Recent research from American engineers and scientists states that tiny microbeads which are used in our exfoliators, scrubs, toothpaste and cleansers might be dangerous to our health, as they accumulate in local waterways after having been flushed down with water.
Microbeads are microplastics and fibers the size of salt or sugar grains, usually made of polyetylene, polypropylene, nylon and similar materials. Microbeads have been used for years by companies producing facial and body skin cleansing products, as a cheaper alternative to natural exfoliants.
We love our facial cleansers, they are great for our skin. However, the problem begins when these tiny microplastics are washed down the drain, as the filters in our wastewater systems can not remove them due to their very little size. The result is that microbeads eventually end up in our waterways, and eventually in our food. How? - Plankton, mussels and other filter feeders eat them, and then we either eat these feeders or eat fish which ate them.
Microplastics are also known to attract and absorb persistent organic pollutants, such as pesticides, and therefore these pollutants might, too, accumulate in our water overtime.
The best solution to this growing problem of plastics accumulating in our water and affecting our environment - is to stop using products with plastic microbeads, and switch to matural exfoliants, such as salts, sugars, nut shells, seeds, rice or bamboo. Dermatologists state that, actually, due to the fact that natural exfoliants have more textured edges, they are more effective in skin cleansing and provide better exfoliating quality than microbeads.