Glitter products and face painting?
by Gary Cole


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A common question on the discussion list for face painters is "are all glitters safe for use on the skin" and the answer is simply NO. One should not use any product on the skin, particularly on the face, unless it is cosmetic compliant. This is magnified when you use the product near your eyes. If your product does not say something like "FDA compliant", "cosmetic compliant" or "made for the use on skin" simply do not use it on the face. Your product container should specifically announce that it is safe for the use on skin. If not, it is PROBABLY craft glitter that has a completely different standard. ASTM approved glitter simply means when used as intended as an art product it is safe.

The worse case scenario is you get some bad glitter in the eye. Your insurance WILL NOT COVER YOU for an eye injury if you are using the wrong glitter and you harm someone's eye! Incorrect glitters can harm the eye and even cause blindness.

The problem is not all glitters are created equal. I travel around a lot and talk to literally thousands of face painters. I often hear about the concerns about using metallic glitters. The reality is a general consumer probably can not even get their hands on metallic glitters. These days they can only be found at auto body shops or the like. Most glitters are poly-bonded products. In other words they take a colored product, double coat it in plastic and cut it into hexagon (or similar) shapes. These come in all sizes. The guidelines for cosmetic grade glitters are much different that that of craft glitter. MOST GLITTER ON THE MARKET IS NOT INTENDED FOR USE ON THE FACE. Even at your make-up counter you can find glitter products that are not safe for use on the face. SNAZAROO has competitors that market unsafe glitter products. If you do not use SNAZAROO check with the manufacturer and make sure it is safe for the skin.

The basic difference between a safe glitter and one that is not safe is how it is made. In general, a cosmetic grade glitter is a poly-coated pigment. The plastic used is safe, even if it is swallowed or if you get it in your eye. The same is true with the pigments used that gives it color. Most craft glitters are poly coated dyes. This is different as the dyes can leach out when they come in contact with moisture from the eye or your face paints. These dyes might be unsafe and cause problems. These can be harmful if you get them in the eye. Add to that the way the glitter pieces are cut is very specific in a cosmetic application. This standard means everything from how clean the cut is, the safety standards of the machine used, the containers used and even what the machine is made from. Add to that there are cosmetic standards to the packing process defined by GMP (good manufacturing procedures). I hate to get gross here but there are hundreds of things to consider from washing hands after going to the bathroom to the cleanliness of the work area. Do you want something like rust to be swept into the glitter container with your glitter? If the glitter is used for an art project or to decorate your car you might not care. However if you use it near the eye and it gets in the eye you can do everything from irritate the eye, get an infection or even cause blindness. Error on the side of caution.

SNAZAROO only uses FDA compliant glitters in its glitter gels and loose glitter. Even with that said we suggest you use SNAZAROO glitter products above the eyebrow and under the cheek bone. Even with a perfectly safe product the glitter could be an irritant in the eye. Even if you get an eyelash in the eye it can cause damage if you rub it too hard.

So the bottom line is not all glitters are safe for the face. When in doubt do not use them. ONLY USE cosmetic compliant glitters on the skin. READ YOUR LABELS BEFORE USE.

The SNAZAROO glitter gels will thicken over time. Thin as needed with clean tap water. For best results, thin to a consistency of thin honey. The product should literally flow from right to left when you tilt the container. As you leave the lid off while painting it continues to thicken. At the end of a multi-hour job make sure to add a bit of water to keep it properly thinned.

Gary Cole

Colors for the SNAZAROO gels and loose glitters.
silver (gel & dust) gold (gel & dust) gold dust (gel & dust) blue (gel & dust) red (gel & dust) fuchsia (dust only) multi-colored (dust only)



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