Ever thought your body scrubs could be damaging the ocean? Probably not! Does your body scrub contain plastic microbeads?
Way too much plastic ends up in the sea and harms ocean life. You might have ditched your use of plastic cups and straws, but are you sure your favourite body scrub (or face scrub) isn’t also turning our oceans into huge plastic dumps?
What are face and body scrubs?
If you are like me, exfoliating face and body scrubs are part of your weekly beauty routine.
How do scrubs work? Face and body scrubs contain tiny particles that physically buff away surface impurities and dead cells when gently rubbed on skin.
Results : a more even-toned skin, and less clogged pores.
Scrubs with plastic microbeads : the problem
Some face and body scrubs contain plastic microbeads. YES you read that right, a body scrub with PLASTIC MICROBEADS!! These microbeads do not dissolve in water and do not biodegrade. After exfoliating your skin, the plastic get flushed down the drain. They are too small (usually under 5mm) to be removed by water treatment plants.
Where do the plastic beads end up? You guessed it : the plastic microbeads from face and body scrubs end up where treated water goes : in our rivers and oceans.
And we all know the urgent need to clean up and stop clogging our oceans with plastic. Not to mention that you might end up eating your own plastic microbeads in your next chilli crab or prawn noodle-soup.
Ban the Plastic Microbead in scrubs and skincare
The good news is that the USA, Canada, France, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan have banned the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics. A European Union-wide ban came into effect in 2020, as is a ban in India. Australia has a voluntary phase-out plan in place.
I was shocked to read “microbeads” listed on a product sold in Singapore but made in a European country already enforcing the ban. Our guess is that certain bans are more recent. The scrubs had maybe already been manufactured, and are being sold in countries where it’s not banned.
So what’s a girl to do? Let pores get clogged? NO! Choose scrubs that are better for the environment and for yourself!
Choose natural face and body scrubs with no plastic microbeads
Go for scrubs containing natural exfoliating agents made of fruit pits, coffee, salt, sugar, oatmeal… Jojoba beads are another natural choice for exfoliants. They are made from Jojoba Oil and made into a type of wax that we call “Jojoba bead”. These are a great alternative to plastic microbeads in beauty products because they come from jojoba Oil, are 100% biodegradable and provide great skin scrubbing!
Another choice is to look out for fruit acids. Indeed, fruit acids provide an all-natural peel effect. They help to regenerate skin and regulate sebum.
Try our gentle Organic Face Scrub with Jojoba Beads and Fruit Acids (from Blueberry, Orange and Lemon) for a satisfying face exfoliation
And our delightfully refreshing Verbena and Lemon Scrub, made with exfoliating olive pits
Recognize Plastic Microbeads in body scrubs and cosmetic labels
Always read your labels! Plastic microbeads come under different names :
– Polyethylene (PE)
– Polypropylene (PP)
– Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
– Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)
but they all end up in our oceans, waterways, wildlife and in our bellies.
And of course, please re-use and recycle the (often plastic) scrub container too. And try to choose cosmetics with the least packaging.
Do more to beat the beads (and plastics in cosmetics): https://www.beatthemicrobead.org