missed our blog, ‘A Guide To Pigments, Micas, Coloured Clays and Powdered Dyes.‘ you can check it out HERE.

Particle Size & Cosmetic Use Guide

Click the link below to view and download our free particle size and cosmetic use guide. A rough guide to the perfect particle size for different types of makes according to industry standard. This is only a guide and therefore you should always test your products as well.

Glitter Hex Size Matrix

That’s it for this week. We hope this article has shed some light on our different glitters and cosmetic uses for particle sizes. If you like this blog please share it with your friends, and if you have any questions feel free to comment.

We are always looking for contributors, if you have something to say email us at contributor@thesoapkitchen.co.uk to talk with our team about writing a piece for us.

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