Plant-based exfoliators and natural scrubs that are better for the environment than microbeads
Author: Andrea Michelson
Less than a decade ago, plastic particles were also commonly included in cosmetic products to make lotions feel smoother or thicker, or to act as a gentle exfoliator. According to the Plastic Soup Foundation, a campaign to eliminate plastic pollution at its source, some cosmetics consist of up to 90% microplastic ingredients. In recent years, a number of countries have also banned the use of certain plastics in cosmetic products. The US passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act in 2015 to phase out plastic microbeads from rinse-off products like face wash and toothpaste. Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Taiwan, South Korea, and New Zealand have also banned microbeads in cosmetics. The tiny, malleable plastic beads were once considered a smoother and cheaper alternative to natural exfoliators, but they've fallen out of fashion as environmental advocates have raised awareness about plastic pollution. As scientists unearth tiny pieces of plastic from human lungs and deep ocean trenches, skincare companies have been working to reformulate their products with biodegradable beads for a more environmentally conscious future.