In January 16 we decided to start making pressed glitters. We had already been testing for a couple of months and did not experience any issues. However, we had only tested & pressed opaque glitters, not thinking or considering that iridescents & translucents may react differently.
I believe it was mid/late feb when we first released our pressed glitters.
A couple of weeks after our release, when the GI debacle happened, I immediately went to a microbiologist for advice because I didnt want whatever was happening with GI glitters to happen to ours. What I was told, by 2 different microbiologists was that the binder I was using was safe, and a preservative wasnt needed-and one microbiologist actually said the preservative was overkill due to the high alcohol content. (Later he said he misunderstood my situation and recanted his statement that a preservative wasnt needed -I can show you these conversations -all in writing-if anyone would like to see documentation). The other microbiologist also said that Glycerin, which is another ingredient of controversy in this debacle, would not facilitate the growth of bacteria in the finished product.
However, we still didnt feel comfortable without the preservative. Even though we had just made over 2000 pressed glitters. We chose to pull them from stock and start over, with a preservative. We contacted EVERY SINGLE person who purchased from us up to that point. We explained our concerns and offered a replacement or a refund. Whichever the customer preferred. We lost ALOT of money, but safety was our concern and priority, not the loss of money or product. Mold is a very serious situation. And we did this of our own doing, not because anyone had an issue with our products.
I then got ahold of several of Glitter Injections pressed glitters. These were new, never used but already in a state of deterioration. I wanted to test them, and also test my own. I ran microbial tests using a formulators microbial test kit that is available for purchase from lotioncrafter.com. These are VERY reliable and the same test kit that formulators use to test their products. (NOT a home mold kit)
I have the tests, and videos if anyone would like to see the results. IN fact, I am considering sharing all tests publicly. I would have done so before now, but fear of appearing as if I was slandering another business for my own gain prevented me from doing so. These things are touchy from one business speaking about another. At this point though, I feel its time to put all of these MOLD allegations to rest.
I ran a total of 6 tests, on 6 different colors of pressed glitter, some from GI and some of MBA. I tested at the required 5 & 7 days for testing. All tests were negative for mold, yeast or bacteria. (The tests require 5 & 7 days for complete results). However, I have done a challenge test and re-checked results at 1 month 2 months and now 3 months. The results are still negative for mold, yeast or bacteria.
What I did find, during this time was that this discoloring/deterioration was only happening in SPECIFIC colors of glitters from GI. Further testing eventually indicated to me that it was translucent and irridescent glitters that were the problem. The same thing did not happen to metallics and opaques. There was no discoloration of deterioration of MBA Glitters during these tests.
I again went to a microbiologist (working in the cosmetic industry-which I can also share if needed.) I showed him pictures of what was happening to the glitters, shared test results and discussed the situation at length with him. I wanted to be sure the tests were accurate. It was his opinion, as he advised that it was definitely NOT mold. What he seen from the pictures was consistent with oxidation of the pans. There are a couple of reasons for this conclusion. 1 -oxidation typically starts at the edge and works its way inward (which is what happens in every glitter case so far). 2-Mold would form on the surface and the rest of the product would be mostly unaffected-unless it became confluent. 3-its conclusive with the microbial tests that its not mold, yeast or bacteria.
I agree with the microbiologists opinions completely. In conjuction with the microbiologists opinions and my additional observations and tests, and finding that it only happens in translucents and iridescent glitters, I have come to the conclusion that the translucent and iridescents begin to break down/bleed and then the pans start to oxidize, causing the discoloration. So, IMO there may be 2 separate issues, one possibly caused by the other-like a chain reaction. In addition, I also consulted with another indie cosmetics company owner, whom I feel is very knowledgeable and competent in formulating.
For that reason, we chose to no longer sell ANY translucent or iridescent pressed glitters. Again, we pulled anything from stock (again taking a loss-but that’s not our priority). And we continue to monitor and test these glitters every single day.
I feel that we have pin pointed the problem that several companies are having with pressed glitters, and we feel that we have taken the steps to prevent this from happening in our own glitters.
I still have the glitters that we pulled from inventory and continue to monitor and test them for any changes. As I mentioned earlier, before releasing our first pressed glitters we had tested for some time. The problem was that we only tested metallics and opaques. What we didnt expect to encounter were issues with iridescents and translucent glitters. Once we found that there was a possiblity of issues, we took steps to correct it.
For those of you who are still with me through this long drawn out post. The point of all of this is…ITS NOT MOLD. It never was, and after 13 weeks of microbial testing-I am confident that these pressed glitters DO NOT HAVE MOLD. Regardless of what other people may be assuming, I have facts, evidence, professional advice and months of testing to back up my conclusions and observations.
Test results are all available, I do have videos. I did have some errors in the format. I edited them to add captions and information and did not realize that they saved in a format that couldn’t be uploaded to IG or this blog. I have to either get someone who knows how to change the format or just upload the raw videos. But I do have them if I should choose to make them public