Exfoliating is my favourite step of my skincare routine. I can feel every pore being cleaned out, and my skin looks amazing afterwards. But, it wasn’t until I learnt about microbeads that made me reconsider the exfoliators I use.
What are Microbeads?
I was shocked when I first learnt about microbeads and how harmful they are to the environment. Microbeads are what you find in every single exfoliator. They add that rough texture to ensure that dirt and dead skin get removed.
Those microbeads go down the drain and end up in the ocean. They are so tiny that they can’t be pick up in waste water facilities. Fish ingest them (mistaking them for food) and they either die or they are fished and consumed by humans (similar to what happens to tuna as I mentioned in The Problem with Plastic).
Unfortunately, majority of beauty and skincare companies use plastic microbeads in their products because it’s cheaper and lasts longer than using natural ingredients.
How to Avoid Using Plastic Microbeads
There are two ways I can spot a plastic – free exfoliator.
I first check if the product is cruelty-free or animal-friendly. Any vegan and cruelty-free brand will avoid using harmful ingredients in their products.
If there is no cruelty-free stamp on the product I check the ingredients list for polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate, polylactic acid, or nylon (I dare you to read those ingredients out loud). These ingredients are all plastic components of microbeads.
Exfoliators I Use
I have been making a transition into cruelty-free and vegan beauty over the past few months. I use The Body Shop Seaweed Facial Exfoliator. This exfoliator works really well on my sensitive and dry skin . This seaweed exfoliator cleans any excess dirt, makeup or dead skin . My skin feels smooth and refreshed afterwards.
I don’t buy any body exfoliators because I make my own! I mix 1/2 cup of sugar with three tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. Either oil works and leaves my skin feeling smooth. Sugar is a great exfoliant. There are many DIY exfoliators that you can make yourself. The more natural the better. I find DIY exfoliators on Pinterest and YouTube.
That wraps up plastic-free month! Of course I will continue to encourage people to stop using plastic and I hope you do too.
– Kayla Shivana