What are microbeads?

These little plastic beads are in many of our exfoliation scrubs we buy to remove all that dead, dry skin on our faces, necks and hands. They are often tiny plastic beads no bigger than one millimeter in diameter. While they can work wonderfully well in those scrubs, they are playing havoc with our waterways as they can slip through our water treatment facilities because they are so tiny.

How do these tiny beads affect our environment?

It is estimated that these tiny beads are affecting our environment to the damage of $13 BILLION dollars a year. (1) They are threatening fresh water species as well, for the “fish” think these beads are food and many end up starving to death with bellies-full of beads. In New York alone, 19 tons of microbeads are released into the waterways every year. Illinois is the first state to ban the manufacture and sale of these beads. On top of this, the beads are attracting harmful, free-floating chemicals such as the pesticides, DDT.

The Great Lakes are full of these microbeads. According to Marcus Eriksen, in a paper he published last year though the 5 Gyres Institute (2).  They found that there were up to 466,000 pieces per square kilometer in the ocean’s now infamous “garbage patch” (3) of which 81 per cent were cosmetic microbeads. Preliminary results show even higher levels for Lakes Michigan, Erie and Ontario.

Alternatives to microbeads

CFF uses only organic, waxed Jojoba beads in our Cleansing Scrub. Our scrub is full of aloe, which has a soothing effect on the skin. It also contains rooibos tea an antioxidant that attacks harmful, free radicals and limits their damaging effect. Not only are these beads good for the environment these gentle jojoba beads exfoliate without stripping or harming the skin. Rich in coconut, jojoba, olive and avocado oils, this is the perfect cleansing scrub that conditions and revitalizes the skin, while at the same time is being good for the environment.

If you wish to try our Cleansing Scrub, just enter the code CFFORM10 in the discount box in the shopping cart upon checkout for a 10% discount. Enjoy!

NOTE: In the meantime, 5 Gyres has developed an app that allows consumers to scan products to see whether they contain plastic microbeads.