The Micro-beads Myth!


Ban the Micro-beads!!

“Tiny perfectly formed and perfectly round polypropylene Micro-beads that, perfect micro-spheres when gently massaged into the skin will perfectly dislodge debris trapped in your follicles without scratching or causing damage to your skin” 
It sounded so good. Could it be true? Micro-beads? Perfect spheres? The perfect shape to dislodge whatever is trapped in your follicles?  Did I believe it? No I didn’t. Should you? Probably not. 


The animated graphic on the TV looks so good!!

Watching an advertisement for these micro-beaded products is almost laughable. To think these little spheres can actually find the entrance to your pore and roll around in there and then pop back out after dislodging whatever is trapped. Well, it’s sounds good, but it’s just silly. Sorry. 


Ignorance is bliss!

I’ve worked with brands with products within the range that contained polypropylene micro-beads. Never a fan of any kind of abrasive scrubs on the skin of the face and neck, but even so, naively, it didn’t occur to me these perfect micro-beads would NEVER bio-degrade and worse, remain in our waterways FOREVER!!! You too right? 


It’s over!

And now, finally, the practice of adding micro-beads into cosmetic preparations is being legislated into oblivion unlike the micro-bead which, sadly will be with us for a very long time. In our waterways, enabling marine life to inadvertently consume them and then of course there’s a good chance if you eat fish, you’ll ingest them and on it goes.  But hey, it’s not about us it’s about the preservation of our environment. 


The biggest beauty myth. Busted!

If you’ve been reading The Beauty Issue for a while, then you know I never advocate the use of abrasive scrubs of any kind for the face and neck.
You see, most of these darling products filled with these darling little micro-beads can be found in lathering cosmetic preparations. So you’re not just scratching the surface of your skin with these perfect little beads, you’ve also left your skin in a dry and dehydrated state, which will take hours to recover!


But you really need them?

Really? Well, let’s take a look at why you think you do. Sure, it seems logical enough. The solution to your skin concerns is to massage something abrasive into the skin, especially when the skin is oily and clogged. It kinda feels good. It feels clean. You feel like you’re doing something positive for your skin, even if this feeling is only short-lived. 


microbeadbannedSwimming upstream.

Here’s the thing. You never needed those damn micro-beads in your product, nor any other replacement ingredient. You just don’t need them!! I know you’ll be told you do. But you don’t. 
But what about your pores? What about all your clogging? And those blackheads!!! Eek!! What about your parched, dry, flakey skin?  Nope, nope, nope and nope. I repeat. You DO NOT need abrasive exfoliating scrubs.


Really, you don’t need any form of abrasive scrub! Period.



Squeaky clean or taut and dry?

What’s worse, abrasive scrubs don’t even really do the job very well. All this scrubbing activity leads to a shrinking of the opening of your follicle, known as a pore. You might think, hey, that’s exactly what I want! Tiny pores!!
Well, sure, we all do, however, this type of shrinking and stripping of the skin will trap dead cells and oil in the follicle. You might feel momentarily better, but tomorrow? More of the same. Squeaky, dehydrated skin, with follicles that are getting progressively clogged. Quite the merry-go-round. Right?
If you want to know more about the size of your pores and what to do about it, you might like to read my article: Making peace with your pores


But I’m different, I just want to get rid of my flakey skin.

Actually no. Scrub away your flakiness and you’ll just have more of the same coming right back at you. If your skin is flakey, your skin is out-of-balance or you have dermatitis. Either way a scrub will not solve this problem.  My series on Dry Skin Part 1 and Part 2 may interest you. 


What should you do?

Be sensible. Don’t even bother trying to find a product without micro-beads, just skip the abrasive scrub altogether. Go in search of liquid serum exfoliants containing Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids, or fruit enzymes. They’re out there and in most cases if the formula is well designed you’ll get a far superior result. You’ll be infinitely happier and so will your skin. 


Don’t wait for the 2017

Yep, 2017 is when you are likely to see most commercial mainstream products removed from super market shelves. Many more sophisticated brands have already switched to naturally dissolving ingredients which is great. But, even so. You don’t even need them.
But I know, some habits and beauty myths are hard to shake. If you insist on using a scrub, then just check the ingredient list for polyethylene or polypropylene.
It’s plastic. Avoid.  


Anything in your bathroom with micro-beads? Well, time to bin it. Do it for the planet. Do it for all the marine life in the world. Do it for humanity. 


And now you?

What’s your opinion? Is there any other beauty product, routine or ingredient you think should be banned? I’d love to hear from you. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one capable of a rant. But, I’m happy to do the research on your behalf and the accompanying rant! 


Oh, one last thing.

If you have teenage children the best thing you can do for their skin is steer them well away from scrubs. So very often it’s the scrubs and harsh cleansers that make teenage acne so much worse than it ever has to be.Truly. Try this instead.


See you next time.

The Beauty Issue