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Microbeads. They scrub dead skin cells from your skin, they polish your teeth to make them pearly white, and they even clean your clothes… but, really… what ARE microbeads? What are they made of? Where do they go when you rinse them off?
Environmental Dangers of Microbeads
Microbeads are found in a number of cosmetics, including:
- tooth pastes
- age defying make-up lines
- chap sticks
- nail polishes
- and many more household products
They are made from synthetic plastics that are no better at scrubbing than shell or mineral particles, but they are much cheaper to produce. They end up going down our drains, into our waterways, and eventually, they make their way
Most people don’t realize what these beads are, and the damage they are creating daily… simply by scrubbing their face or brushing their teeth! (Reference 1)
In the US, we release eight billion plastic microbeads into the environment each day. They are now banned in many states, and on a global scale, there is a lot of energy behind prohibiting them altogether.
The US is working toward a complete ban, and many laws have been signed over the past 4 years, but they still show up in many cosmetic products being sold today. The reason for this? It is nearly impossible to regulate cosmetics, and the law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, except for color additives, to be approved by FDA before they go on the market. (Reference 2)
Recent bans are written so that they are phased out, with no more products being introduced that use microbeads, however, there are still a good amount of scrubs and other products being sold with these harmful additives.
Personal Risks of Using Microbeads
Several years ago, before I thought much about what these beads were, or where they went when I was done them, I had another, more personal relationship with them: One lodged in my tear duct and refused to come out.
Not only do our oceans not need plastic microbeads… our bodies definitely don’t like these little foreign intruders, either. It caused weeks of swelling and
After several doctor visits and a painful eye procedure, microbeads… for a good reason… were very OUT in my world, and naturally derived exfoliants were the only acceptable answer for my skin (and eyes)!
I was on the search for a natural, high-quality, effective exfoliant that did not contain microbeads. I also committed never to use a product again that included synthetic microbeads.
A Natural Alternative to Microbeads
After testing some natural brands of face scrubs that use crushed natural exfoliants, I fell head-over-heels for radiant skin refiner by Aveda. It’s clay based and exfoliates using tourmaline, a gemstone that offers plenty of skin benefits.
Tourmaline is said to help in these ways:
- improves circulation
- reduces water retention
- helps eliminate toxic metals
- reduces lactic acid and free fatty acids
- and more!
These are all grand sounding claims… but the big question was… does it actually work?
Aveda Radiant Skin Refiner for the Win!
Not only is this exfoliant all-natural, but also does not harm the environment, does not contain microbeads, AND comes in responsible packaging, …AND it works beautifully!
It exfoliates with bamboo extract and gemstone tourmaline, leaving skin radiant and youthful. It’s suggested to use twice weekly, but I have found that more often is just fine with how gentle it is on my skin.
I use it 3-5 times a week! Friends notice my skin’s glow after using it, and I notice how smooth my skin feels to the touch.
For four years now, this product has been my go-to for natural exfoliants. I purchase online at Aveda.com. The site offers a great incentive program, with monthly deals and discounts when you buy.
If you want to try out Aveda cosmetics before shopping online, search the Aveda site for a spa near you. Aveda has a rigorous training program for their employees, and they are generally outstanding practitioners with a depth of product knowledge.
You can visit your nearest Aveda spa to touch, smell, and test products, and to learn what will be best for you and your skin.
Aveda as a Cosmetic Line
I love several other products in the Aveda line. You’ll have to follow up with future articles to hear about my favorite Aveda make-up and hair products.
I appreciate that the fragrances in products are derived from essential oils and that their makeup is mineral based.
While there are a few items I don’t love (and I can tell you about those, too!), for the most part, the Aveda line lives up to the high standard of the radiant skin refiner.
Visit aveda.com to order your own tube of radiant skin refiner. Your face, your tear ducts, and the creatures of the oceans will thank you for it!
- Reference 1: https://www.storyofstuff.org/movies/lets-ban-the-bead/
- Reference 2: https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ResourcesForYou/Industry/u cm388736.htm
- Reference 3: https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/benefits-of-tourmaline-gemstone/)
To Your Naturally Cleansed Skin,