Microbeads Are Officially Banned: Scrub With These Alternatives Instead

Microbeads Are Officially Banned: Scrub With These Alternatives Instead

While the news that as of today microbeads can no longer be used in products, and that a ban on sales will be in effect as of July, is undoubtedly welcome, there are a few caveats to bear in mind. First, before July, brands are still able to sell any products containing microbeads which, in the words of Michael Gove, ‘are causing a level of pollution in our seas, rivers and oceans that we need to stop.’

Second, while the plastic beads will be removed from wash-off products, they won’t be taken out of make-up, where they (surprisingly) abound to add bulk or to bind pigments. That said, the amount of plastic washed off an eye that’s, say, covered in long-wear eyeshadow containing it, is far less and therefore clearly a less pressing issue.

The problem with plastics in the first place? While they’re handy exfoliating agents that you’ll find in everything from scrubs to your toothpaste, they’re too small for water treatment plants to effectively filter them, meaning they end up in the oceans, where they cause damage to fish and other marine life. 

Want to know if your products contain microbeads so that you can steer clear before the ban comes into effect? Microbeads appear on packaging under their chemical names, so keep an eye out for polyethylene, polypropylene, and polymethylmethacrylate, and nylon. And if you want to be doubly sure,  just buy one of these - they’re all microbead-free and brilliant.

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