Acne vs. Skin: the battle we all know too well. In a single night, puss-filled bumps of bacteria and oil can invade our pores and annihilate self-confidence. We may have graduated from our awkward high school years, but it seems puberty is ageless. As perpetual soldiers we have learned to fight these evil lesions with the best weapons offered: creams, lotions, moisturizers, vitamins, gels, liquids, foams, wipes. Anything and everything to destroy the number one enemy that is…the pimple!
However, with the arrival of a recently proposed New York law, one acne-fighting tool may soon be out of stock. Uh-oh. Last Tuesday, legislation to ban microbeads often found in cosmetic face washes was introduced by the state’s attorney general.
So what are microbeads? Well dummy, they are as simple as they sound: small plastic particles ranging from 0.5 to 5 mm used in soap to help exfoliate dead skin and minimize lines and wrinkles. In plainer terms, if you have ever felt miniature pellets in your gel-like exfoliant scrubbers, you’ve probably used microbeads before. And while their benefits may sound quite wonderful for hormonal youngsters, it turns out that microbeads can potentially do more harm than good.
A new scientific study conducted by SUNY Fredonia researchers reported high concentrations of microbeads in the Great Lakes, specifically Lake Eerie. Like plastic bags and six-pack rings, microbeads pose the same problems in waterway pollution. They were actually discovered in the digestive tracts of marine creatures that mistake them for food, inhibiting proper digestion.
So you’re not a fish…why should you care? Think about it this way: if the fish eat the microbeads and you eat the fish, you’re practically eating your face wash. Gross, right? The plastics, which are not biodegradable, also leech toxic pollutants. This is no bueno for a lot more than just fish — these grainy little suckers could potentially mess up the environment for real.
Large companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, L’Oreal, and The Body Shop have already agreed to phase out the plastic beads within the next few years. Still, if legislation successfully passes, then more than 200 products will be gone. Which ones will be eliminated? And what are your alternatives? Let me tell you…
Some Products That Could Be Banned:
(while these products are still on shelves, Neutrogena has promised to alter or eliminate them in the near future)
(has also made a promise to eliminate these products)
BATH AND BODY WORKS
CLEAN & CLEAR
*Download “Beat the Microbead” App for more information on products with microbeads.
Awesome Alternatives That Still Leave You Fresh And Don’t Hurt The Fishies:
Most options come from organic companies that use nuts and seeds as the main scrubbers. But, to be quite honest, if you’re looking for substitute exfoliates, take out your handy dandy washcloth, buy a louffa or else rub sand on your face. Yes, boys, start thinking about loofahs. Another tip: read the back label to figure out if microbeads are included…duh.