You know those tiny little beads that are in most exfoliating face or body washes? They seem harmless right? Wrong. These tiny beads are a great example of how something so minuscule can have a huge impact on our planet!
Could the plastic you’re washing your face with end up in your sushi? Sounds crazy, but yes. Fish species that we harvest for food have been known to eat these micro-plastic particles at an alarming rate and the toxins absorbed in those plastics transfer to the fish tissue. And as you know, we are what we eat, so those toxins? Yeah, they’re transferred to us… ew.
But what are micro beads?
Micro beads are really tiny plastic particles usually smaller than two millimeters. The composition of micro beads can vary and often include polyethylene or polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethlyl methacrylate or nylon. Bottom line, it’s all plastic!
Plastic micro beads absorb persistent organic pollutants (long-lasting toxic chemicals like pesticides, flame retardants, motor oil and more) and other industrial chemicals that move up the food chain when the toxic-coated beads are consumed by fish and other marine organisms. A single micro bead can be up to a million times more toxic than the water around it!
So what can be done?
Well there are a lot of solutions, but the easiest one we found was to eliminate micro beads from our routine completely.
But how am I supposed to exfoliate my skin? Great question!
Our answer? Micro Grains!
Our Exfoliating Micro Grains contain a mixture of all-natural oat and rice powders that not only gently exfoliate all the dead skin from your face and body but also contain vitamins and minerals that feed your skin, leaving it healthy and glowing.
So forget about Micro beads (please!) and try some Micro Grains instead, you're skin and the planet will thank you!
Devon Ost is White & Elm's staff Esthetician and Brand Educator. Devon graduated from the Esthetics program in 2002 from Douglas J. Aveda Institute, in East Lansing, Michigan. Her passion for clean, safe and effective skin care products is what lead her to White & Elm. Her mission is to educate W&E's community on why our products are incredibly effective and safe for the entire family as well as our environment.
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The White & Elm team are passionate about natural and non-toxic, plant-based skin care. We believe that no woman should have to compromise her health for her beauty. Naturally, WE focus on doing right by the environment around us and the environment of our bodies. We proudly participate in the Environmental Working Group's EWG Verified™ program.
While you may be cleansing, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen, daily. If you’re not exfoliating, your skin isn’t as healthy as it could be. It is very important to exfoliate your face and body all year round. But after the winter, sloughing away all that dead skin seems even more necessary.
For sure you need to be wearing a daily moisturizer with a minimum of an SPF 15. You also need to look for sunscreens that are labeled Broad Spectrum because this means they have passed specific laboratory testing that shows they protect against both UVA and UVB rays. If you plan to be in direct sun for more than a few hours, please reapply your sunscreen. Also, if you are planning on swimming or sweating heavily opt for a Water-Proof formula as well. It's best to avoid chemical sunscreens altogether because let's face it; we don't want the chemicals we put on our skin to end up in our blood stream. Also, because we don't yet know the impact that nanoparticles will have on our health, it's best to use mineral sunscreens that specifically use non-nano minerals.