The Truth About Microbeads And Their Alternatives
The secret is out – exfoliation is a critical part of every skincare regimen (if your goal is glowing clear skin!). So, when choosing an exfoliant, it’s important to use one that effectively removes debris and dead cells from the skin, but is also gentle and safe for the environment.
Microbeads were once the buzzword in exfoliation; it seemed like every product had them! Microbeads are tiny bits of plastic (yes, plastic) popularly found in facial scrubs and body washes. They actually scrape (definitely not a word you want to be associated with your tender facial skin!) dead skin cells from the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin. They can also create small tears in facial skin, which leave it vulnerable to bacteria and scarring.
These little microbeads are also terrorizing the environment. After you have your twice-weekly scrub, these tiny microbeads go down the drain and into lakes and rivers. From there, they become sludge in the bottom of the watershed or fish eat them, and the fish eventually end up on our table, so we end up ingesting them too. Wow, who knew?
Why do companies use non-biodegradable microbeads if they are damaging to both skin and the environment? Simply, they are the least expensive to produce. They are even less expensive than natural exfoliators like ground almonds or shells.
The good news, drum roll please, is that companies will not be able to use them anymore because President Obama signed the “Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015” to ban the sale of any product that contains non-biodegradable microbeads, which could be put into effect as early as this month!
So, with microbeads off the table, how can you effectively exfoliate in a socially conscious way? There are several alternatives to microbeads, like using all-natural products. But even some natural products (like salt and sugar) can be too abrasive on delicate facial skin. Natural fruit enzymes and acids are non-abrasive, but can be too harsh or drying for many skin types.
Small, natural, biodegradable beads like those found in Reflekt 1 are ideal for exfoliation. In fact, they are not only effective, but gentle and hydrating as well-an extra bonus! When used, the warmth of the water and body heat causes the beads to melt into the skin and release an extra burst of moisture. They are so gentle you can exfoliate twice per day, which is fantastic since the key to radiant skin is exfoliation! Other natural exfoliators like pea flour and ground volcanic minerals are also emerging alternatives to microbeads.
So, remember not only does your product need to be gentle, but your technique should be as well. When exfoliating, be sure to massage your face gently, never roughly and to rinse thoroughly to remove all product. And there you have it – fresh, dewy skin that’ll turn heads and hopefully, the hands of time!