They’re in exfoliating face washes. They’re in handsoaps. They’re in toothpaste. All with the purpose of whiter teeth and smoother skin. What are they?
There are lots of things in the health and beauty industry that get me worked up but microbeads really sting, and here’s why:
- they are tiny beads made of plastic, aka polyethylene, polypropylene, or any other plastic derivative. Plastic and skin do not get along as plastic is irritating and suffocating to your skin’s delicate pores.
- Apparently dentists have been finding microbeads embedded in peoples gums, causing gum disease. Gross!
- Microbeads are polluting our waterways and oceans. They just simply don’t break down. Fish and coral reef mistake microbeads for little bits of food and consequently starve and/or experience intestinal damage.
- If you’re a fish eater, you will eventually be eating fish with plastic in it. And we have enough to worry about with fish already – overfarming, GMO fish, pollution, heavy metals, and population decline.
- Say you’re not a fish-eater, but you’re a human who has any interaction with the ocean or wildlife. You’ll be affected too – photographs of beautiful pictures of beach pebbles will soon become photos of beads. The shoreline rocks will be studded with plastic, and species you know and love will soon be evolving to make way for their new environment…..
Unless we stop buying microbeads! We can do it – here’s how:
- Check out this list of products containing microbeads (USA based, but most of those products are in Canada anyways). Even I was surprised with what I read – there are some ‘natural’ brands on there that still use them! Shame on you Every Man Jack 😦
- Switch to natural exfoliators because there are literally tons of them:
– jojoba beads or jojoba wax
– baking soda
– raw honey
– ground walnut shells (or other nut shells)
– coffee grounds
– chia seeds
Wanna learn more?
Check out this David Suzuki article, this information sheet, or the Beat The Microbead! app you can download! And finally this uplifting article about what Canada has already done to start removing microbeads from our shelves.