Here's Why Glossier Is Discontinuing Its Controversial Glitter Gelée Product


Glossier has been one of the internet’s favorite beauty brands since its inception in 2014, but with viral fame comes responsibility. For the past few years, the cyber world has hyper-focused on holding brands accountable for their environmental impact. Now, after criticism from consumers surrounding one product in particular, Glossier is discontinuing its Glitter Gelée over sustainability concerns. In a letter by founder and CEO Emily Weiss shared on the Glossier website on Thursday, Feb. 20, the product will no longer be available after March 2.

“We launched Glitter Gelée last March, and quickly heard from many of you who were disappointed that we’d created a product using glitter, which has become increasingly and deservedly controversial since it gets into the waterways and accumulates in the ocean,” Weiss wrote. Glitter is a type of plastic microbead called PET that is noted for landing in oceans and damaging underwater ecosystems — though this issue isn’t exclusive to glitter. The UK has even gone so far as to ban the use of microbeads, pieces of plastic about a millimeter big, in personal products like makeup and skincare.

Ever since Glitter Gelée’s release in March 2019, consumers have heavily criticized the product and its potential impact on the environment. “The use of microplastics is unacceptable at worst … You can do better, and I’m honestly shocked that the Glitter Gelée made it to launch,” read one of the hundreds of comments calling out Glossier under the Glitter Gelée launch post on Instagram. “Super bummed about the plastic glitter,” another said. But after a year, Glossier has finally listened and is pulling the product.

For fans of the Glitter Gelée, however, this may not be goodbye forever. “Over the last year, our product development team has experimented with multiple formulas using bio-glitter, but ultimately we haven’t been able to make a product that we love,” Weiss continued. “It’s possible that future innovations in bio-glitter materials will enable us to try again, but in the meantime, we’ve decided to discontinue Glitter Gelée as of March 2.” For sparkling, eco-friendly people, there is hope of better, sustainable glitter makeup one day, just not today.

Courtesy of Glossier

In addition to nixing Glitter Gelée, Glossier has worked to address criticism surrounding their plastic-heavy packaging. After launching their limited packaging option in 2019, Glossier has now updated their shipping boxes to be made of 100% recycled materials and gotten rid of their sticker sheets and unnecessary liners.

“As we embark on a new decade, we enter it with eyes wide open that sustainability is one of the greatest undertakings of all of our lifetimes,” Weiss finished her letter. “We’re not always going to nail it, or have the perfect ‘forever’ solution, but I don’t want that to stop us from making this journey.” So, after March 2, say goodbye to Glitter Gelée. Luckily, it’s not a forever solution, so hopefully, biodegradable will be a feasible alternative for the brand soon.