Exfoliating – One of the important beauty regime. We have plenty of exfoliants that are made with a colourful entity named MICRO BEADS. They are found in lip gloss, nail polish, tooth paste, body wash, soaps, face washes etc.
These beads however recently have been making waves for a completely different reason than exfoliation – Pollution.
When there are oil spills, deforestation, smog and plenty other huge problems around us, why are these tiny beads a major environmental and health concern?
What are they?
They are teeny tiny beads usually made from the following:
- polyethylene (PE)
- polypropylene (PP)
- polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
- polymethlyl methacrylate (PMMA)
The fancy name for the above technicality is PLASTIC.
Why is it a danger? Microbeads are a health hazard when eaten.
Yikes! Am I crazy to eat my body wash? However, it’s a simple food chain concept. You’ve been feeding Nethili plastic kolambu to your families for a while now.
Toxic absorbency – These plastic exfoliants have a tendency to absorb organic pollutants, toxic chemicals, industrial pollutants around them. A single bead can be million times toxic than the water around it. Imagine millions of toxic plastic microbeads floating in our water bodies absorbing the pollutants around it. They finally move up the food chain to us releasing the toxins and making us sick.
What can we do?
- Don’t buy them.
- Read the labels of any product you buy. Av oid the PE, PEE, and others stated above.
- Switch to herbal based products (They are also not very ethical these days)
- Support the ‘ban the bead’ petitions worldwide
Alternatives – Use the various effective exfoliants at the kitchen counter
- Mix equal measures of honey with sugar and rub on the skin in gentle circular motion
- Mix a dash of buttermilk with ground oatmeal to make a face mask
- Besan powder – Effective but can be a tad drying for dry skin
- Make a mixture of papaya with tomato to make a face pack.
- Use coffee grounds on face to make a gentle yet refreshing exfoliant
- You can any citrus fruit juice in a few drops to any face mask to provide alpha hydroxy acid treatment (AHA’s)
Why spend money when cheap safe and non toxic alternatives are available???