Microbeads – why they need to be banned

September 17, 2016

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

My youngest son has recently become a pescetarian (a veggie who eats fish). His decision was based on the issues with the environment. However he has been telling me about microbeads and the harm they are causing fish. I had never heard of microbeads before my son told me all about them.

MicrobeadsMicrobeads are manufactured solid plastic particles of less than five millimetres in their largest dimension. They are most frequently made of polyethylene but can be of other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene. They are used in exfoliating personal care products, toothpastes and in biomedical and health-science research.

MicrobeadsMicrobeads can cause plastic particle water pollution and pose an environmental hazard for aquatic animals in freshwater and ocean water. In the US, the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 phases out microbeads in rinse off cosmetics by July 2017.

The UK government is to introduce a ban of microbeads from all cosmetics by the end of 2017. However we can do more by simply not using products that have microbeads listed as one of their ingredients.

One of the biggest culprits in the beauty industry is exfoliators. The good news however is that cosmetics companies are addressing the situation. The Guardian published a useful list – click here to read.

MicrobeadsHaving had a summer holiday in Spain my skin is in desperate need of exfoliation and to this end I have been using a Supracor Stimulite Body Scrubber which whilst expensive at £58 lasts forever or at least a very long time. It’s also eco-friendly and does an absolutely brilliant job. It not only gives you silky smooth skin but it also stimulates the blood flow and helps breakdown the toxins that produce cellulite. In other words, it’s a skin softener and an orange peel shifter all-in-one.


Some of the best body exfoliators cost £26 which seems a lot of money. But if you want to treat yourself then the one I would always buy is the Decleor 1000 Grain Body Exfoliator because you apply it before showering. The gel turns into an oil as you massage it in and then transforms into milk upon contact with water for quick rinsing. There is no need to then use moisturiser as it leaves your skin silky smooth.


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