Microbeads In Skincare
The Truth About Microbeads
There are many skincare products on the market, and some are definitely better for both you and the environment than others. One of the ingredients you need to be aware of is the microbead. A microbead is a small circular object made from plastic. Large amounts of microbeads have historically been used in all sorts of products for health and skincare. Those products have ranged from body scrubs to toothpaste. For skincare purposes, microbeads are primarily used to create the friction needed to clean or exfoliate surfaces. That is why they were quite common in formulas for body scrubs, at least until the Obama Administration.
Microbeads became a topic of debate in skincare circles when U.S. President Barrack Obama banned them during his administration. That ban was called the Microbead-Free Waters Act. It was passed in 2015. Here at Nabila K, all of our products are microbead-free, but not just because President Obama banned them. You are probably wondering what is so bad about these little plastic spheres. Below are some answers.
Why the Presidential Ban Occurred
When President Obama banned microbeads, his intention was to eliminate the environmental threat they were causing, including the following:
- They were used in many skincare products, which meant they were getting washed down drains.
- Microbeads flowing down drains got into drinking water supplies.
- Microbeads look like food to certain species of marine life and are potentially toxic to those species.
- Their small sizes make microbeads nearly impossible to clean or filter once they invade water supplies.
- They don’t degrade.
Microbeads and Your Teeth
Microbeads are not only bad for the environment. They are also horrible personal care product ingredients. Toothpaste is a prime example. When microbeads in toothpaste are combined with the strong vibration of an electric toothbrush, they become like tiny drill bits. They can quickly cause pitting and other damage to your teeth and gums.
Microbeads and Your Eyes
Microbeads are quite abrasive, so another area you must be careful of is the area around your eyes. Several skincare products are meant for use on your face. All of those products have the potential to accidentally get into your eyes. Some products you can simply rinse out if they feel like they are irritating your eyes. However, getting rid of microbeads in your eyes is not always easy.
If they ever work their way into your eyes, microbeads can scratch your corneas. In some cases, microbeads can get trapped under your eyelids. That can lead you to seek emergency medical help. The redness and inflammation they create can potentially even cause permanent vision problems if left untreated.
Microbeads and Your Stomach
Even if microbeads were still legally acceptable in skincare products, they would be dangerous to your entire body, inside and out. New research suggests that accidentally ingesting too many of them over time can potentially cause toxicity. Even though you may not set out to eat your skincare products, it is possible for the microbeads to work their way into your mouth when used on your face.
Microbeads and Your Skin
The main reason to use microbead-free skincare products such as those offered at Nabila K is that microbeads are bad for your skin. Prior to the U.S. and several other countries banning microbeads, they were widely used in multiple skincare products. In fact, from the 1980s until approximately 2014, they had become so popular and refined that many products containing them were daily use products. However, the manufacturers did not take into account the long-term impact of using microbead products every day.
Microbeads cause tiny skin tears that can’t heal with repetitive use of products containing them. When the skin can’t heal, it allows bacteria to invade and cause infections. Dirt and other materials, such as pollutants, can also work their way under your skin. If you regularly use a skincare product containing microbeads, you are not fixing the damage you are trying to correct. You are actually causing more skin damage, instead.
Home Microbead Management
As you can see, there is no shortage of reasons to avoid microbeads. To make sure you are not using any older products containing microbeads around your house, inspect labels carefully. Be aware they can also be found in non-skincare products, such as household cleaners. If you discover any products you already have containing microbeads, make sure you safely dispose of them. Contact their manufacturers or environmental officials for instructions. Do not pour them down your drains as doing so only adds to the significant problems microbeads have already caused the environment.