“Mermaid tears”: tiny pieces of plastic, 5mm wide at the most, that are plaguing our waterways in mass amounts. They’ve been given a lot of attention lately as organizations are calling on the government to ban these little microbeads from use in cosmetic products such as exfoliating scrubs and toothpastes.
I was really surprised to find out they’re even in toothpaste until I read a story recently about them getting into someone’s gums and causing a great amount of pain and infection. So what’s the real problem with them? Watch this very short video (really, it’s 2 minutes) and avoid my long-winded explanation:
To recap, they don’t break down so fish and other marine animals see them as food, they eat the plastic, and we eat the fish. Hmm, I can’t figure out why we have so many health problems these days.. To quote Mufasa, “We are all connected in the great Circle of Life”.
The great news is that there are so many alternatives to using plastic as an exfoliant that you won’t miss it when it’s gone! Walnut shells, various seeds, salt, sugar, and pumice are all excellent ingredients to look for in body scrubs! These are too abrasive for delicate facial skin but finely ground oatmeal, white clay, bamboo, and hibiscus are lovely additions to your facial exfoliants. And as an added bonus to using natural alternatives to plastic, these work so well that you shouldn’t be exfoliating more than 1-2 times a week which will save you money as your products aren’t used up as quickly!
How can you tell if you’re using plastic? Look for “polyethylene” and “polypropylene”; if you see them, stay away!
As I’ve stated before, what you put on your body also affects the environment – be aware of your choices as a consumer! Choose a scrub that gives you a glow naturally. Have a lovely long weekend!
Love, Ash XO