Beauty Guide: Microbead-Free Beauty Products

Beauty Guide: Microbead-Free Beauty Products
(Source: Weleda, St. Ives, Abla; Art by Tanya Leigh Washington)Did you know those tiny little microbeads found in a lot of our favorite beauty products are actually harming the environment? Turns out those little suckers are polluting our Great Lakes. In 2013, a study came out showing there were high concentrations of plastic particles in the Lakes. Because sewage treatment systems weren't designed to filter out particles that small, all those tiny beads from our scrubs and toothpastes were getting passed along straight into the water. Currently, there's a proposed bill in four states that would ban the manufacture, distribution, and sale of microbeads and products containing them. Think this is throwing the beauty industry for a loop? Think again. Some big brands like Unilever, P & G, The Body Shop, and Johnson & Johnson are already vowing to phase out the use of plastic microbeads. 
But you can stop using microbead products right now. There are some exfoliators on the market currently that use natural exfoliants like round walnut shells or silica (sand) instead of plastic microbeads. Check some out below!

Weleda Birch Body Scrub, $12
Beauty Guide: Microbead-Free Beauty Products(Source: Weleda)Natural plant wax pearls, pure organic plant oils, and vegetable-based cleansers exfoliate and renew skin while keeping it hydrated in this organic body scrub. Plus the birch leaf extract has a purifying and detoxifying effect on skin.

Alba Botanica Natural AcneDote Face & Body Scrub, $6.99
Beauty Guide: Microbead-Free Beauty Products(Source:

This 100 percent vegetarian formula is powerful enough to fight stubborn acne on both the face and body. Ground walnut shells scrub away oil and dirt, while salicylic acid, (derived from willow bark extract) fights acne.

St. Ives Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange Scrub, $4.59
Beauty Guide: Microbead-Free Beauty Products(Source: St. Ives)St. Ives uses 100 percent natural exfoliants for this tasty scrub. Silica polishes away impurities and leaves skin fresh and clean, while pink lemon and mandarin orange douse skin in vitamin C.

Nuance Salma Hayek Age Affirm Glycolic Cream Cleanser, $13.99
Beauty Guide: Microbead-Free Beauty Products(Source: Nuance)Although this cleanser contains microbeads, the beads are made from 100 percent bio-based ingredients, derived from plant sugars, and are non GMO, making them biodegradable and safe for the environment.

Want to make sure your fave beauty products don't contain harmful plastic beads? Look for ingredients like polyethylene or polypropylene, which indicate plastic microbeads. Or check out Beat the Microbead, a helpful app, which contains a barcode scanner as well as a list of offending products.
Former Senior Associate Beauty Editor at StyleBistro. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @CaitlinSMiller Follow me: Google