Is Your Body Wash Ruining Your Next Shower?



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You know those body washes with the micro-beads that make your skin all lovely and soft?

An article in Scientific American explains how thesemicro beads or micro exfoliates are harming marine life in the Great Lakes region of the USA.

The beads contained in many body washes are made from plastic (which means they’re made from petro-chemicals or oil).

They’re tiny – so tiny that water treatment plants can’t filter them.

They wash down the drain, and eventually end up back in our lakes and rivers.

Because they’re plastic, they don’t biodegrade.

So they get eaten – by fish, birds and turtles for example.

If fish or birds eat the inert beads, the material can deprive them of nutrients from real food or get lodged in their stomachs or intestines, blocking digestive systems.
Scientific American

(Of course there are micro beads in water wherever these body wash products are used, not just in the Great Lakes.  But they are particularly concentrated there, according to the study).

Do micro beads work?

Body wash damages water suppliesThat article got me wondering if a body wash with micro beads really works better, or if it’s just another marketing ploy?

Either way, it’s definitely not green to use personal grooming products such as exfoliators, body washes, shower creams and gels with micro beads.

So, what can you do instead to get fresh, glowing skin?


loofah micro bead freeWell, I’m going back to what we used to use before micro beads.

Here are 2 ways:

  1. A dry loofah.  Use a good quality, natural loofah as a dry exfoliating brush before bathing.
  2. Wet the loofah and use it with your favourite green and eco friendly soap or shower gel (the one without the micro beads, of course!)

The same effect – glowing skin – without the damage!

Update: Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble will phase out the use of polyethylene microbeads in their beauty products – hooray! All due to the work of environmentalist group 5 Gyres – people DO make a difference!

Here’s hoping that other companies follow suit – and here’s also hoping that they don’t simply replace the microbeads with another type of plastic beads!

Article Credit to EcoFriendlyLink

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