June 19, 2014 0 Comments Fitspiration, Skincare

The Plastic Microbeads In Your Skincare Are Destroying The Environment

deep clean exfoliating micro beads

Unfortunately some of our favourite cleansers that are easy to buy from local supermarkets are filled with these terrible microbeads.

That’s a pretty heavy title to this blog, but I wanted it to grab your attention as quickly as possible.

Listen up beauties, you must, I repeat MUST throw out any of your cleansers that contain exfoliating microbeads (you know those little colourful orbs that float in your face wash).

Why? Because they are made from plastic! When we wash our face, whether that’s in the shower or by your bathroom sink, much of the cleanser residue is splashed off and rinsed down the sink and it leads back to waterways including oceans, rivers and lakes. Research is now showing that billions of those tiny plastic microbeads are sitting in our waterways killing fish (they mistake the little balls as food) and this is destroying our ecosystems.


A collection of different kinds of plastic microbeads found in The Great Lakes in the US. Just think about what could be sitting at the bottom of our creeks, rivers and beaches here in Australia!

This week the state of Illonois (United States) banned microbeads. New York and California are quickly following suit, and so are many other countries in Europe. I just hope that Australia hurries up and quickly bans these terrible products. Think about all of our beautiful marine life suffering, and our gorgeous water being polluted with tiny pieces of plastic!

Marcus Eriksen of 5 Gyres Institute told CBC that they found nearly 500,000 pieces of plastic in a square kilometer of one of the lakes (a series of interconnected freshwater lakes located in north eastern North America). But, keep in mind there are 330,000 plastic beads in a single bottle of Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Scrub alone and the beads are also common in toothpastes and body washes. Just think about how many countries sell these face washes in supermarkets, and how many people use them on a daily basis? Really, it’s criminal to have these pollutants in our personal care sector!


Extreme close-up of microbeads. Some cleansers feature both small (the little white dots) and large colourful orbs. Both are made from plastic and are sadly digested by marine life.

We walk down the beauty isles of supermarkets and stores weekly, we see these face and body washes and think that the microbeads are clever and even cute! We are sold by their gimmicky promise to slough away dead skin and clean out pores, but sadly they are actually doing the opposite to our environment! We’ve never been told as consumers that the microbeads are plastic! Who want’s to scrub their face with plastic anyway? Especially when there are so many superb natural exfoliators out there like sand, sugar, salt and ground up seeds?!

Does anyone remember seeing one of these commercials?

It annoys me now to think that many young adolescent girls were sold by ads like this, especially when they were probably searching for anything to solve their acne woes!

So now that you know the facts, how can you do something about it? The two easiest ways are to use your voice and share information like this with your family and friends (they should be just as well informed as you right?) and secondly switch to products that don’t contain these environmentally harmful ingredients.

Exfoliators are very necessary in a skincare regime, but they do not have to contain man-made materials. Skip products that have the buzzword “microbead” and look instead for natural ingredients coming from plant extracts, sugar, salt or even coconut husk. If you want a list of which brands still stock products with these disgusting microbeads check out this article.

Here are two great natural exfoliators to switch to. Try:

For Your Face: Formula 10.0.6 One Smooth Operator Pore-Clearing Face Scrub

Formula 10.0.6 One Smooth Operator Pore-Clearing Face Scrub

This pore refining scrub contains natural pumice micro-particles that slough away dead skin cells. Oatmeal draws out impurities and calms the skin and zinc controls oil to stop shine and future breakouts, $9. Available from Priceline.

For Your Body: Premium Spa Sugar Body Scrub With Frangipani & Coconut

Premium Spa Skincare Australia_Sarah Sayers_Sarah What_ Review_Test_Beauty Blog46937

I adore this natural body scrub and use it weekly. It contains Australian cane sugar that acts as the exfoliator as well as frangipani and coconut oils to hydrate the skin and give off the most delicious scent, $14.99. Available from Priceline.

How do you feel after reading this article? Were you as shocked as me? 

SS x