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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I Don't Want No Scrub (Beads)

Ban Microbeads

As beauty consumers I like to think we have all become smarter in our shopping habits, gone are the days in which we blindly purchase products; the majority of us will ponder over ingredients and reviews before making an informed discussion. Yet one rather toxic ingredient we are guilty of skimming over is microbeads. Those tiny beads often found in facial scrubs or used to contain oil whatever their intended purpose may be, they are dangerous to the environment and completely unnecessary.

The minuscule and often colourful beads of plastic are not biodegradable - meaning they will never dissolve and disappear, rather they are washed away down the drain and go straight into the sewer system. The problem is that water treatment plants have not been designed to filter out the pesky beads and as a result they end up polluting the sea. Rather disturbingly the beads may be absorbing toxins (research is currently ongoing) along the way and then being consumed by sea life. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you eat fish, there is a good chance that somewhere along the line we have also consumed the plastic substance unwillingly.

As the plastic beads are a dated and often useless method of exfoliation, there is no real need for them to be present within products - especially given all the other options of skin and body scrubs within the market. Admittedly in the past I have used products containing microbeads, now my eyes have been opened to the environmental damage I will not purchase or review another product containing beads of the sort. On the upside many of the big brands (and by default offenders) have vowed to phase out microbeads by 2017- a long way off but a step in the right direction. Within the US various States will be introducing a ban on microbeads, no doubt the UK will be next to follow such example.

Until then I say we avoid them at all costs and look for more effective and environmentally sound options to exfoliate. For the body we have salt, sugar and apricot kernels - all of which I can fully recommend. For the face (this is a great article on facial exfoliation - link) there is endless possibilities such as AHA's, Rice Powder, Oatmeal and chemical exfoliation.

If you are confused as to which products contain microbeads this is a wonderful app by Beat the Microbead - link, it allows you to search products by such ingredient minimising guess work as some beads (Jojoba beads) are not harmful. It also lists what companies plan on ditching the bead full stop.

To paraphrase TLC I don't want no scrub...beads.


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37 comments:

  1. I agree.
    I use a face-wash which contains scattered amounts of these beads, honestly they serve no purpose.


    Sarah @ Pretty Gloss ♥ beauty, makeup & a bit of life..
    [New Post] L'Oreal | Revitalift Total Repair BB Cream

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    1. Other than mess, I kick myself for ever using them in the past!

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  2. I once bought one of those exfoliators when I was younger. The beads didn't exfoliate (their surface was too smooth... all they did was glide around) and neither did they contain some concentrated ingredient and burst. Didn't use the "scrub" after the first try. What a waste.

    Anceeta.com

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    1. They are so useless aren't they, it is shocking how many brands still rely on the "technology". I'm glad so many others are ditching them completely :)

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  3. Thanks for the post! I don't like products contain beads, it's a waste and it doesn't work well xx

    www.beautyfrontline.com/

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  4. This is a super interesting post!

    CANDICE | BEAUTY CANDY LOVES

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  5. I am not a fan of products which contain beads as there is no point to them and they don't work as well as other scrubs.

    Beth x
    www.hellobeth.co.uk

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  6. Couldn't agree more, great post!
    xx
    http://shititsmidnight.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. I prefer chemical exfoliation over physical for use on my face anyway, I stopped using any products with microbeads years ago :)
    Becoming Becca

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    1. Me too - I think it is such a dated and ineffective way to cleanse or exfoliate :)

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  8. Excellent post! juts read an article recently.
    I love green beauty and If you are on the hunt of a amazing body scrub,I really recommend this one!!!
    http://www.mademoisellenature.com/2014/12/heaven-on-earth-rosemary-chi-himalayan.html

    x

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    1. Thank you so much, it is always nice to have a few recommendations :)

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  9. Great post!! There really is no need for the polymer beads, as you say there are so many natural and biodegradable alternatives! I am always a fan of the chemical exfoliation as your not tempted to rub your skin raw with a gritty scrub.

    www.beaucience.co.uk

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    1. I couldn't put it better - I am terribly heavy handed!

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  10. Great to see someone posting about this issue. I've been told in the past by certain brands that microbeads are often sold for their perfectly spherical shape which doesn't leave micro-scratches on the skin. Allegedly... I'll keep to my kernals and seeds and leave pollutants out of my water, thanks.

    Lucy | Baresome

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    1. Thank you so much :) Gah I was told the same - I guess I can somewhat see what they mean, the only problem is they are so ineffective and dangerous to the environment no fancy marketing could sway me otherwise. Yes natural is best, I would love to hear any recommendations you may have!

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  11. Thank you for this post!!
    The issue about microbeads needs so much more attention and thanks to posts like this we can make people aware. I keep emailing companies asking them why they still use microbeads and ask them to please change this. This post is so important!

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    1. Ah you are too kind! You are amazing - I'm willing to bet most will not answer the question. Hopefully the phasing out will happen sooner rather than later!

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  12. I haven't knowingly used microbeads since I was 17, having thought even back then that they are useless little pollutants! I like the Body Shop's body scrubs as they have a variety of sugar scrubs and polishes with seeds and nut particles. I did use their Vitamin E face scrub for a while but I have a feeling it had microbeads :/ x

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    1. It's hard to know sometime especially if they are neutral in colour - I've had my doubts about some products too, oddly vit e items! I've linked an app above which is really good for helping when in doubt :) x

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  13. I think Canada is starting the process of phasing these out as well.

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    1. Brilliant :) I hope the UK follows suit!

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  14. Great recapitulation on the issue!

    I had never thought on the effect the microbeads have once they are rinsed away until I read about it and I haven't bought an exfoliator that contains them since ;)

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    1. Thank you so much :) I don't think many of us did either. Like most I guess I assumed that if it was safe enough for the face, the environment wouldn't be harmed. I guess this is our generations cfc used in aerosols like issue?

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  15. Excellent post! I totally agree, there is no use for plastic to be in a face scrub in the first place. I'll be sticking to not buying anything like that again.

    Emily x www.emandthem.co.uk

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    1. Ah thank you :) I agree - why they were ever used is beyond me!

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  16. Totally agree! I only use sugar based scrubs on my body and either chemical exfoliants / a muslin cloth when removing masks to exfoliate my face (:
    ABlogByPhilippa

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  17. I didn't know about these micro beads before! Thanks for opening my eyes, I'll definitely be more careful from now on. I'll read the labels more closely to avoid them!
    xx
    Jennifer | Pretty as Summer

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  18. Agreed! And there are so many DIYs out there for natural scrubs and exfoliants. Thanks for bringing this to light and sharing it ! :)

    xx, mel
    http://melinspired.com

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  19. I'm scared of products with beads because they just break me out! :(

    www.angerawrs.co.uk

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  20. I don't think I've used a product with these in for quite a while as I tend to like the natural scrubs anyway. Will definitely be making sure I'm giving them a wide birth in the future though!
    Megan x
    London Callings

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  21. I had never even thought of this! I don't use physical exfoliants anyway but thank you for opening my eyes to this issue! I hope it's one that the masses will get behind.
    Emily >> emiloue

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  22. Can't believe I hadn't heard of this before! Thanks for sharing :)

    xo, mikéla / simplydavelyn.com

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