Microbeads – The Problem • The Alternatives • The Solution
It’s that time of year when our skin is starting to look a little flat, our tans are starting to fade, and we want to even out and brighten our complexions ready for Autumn. Our hands reach to the back of our beauty cabinet to reach of our favourite face scrub that we’ve tried, tested and trusted for years. Little did we know, that whilst we were polishing our skin to look beautifully fresh, we were damaging our oceans. All because of the tiny microbeads found in our facial exfoliants, body scrubs and even toothpaste. How so?
Here’s the simple breakdown; approximately 100,000 microbeads can be released in one single scrub session, which are all due to end up in our ocean. These little round beads that make our skin feel squeaky clean are made up from Petrochemicals which become plasticised to create the microbeads within our products. Because these are so small, and because of their chemical compound, they don’t break down or dissolve. Nor do they get filtered by our sewage systems. Instead they end up in our oceans where fish, and even birds mistake it for food. Which, could mean that the fish on your dinner plate could be contaminated with the plastic you’ve used on your body!
America and Canada are banning Microbeads in all products. Our government are yet to sign any such bill, but some brands are starting to phase them out. Waitrose have committed to be ‘microbead free’ from October. Asda, Avon, the Bodyshop, L’Oreal and Boots are pledging not to use them on their own brand products. If you’re confused as to whether you’re favourite products contain these little beads of nastiness have a look on the ingredients list for ‘Polyethylene’. Alternatively you can visit www.beatthemicrobead.org which provides a list of bead-free products. In the meantime I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite bead-free scrubs! Happy Polishing!
Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Refine & Polish Miracle Balm £57.00
My go-to facial polish uses effective plant enzymes that dislodge and exfoliate dead skin cells to reveal brighter, softer skin and it smells like you’re in a luxury spa in the comfort of your own bathroom!
Yes to Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub £7.99
An affordable and effective gentle facial scrub which uses lemon balm to calm and repair, and grapefruit which evens out and brightens skin. This range also has a body scrub which uses the same ingredients, a great all natural product!
Liz Earle Gentle Skin Exfoliator £15.75
Using Jojoba beads (a natural bead alternative) to buff the skin and Eucalyptus oil to purify this gorgeous product is great for congested or flakey skin – a great one to use in autumn/winter.
Origins Never a Dull Moment £26.00
This skin brightening scrub uses fruit extracts to remove dead skin cells, remove makeup, dirt and pore clogging debris