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Why the Unicorn Trend Isn't All Rainbows
The unicorn trend in 2017 was a huge hit, with the mermaid trend now following suit.
I think that both will be here to stay for a while, as the bright colors are definitely Instagram-worthy!
As adorable as unicorns and mermaids are, though, there's a cause for concern: the glitter used in products, particularly in skincare and makeup.
You may be confused, but don't worry, I'm here to explain!
What's Wrong with Glitter?
You might argue that glitter is an aesthetically necessary part of the unicorn and mermaid trends.
As pretty as it is, it's messy - I've done crafting with glitter and have found it in my house months afterward!
Glitter gets everywhere - including our oceans.
Thus, our environment becomes polluted.
Glitter is made of teeny particles of shiny plastic, called microplastic, that doesn't dissolve or break down.
This makes it easy to get into our waterways (and even back into our tap water when we wash it off our skin).
I'm sure you're wondering how this affects you.
Well, fish can accidentally ingest glitter, and scientists have suggested that any toxins absorbed by the microplastic can be released into the body of the fish.
This means the toxins could be passed on to any animal or human that consumes the fish.
Richard Thompson, a professor at Plymouth University, led a study that found that 33 percent of fish caught in the UK had plastic in them.
Researchers are still trying to figure out what plastic does to us once it enters our body.
Microbeads (the tiny plastic beads in exfoliating body washes and facial scrubs) were banned in the US for the reasons above.
The UK is in the process of implementing a ban on microbeads, and some scientists are calling for all glitter to be banned as well.
What Can We Do?
While these findings are alarming, companies have already created biodegradable "eco-glitter".
One brand is made from eucalyptus tree extract and aluminum.
Although it looks the same, it decomposes differently.
It's a win for the environment and your mermaid look.
Or, you can cut out glitter entirely.
Many people aren't aware that this problem exists.
You can help spread the word by sharing this article!
Here's a fun fact: the reason that we love shiny, sparkly things may stem from the instinct to find water.
That doesn't mean it's good for glitter to be in our water, though!
If you love the look of glitter, look for makeup and beauty products with a shimmery/iridescent pigment that doesn't contain actual glitter particles (or microbeads).
Let's all consider the health of our environment first, no matter how pretty some trends may be.
Beauties, now that you know this info, will you make the switch to biodegradable glitter? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!