Image by, courtesy of courtney r

There are many forms of glitter that are popular today among both children and adults. Glitter can be used in clothing, design, cosmetics, hair and commonly for arts and crafts.

What Glitter is Made Of

Image by, courtesy of Samantha Rose Pollari

Glitter is comprised of small pieces of paper, glass or plastic painted in metallic colors that reflect light. According to New York Magazine, machinist Henry Ruschmann of Bernardsville, New Jersey, invented a way to grind up plastics to make large quantities of glitter in 1934.


Image by, courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt

Glitter is a popular decorative device that can add glamor and sparkle to anything it touches. Although there are various types of glitter, only cosmetic glitter is safe to use on the face and eyes.


Glitter is often lost and spread, adding to the Earth's pollution. Most glitter is not biodegradable and it is not recycled. However, glitter is considered non-toxic and can be safely used in art projects.


Adult supervision is recommended if a child is using glitter because it can create a mess and can be harmful if swallowed. Cosmetic-grade glitter is FDA approved and the poly-coated pigment is safe even if swallowed or upon eye contact. When allowing facial contact with glitter, make sure it is cosmetic.

Fun Fact

Glitter is not just for children. New York Magazine sites that bands like Motley Crue and Poison mix glitter into their hair-stiffening products for extra stage presence.

About the Author

Leah Shiota

Leah Shiota has been a writer for over five years. She has written articles for LIVESTRONG.COM and "Theme Magazine" covering cars, electronic gadgets and personal health. Leah holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater from Butler University.