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Micro Plastics Regulation: The Impact on the Beauty & Nail Industry

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by Lecente Admin

Micro Plastics Regulation: The Impact on the Beauty & Nail Industry

Lecenté are very proud to continue to lead the way on the use of glitters in the Nail Industry. We wholeheartedly want to do all that we can to contribute to the conservation of the environment, whilst always looking into new ways of keeping the world safer, shiny and sparkly.

We would like to give you this ‘News Flash’ information regarding new legislation and assist you in understanding the ‘jargon’. You may have seen that there is going to be a change in EU law (currently not the UK) regarding the sale of microplastics (not the use) from the 15th October, 2023.

This new regulation is to restrict the uncontrolled release of micro plastics into the environment. Micro plastics is a very broad definition but covers glitter & micro beads (exfoliation) for example.

How will this new legislation affect the beauty industry?

After consultation, we understand that the sale of glitters that are contained within formulations which are used for on the skin body modifications/enhancements, bath bombs, personal care, hair, make-up, tattoos etc. all fall under the new legislation restrictions immediately from this date. It is considered that these can easily enter into the environment in an uncontrolled manner both during application and/or on removal.

Will this affect nail products?  

Cosmetic glitters that are solely used within the application of nail products (pre-made mixtures, encasing of glitter within a product or glitters added into nail products by nail professionals) or has any other intended use within a solid nail formulation will be unaffected for up to the next 12 years! So, there is no need to panic, nor the need to result in plain lifeless manicures! Phew!

Are there eco-friendly alternatives to glitter?

Here at Lecenté we knew this day would come, (perhaps not expecting it so suddenly with 23 days notice) so in 2019 we released Bioglitter ™, an eco-friendly alternative to plastic-based glitter. An ultra-fine cut, using natural and plant-derived, non-plastic material, which will biodegrade into harmless substances in the natural environment. We have 6 shades available, take a look at the Bioglitter™ bundle!







Why is the legislation different for ‘nails’?

 We understand the legislation to be different for ‘nails’ for the following reasons:

  • Products used at ‘industrial sites’ (nail salons) are not freely releasing micro plastics during use (nail technicians capture glitter within a moulding product).
  • The nail industry works in reverse to the beauty industry. We trap/encase/encapsulate within a solid formula thus preventing the release of loose glitter particles.
  • The regulation specifies a transitional period of 12 years for nail products until a ban on sale or use comes into force.

What can nail professionals do to prevent unnecessary microplastics emissions?

 As nail professionals can elevate our procedures and take the following steps:

  • Always firmly pat and press glitter into place using a G1 glitter application brush
  • Do not submerge fingers into jars/pots
  • Do not use a large ‘duster’ brush to apply glitter
  • Top coat must be used to encase the glitter finish and any loose glitter used
  • Should any loose glitter remain on the nail after application, make sure all traces are removed before hands are washed
  • At the end of the day, those working with glitter should thoroughly shake off their clothes before washing
  • All generated microplastic waste should be swept/vacuumed, put into appropriate waste container, and be collected by an authorised waste collection service. Never put waste down a sink or toilet
  • Nail technicians can also mix glitter into a clear gel/varnish/acrylic to almost negate any uncontrolled emissions.


Useful links: 

Measures to restrict microplastics (

Q&A Restriction to intentionally added microplastics (

Commission Regulation (EU) amending REACH Regulation as regards synthetic polymer microparticles (