In a bid to phase out the use of plastics in many cosmetic products, major brands are ceasing the use of microbeads in their ranges and this becoming an increasingly desired and expected move. Major manufacturers and retailers have recognised that environmental concerns are forming a focal point of consumer demand and are responding by evolving their products into more conscious yet as effective items. Microbeads are increasingly being banned throughout the world and here, we’ll discover why that is.
What are Microbeads?
Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that are included in a wide range of cosmetics, such as exfoliators, toothpaste, shower gels and cleansers. They are often made of polyethene but can be made of other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene. They are small enough to wash down the plughole and because they are so small, they easily pass through water filtration systems. This means they readily get into the ocean and this causes devastating environmental effects.
What Damage Can Microbeads do to Skin?
As well as several environmental problems, microbeads are not the skin saviour that manufacturing PR teams might have you believe. Exfoliating your skin is an important part of a healthy skin care routine, but skin cells are delicate and rubbing plastic on them can do a lot of damage. As far as skin care tips go: Microbeads can lead to poor skin tone, tears in cells which allow bacteria in and in many ways, they are the epitome of what not to do when seeking how to get clear skin. There are a multitude of other exfoliant options that lead to healthy skin and a healthy environment.
What Damage Can Microbeads do to the Environment?
Our oceans are already swamped with waste and plastic and as there is no way for this material to disappear naturally, we either have to clean it up or accept that our beautiful planet is rapidly becoming a waste ground.
Microbeads end up in the ocean and this means that they become part of the food chain. Cosmetic and environmental scientist have researched this area thoroughly and have discovered the beads inside a wide range of sea life. It is not just marine life that are inadvertently finding these plastic pieces in their diet, a recent study showed that 90 per cent of birds have plastic in their stomachs too. Furthermore, humans are consuming microbeads through toothpaste and for those who eat seafood that has consumed microbeads, the toxins pass from plate to person.