Say No to Microbeads our 4 favorite natural alternatives
Because of their minuscule size, they slip down our drains, through sewage filters and into our oceans.
We all love clear skin. Anyone committed to a regular skincare routine knows how much exfoliating helps achieve brighter, smoother skin. However, as we work our way to a glowing complexion, we fail to realize that many of the exfoliators out there rely on an ingredient detrimental to the environment. This ingredient is called the microbead.
These non-biodegradable, tiny, plastic spheres are not only found in face wash, but also in toothpaste, deodorants and many other beauty products. Because of their minuscule size, they slip down our drains, through sewage filters and into our oceans. When marine animals see these toxic beads, they think they are food. So, when we eat those tasty creatures, we involuntarily ingest the beads as well.
Even Large cosmetic companies like L’Oréal have committed to being microbead-free by the end of 2016.
Right now, there is a worldwide movement to put an end to the production and use of microbeads. The U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia have all recently announced bans on the distribution of products containing the dangerous ingredient, and Sweden and Denmark are on their way. Three hundred and forty members of the European Parliament have also signed a petition for their complete banishment. Even Large cosmetic companies like L’Oréal have committed to being microbead-free by the end of 2016.
You might be wondering: Why are microbeads so darn popular? Dr. Gary Goldfaden, M.D. of Goldfaden MD Skincare explained it to us. Microbeads “are man made, and therefore easy to manipulate into a desired shape and form.” Because we can make them “round without sharp edges,” they don’t have “a scratching or tearing effect on the skin.” Fortunately, there are many all-natural exfoliating alternatives. Dr. Goldfaden’s product, Doctor’s Scrub, features the ruby crystal, which are “all natural, derived from the ground, and biodegradable.”
Aurelia Probiotic Skincare is a company in London that has always been microbead-free. Training & Brand Manager Antonia Knox boasts that they have never used the plastic beads; instead, they “designed the exfoliator to comply with the new regulations, ensuring that our products are the purest possible.” Their Refine & Polish Miracle Balm contains “naturally derived, rice bran refining beads that are fully biodegradable and do no harm for the environment.” She warns us that some red-flag ingredients in microbead products include Polyethylene(PE), Polypropylene(PP), Polyethylene Tereph-thalate(PET), Polymethyl Methacrylate(PMMA), Polytetrafluoroethylene(PTFE) and Nylon.
Earth Tu Face is another a company that provides a purely plant based, 100% natural skincare line, free of toxins and synthetic compounds. Their Exfoliant Powder Mask features oats, volcanic ash, calendula, carrot seed oil and rose petals that deeply cleanse the skin, so there is no need for outsourcing. Sarah Buscho, CEO of the company, emphasizes that “there are so many biodegradable exfoliating agents in nature that do no harm to the earth.”
True Botanicals also creates skincare products that prioritize the safety of the consumers and the environment. As a certified Made Safe company, their products do not contain ingredients that are known to cause human harm, as determined by the Global Scientific Community. Founder Hillary Peterson shared a number of ingredients that accomplish even more than the microbeads can, including Kaolin Clay, Adzuki Bean Powder & Rosehip Seed Powder.
Start exfoliating with Goldfaden MD, Aurelia, Earth Tu Face, or True Botanicals, and follow the natural path to healthy skin and a healthy environment. Before you know it, your conscious and your complexion will be clearer than ever before.
Vanessa Baumann has been a licensed, medical aesthetician in New York for over twenty-three years, currently working with one of Manhattan’s top plastic surgeons. She has also launched Rejuvanessance , a site and blog devoted to skin care products, advice and the quest for glowing skin.