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Micro sized; causing macro sized problems.

The bathroom is the biggest offender when it comes to offensive materials in the home and no, I’m not talking about what your husband just backed out! I’m talking other environmental nightmares. We have more chemicals here, than in any other room in the house. And unless you have been living under a very large rock – or you choose to ignore it - chemical exposure has a seriously detrimental effect on our health. Parabens, Triclosan, Phthalates, synthetics and fragrances – they are all toxic and now you have another one to add to the list – and this one is causing a trail of destruction in ways we never considered. It’s Microbeads… those teeny tiny little hard particles in our beauty products, used to aid exfoliation.  You will find them in products like body washes and facial scrubs. Well they’re actually microscopic bits of plastic and that’s why they’re so good at rubbing layers of skin from your face and body. It’s the same plastic used to make milk bottles and storage containers, so it’s hard and doesn’t breakdown! This is alarming for obvious reasons, but wait, there are some issues with these little mothers, you may not have even considered…

Microbeads are half a mill in size so they can’t be filtered out by sewage and waste catchment systems. They go for a joyride straight down the drain and directly into our oceans, rivers, lakes and waterways. They don't break down, so they float around and get ingested by our marine life as they resemble fish eggs. Not only is that unfortunate for the marine life, but it is for us too. Do you know where I’m going with this? Then… you guessed it, we eat the fish and marine life and unwittingly… the microbeads.  Yep fish stuffed with plastic. Delish!

Once they’re in our waterways they are impossible to get out and it is estimated that between 5,000 – 95,000 microbeads are released into the environment with every single use of a beauty product! The damage is incomprehensible. Microbeads have now been banned in the US due to their catastrophic effect on the environment. Australia is slowly getting on board with Coles & Woolworths banning all products which contain microbeads – but they’re still out there sitting on store shelves.

Microbeads are not necessary or vital to us in any way. Faces and bodies have remained exfoliated, glowing and fresh without these beads for hundreds of years, it’s a marketing gimmick and beauty and cosmetic companies need to wise up (or get a conscious).

Ground almonds, sugar and salt are perfect exfoliants too, that actually breakdown. So you can always make you own scrubs using natural ingredients, or if you’re buying something off of the shelf, ensure you say NO microbeads. Your body, the environment and the ocean will thank you for it.

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