A longtime favorite for exfoliating and smoothing the skin, microbeads have become a staple in facial cleansers and body scrubs. In fact, they’ve become so popular that enough microbeads go down the drain each day to cover 300 tennis courts. And because they don’t dissolve, they are a major source of pollution in our oceans and lakes—and are gobbled up by marine life that can eventually appear on our dinner plates. This microbead problem is so serious that President Obama signed a bill that banned them at the end of last year—but that doesn’t mean your skin has to suffer.
There are plenty of other exfoliating particles you can use to eliminate dead skin cells and clear your pores, but it’s important that the scrubs you turn to have sphere-shaped particles so you don’t scratch or injure your skin. One of my personal favorites, iS Clinical’s Tri-Active Exfoliant, features microbeads that are safe for your skin and safe for the planet. Made of plant-derived cellulose, these beads begin to melt when exposed to water and the pressure of scrubbing, so you get the exfoliation benefits and then they’re gone! And since mechanical (i.e. physical) exfoliation in only one means of smoothing the skin, this scrub/mask also contains papaya enzymes that literally dissolve dead skin cells. This exfoliation combination delivers smooth, soft, radiant skin that will make you forget about those bad-for-the-planet microbeads.