Ditch plastic beads in your skin care and choose natural alternatives. Did you know we have natural exfoliants in store that use ingredients like sea kelp, poppyseeds, salt, jojoba beads, hemp seeds and coffee instead?
Bravo to Australia's three largest supermarket chains for all banning the use of plastic micrbeads in the skincare they sell on their supermarket shelves, but we've been doing it since day 1. While Coles and Woolworths decided to phase out using plastic microbeads in their own products last week, today Aldi joined them, phasing the use of them out by 2017. Other mainstream brands including Unilever, L'Oreal, Clarins and Ella Bache have also agreed to remove them.
Why the planet is finally saying NO to microbeads?
Around the world, microbeads can not only be found in facial exfoliant, but also soap, body scrubs and even toothpaste. In skin care, the beads get washed out in to the ocean, where they float around and get ingested by marine life (some of which we then eat) and they end up in our food chain. In toothpaste, there have been reports in America of microbeads getting stuck in patients gums causing significant dental damage. Damage to your teeth and to ocean health is certainly a good enough reason to ban them, and thankfully, like the BPA ban that was self imposed in Australia in baby bottles a few years ago, microbeads are finally going the same way.
Does your exfoliant or toothpaste contain microbeads?
Look for the ingredient POLYETHYLENE. This is the type of plastic the beads are made from. They can be anywhere from 0.1 to 0.5mm in size. If this ingredient is in your product, by using it, you're making it fish food.
Our favourite natural alternatives
There are plenty of ways to exfoliate naturally. This is not a difficult or costly switch to make. Natural skin care brands have been formulated this way for years, and so have the homemade products your grandma probably used, because most of them are made with food. Here's a small selection of some of the natural ingredients used to exfoliate the skin.
Instead of putting plastic IN the ocean, Acure Organics take finely ground organic sea kelp as their core ingredient to exfoliate (pictured above with the Acure Day Cream and Acure Eye Cream). It has a string of 5 star reviews on our website which you can read here. This was our bestselling facial scrub in 2015 with comments like "I wish I had found this years ago" and "gentle but effective" and "the best facial scrub I have ever used" and "much better complexion after about a fortnight". It's worth reading the reviews on this one. Be warned, it's green, but we totally love our natural skin care products looking the way they should, whether it's brown or green or any other colour!
At under $10, this one is a budget pleaser. Beauty & The Bees is an all natural brand made in Tasmania and this seaweed and green tea scrub bar can be used on the face & body. The core exfoliating ingredient is poppyseeds. Beauty & The Bees are a small brand with a cult following that not many people are aware of. As well as their range of soap and scrub bars, they make an amazing range of natural shampoo bars and a body butter bar that's just perfection on really stubbornly dry skin. The best part, there's no plastic packaging or bottles to throw away. A truly eco-focused brand.
With just a handful of ingredients, this exfoliant has pink himalayan salt at the core of its exfoliant properties and has the nourishment of coconut oil so it doesn't try your skin out. While mainly formulated for the body as a prequel to using the organic fake tan made by Eco Tan, you can use this on the face too. It is scented with essential oils of lemongrass, pink grapefruit and peppermint for a crisp and fresh scent while you apply.
Made from 3 simple ingredients that you can eat, this exfoliant is the perfect balance of sea salt cacao powder and rice powder. Rice powder is included for skin brightening and cacao for antioxidants and cell repair. You can't get a much cleaner formula than that. Simple As That has a full range of skin care that is specifically formulated with the fewest ingredients possible. They have a cleanser, toner, moisturiser, exfoliant, matcha mask, makeup remover and a vapour balm in the range. They are all packed in glass jars or bottles to minimise plastic waste.
This one is a DIY job and very budget friendly. Since hemp seeds aren't a legal food in Australia, there's a handy recipe on the back of the packet to make your own hemp seed body scrub. It works a treat. Hemp seeds are a natural source of rich omega oils and essential fatty acids.
There's always dry body brushing
If you're looking to exfoliate your body, you can always do a 'one off' purchase of a dry body brush. We currently have two available priced from $24.95 and exfoliating skin towels and gloves from $9.95.