Micro-beads! A miracle of modern science! They gently exfoliate your skin and cleanse your pores! They delicately scrub the years and the sun damage from your skin! They rinse cleanly away and you go about your day with a youthful glow. Except that after rinsing down them down your drain they become agents of death and destruction.
The New York Times and NPR have both reported on research that these tiny plastic beads, which are used in cosmetics, skincare, and toothpastes, are ending up in lakes and oceans around the world, with the highest concentration in the Great Lakes. The International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics reports that “wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter out microbeads and that is the main reason…they contribute to the Plastic Soup swirling around the world’s oceans. Sea creatures absorb or eat microbeads. These microbeads are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we are also absorbing microbeads from the food we eat. Microbeads are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove.”
There is no question that avoiding these products is best. Microbeads can be found in everything from facial cleansers and body scrubs to toothpaste. Do not buy products that list or advertise polyethylene microbeads as one of their ingredients. Choose products that use natural exfoliators such as finely ground apricot shells, coconut bark, or cocoa beans. Or make your own exfoliator at home, there are countless DIY recipes made from items you likely already have in your house (such as salt, sugar and baking powder).
Visit these websites for more information on how plastics, including microbeads, are affecting our environment and our health:
For a better exfoliation experience, schedule a treatment with us today. We’d also love to answer any of your skin care and product questions!