What are Microbeads?
Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that are included in a wide range of cosmetics, such as exfoliators, toothpaste, shower gels, and cleansers. They are often made of polyethylene but can be made of other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene. They are small enough to wash down the plughole and because they are so small, they easily pass through water filtration systems. This means they readily get into the ocean and this causes devastating environmental effects.
What Damage Can Microbeads do to Skin?
As well as several environmental problems, microbeads are not the skin savior that manufacturing PR teams might have you believe. Exfoliating your skin is an important part of a healthy skincare routine, but skin cells are delicate and rubbing plastic on them can do a lot of damage. As far as skincare tips go: Microbeads can lead to poor skin tone, tears in cells that allow bacteria in and in many ways, they are the epitome of what not to do when seeking how to get clear skin. There is a multitude of other exfoliant options that lead to healthy skin and a healthy environment.
What Damage Can Microbeads do to the Environment?
Our oceans are already swamped with waste and plastic and as there is no way for this material to disappear naturally, we either have to clean it up or accept that our beautiful planet is rapidly becoming a waste ground.
Microbeads end up in the ocean and this means that they become part of the food chain. Cosmetic and environmental scientists have researched this area thoroughly and have discovered the beads inside a wide range of sea life. It is not just marine life that is inadvertently finding these plastic pieces in their diet, a recent study showed that 90 percent of birds have plastic in their stomachs too. Furthermore, humans are consuming microbeads through toothpaste and for those who eat seafood that has consumed microbeads, the toxins pass from plate to person.