As of December 2015, President Obama signed a bill banning the use of microbeads in beauty products (including toothpaste!). While they may have done the trick for getting your skin soft and smooth, they wreak major havoc on the environment. And if you’re in need of some new suggestions, we’ve tapped Tata Harper, Natural Beauty Expert and Founder of award-winning natural beauty line Tata Harper Skincare, for some answers.
Why are microbeads harmful?
“Microbeads are tiny plastic beads that are used as exfoliating agents in many conventional skincare products,” says Harper. “They’re so tiny that when they’re rinsed down your kitchen sink, they slip through water filtration systems and wind up in waterways — and since they’re plastic, they’re not biodegradable and they never go away. They wind up in our rivers, lakes, and oceans and are very polluting!”
What alternative exfoliating ingredients should we look for?
While microbeads may no longer be a thing, there are still several amazing exfoliant alternatives. For the face, she recommends seeking “smaller and more gentle physical exfoliants, like apricot seed powder or poppy seeds.” As for the body, “coarser and thicker grains are better, like sugar, salt, or powdered seeds or coffee grounds.”
Last but not least, how much (exfoliating) is too much?
“I’m a proponent of exfoliating daily, and for that you really need a product that is gentle enough that you can use it every day; not all exfoliating products are created equal and you don’t want to over-do it,” says Harper. “Our skin is constantly shedding dead skin cells, creating a layer of buildup that causes the skin to lose its glow and pores to become clogged.
For a healthy, clean face, she recommends exfoliating daily — which also “allows your products to penetrate the skin more effectively.” And to maintain glowing skin, exfoliate the entire body once a week.
And now that you’re in the know, here are a few of our favorite safe-for-the-environment scrubs:
Alba Botanica Good & Clean $9
This super clean face scrub from Alba will have your face squeaky clean in no time. It’s created with AHA-rich botanicals, finely ground walnut, and lathering cleansers that will gently remove dirt and grime.
Tata Harper Smoothing Body Scrub $68
Keep the skin smooth and glowing with Tata Harper’s all-natural body scrub. It contains biodegradable ingredients like Pink Himalayan sea salts, Hawaiian sea salts, cranberry fibers, apricot seed powder, and organic sugar. And plus, you’ll feel like you’re at a spa when using it!
TULA Exfoliating Treatment Mask $54
We’re super impressed with this uh-mazing mask from TULA. Apply it, leave it on for five minutes, and gently massage your face for a guaranteed squeaky clean good time. Between the lactic acid, volcanic sand, and Bentonite clay, say goodbye to dry, dead skin all winter long.
xx, The FabFitFun Team