Microbeads: What Are They And Why Are They So Bad?

You’ve probably heard the term in the news a lot recently, but how do you know if you’re using them? We explore the world of microbeads.

We’ve been told for years how important a facial scrub is for maintaining good, glowing skin and how the best way to remove dead skin cells on our body is with a body scrub.
But while these beauty products might be doing our skin some good, have you ever given much thought to what they could be doing to the environment?

Yep, we’re talking microbeads and the news that the government has announced their intention to ban them in cosmetic and personal care products for good.

But why are so microbeads so bad, so you might ask.
Put simply, the tiny plastic balls you find it exfoliating products and toothpastes can be found everywhere – including in the Arctic sea and on the ocean floor.
After you’ve used a microbead-heavy product, the tiny balls go down the drain and into the sea where they end up unwittingly being eaten by marine life; a third of fish caught in Britain have microbeads in their stomachs – which could ultimately end up in yours too.
They might look small and harmless but a single use of your body scrub could see up to 100,000 microbeads washed down the plughole – and into the ocean.

Many cosmetic companies have already banned the bead; Neal’s Yard Remedies say they have always used natural exfoliants in all of their scrubs and polishes, Lush and Weleda are all-natural too and companies like Avon, The Body Shop, Boots and L’Oreal are pledging not to use them in their own brand products.
Since no-one wants to walk around with grey, dry, dull skin, it’s time to get smart and find some alternatives. Natural products aren’t only better for the environment but are as effective, if not more, at scrubbing away dead skin cells.

Look for scrubs made from sea salt, sugar, kernels or turn your back on physical exfoliants altogether and use a muslin cloth or even an acid-based exfoliator.

If you’re not sure whether your favourite scrub is using microbeads, check out Beat The Microbead which has an app packed full of bead-free beauty products so you can check yours off.

Here are you 7 of our favourite microbead-free face scrubs:
Neal’s Yard Remedies Honey & Orange Facial Scrub, £16 – good for a glow

Aveda Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser, £22 – good for removing impurities

Burt’s Bees Peach and Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub, £11 – good for getting rid of blackheads

Lush Angels Bare Skin, £7.25 – nice and gentle

Superfacialist Rose Brighten Refine Facial Scrub, £8.99 – hydrates as well as brightening

Biologique Recherche P50V – an acid based exfoliant that’s a cult favourite
Sukin Revitalising Facial Scrub, £8.10 – good for a no-nonsense scrub

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