Are You Eating Plastic? Change Your Facial Scrub!

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Did you know that if you use a facial exfoliator or exfoliating body scrub, you may be contributing to plastic pollution that can end up back in your body? Check out these safer alternatives:

Many women (and men as well) use exfoliating scrubs or masks in the shower to remove dead skin cells and create a fresher complexion. But did you know that most of these products now contain tiny “microbeads” made of plastic, which are starting to pose a real concern for the environment?

These tiny plastic beads are so small they are often not filtered out by water treatment plants, and like most plastics they don’t easily biodegrade. As the popularity of these products has increased over the past couple of decades, more and more of these tiny plastic beads are making their way into the ocean, where they are consumed by sea animals, and may even eventually make it back into our bodies through the foods we consume!

Yuck! If you don’t want to be eating plastic, and you want to help remove this pollutant from the environment, simply stop buying products that contain microbeads. While some products may list them on the label, many do not, so be sure to keep an eye out for “polyethylene” in the ingredients list. If you see it, don’t buy it!

But if you’re addicted to your exfoliating scrub, don’t despair! Here are 6 all-natural alternatives that can give the same effect, without harming you or the environment:

Baking Soda

If you are living plastic free or zero waste then I bet this ingredient lurks somewhere in your home. It is a multipurpose wonder that can be used as an exfoliant as well as many other uses.


Lemon contains alpha hydroxy acid and works by loosening the dead skin cells so they can be removed easily. Keep the skins and submerge them in vinegar to create a safe cleaner for your home….


Did you know hemp is antibacterial? Well it is. Natural hemp has a slightly courser texture making it the perfect fibre to slosh away dead skin cells. When you are done with it, toss it into your compost bin or plant beds.


We have all read about sugar being not so good and for some of us that indulge will sometimes see results in our skin. When used topically sugar works as a wonderful scrub. With the combination of glycolic acid and it’s granular texture your skin will be looking so fresh and so clean!


Coffee grounds work great as an exfoliant for your body, but may be a bit harsh for the face. After using, they can just be tossed in the compost pile to feed your garden!…


Oatmeal is perfect for sensitive skin. It is moisturising and will help with any inflammation your skin might suffer through day to day pollution. Mix with honey for a nourishing face mask too….


For more on the dangers of microbeads, see the full article at Sidney Sustainable Living.

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