Move over microbeads. Many popular brands of scrubbing soaps, facial cleansers and toothpastes will be revamped in 2017, due to the Micro-bead-Free Waters Act of 2015 signed last December. The act aims to remove harmful plastic microbead scrubbers found in soaps that, when washed down the drain, sneak past filtration systems and pollute the country’s waters.
The bill goes into effect July of 2017, but if you’re looking to start making changes now, or just curious about healthier alternatives to cleansing with plastic (I’ll admit, I was shocked), there are plenty of affordable, natural scrubbers you can purchase today!
_Yes To _ offers two daily scrubbing cleansers - The Clear Skin Daily Pore Scrub, and the Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub. The daily pore scrub is made with ground mango seeds and bamboo, and contains salicylic acid to help keep oil and breakouts under control. The grapefruit scrub, although lacking salicylic acid, is combined with lemon balm to help brighten skin and make it glow. Since it’s on the gentler side, this scrub is perfect for daily use or for more sensitive skin types. Yes To claims to be 99 percent natural, as well as paraben and cruelty-free. Scrubs typically run about $7-10.
Burt’s Bees is a brand commonly found on drugstore and supermarket shelves, and for good reason. Although they can get a bit pricey, Burt’s definitely makes up for it in ingredients. The Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub is for those intense cleansing days, usually once or twice a week. Peach pits are finely ground and used as a natural scrubbing agent, and willow bark works as a natural source of salicylic acid. It also includes ginger and seaweed extract, is pH balanced (for problem skin), and is sulfate and paraben-free. Costs about $8
JASON. Enough said, really. If you’re the type of person who loves spa-like scents that keep your skin smelling fresh without having to worry about harsh chemicals, this one’s for you. I’ve personally used their Natural Satin Shower Body Wash and it smells/feels heavenly. Their Natural Facial Wash Scrub (Apricot Scrubble) is a lightly-foaming scrub that uses apricot and walnut powders as natural exfoliators. Using powders means the scrubbers are extra fine, which helps in polishing away imperfections and leaving skin glowing. $6-9.
St. Ives**.** I’ll admit, I used to swear by a particular grapefruit scrub that shall remain nameless. It worked wonders on my skin, but I always made sure to pair it with the St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub. It’s perfect to use or twice a week for deep cleansing, and always left my skin feeling fresh and super smooth. While browsing the skincare aisle, I recently came across their Even & Bright Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange Scrub. This uses hydrated silica as a scrubber (commonly found in toothpastes for polishing). I now refuse to use anything else! The silica buffs away dead skin, discoloration from scarring and other imperfections to truly create a more even tone and bright complexion. I found it for less than $5, and for that price, it’s at least worth trying. It sure made a loyal fan out of me!
Tom’s of Maine. Can’t forget about the toothpaste! Tom’s offers a variety of natural products, including their line of Whole Care, Whitening, and Fluoride-Free Toothpastes. Tom’s creates their toothpastes with “naturally-sourced” silica and calcium carbonate, which help polish away stains and other unwanted particles from the teeth. Runs about $5.
Alba Botanica offers a Natural AcneDote Scrub which can be used on the face and the body. It also uses willow bark as a natural source of salicylic acid, with ground walnut shells as a natural scrubber. Alba makes sure to avoid using parabens, artificial colors and fragrances, sulfates or petrochemicals, and boasts 100 percent vegetarian ingredients. Cost is about $6-9.
_LUSH _ is a newer brand of all-natural products for makeup, shaving, cleansing and moisturizing. The products aren’t sold in drugstores but worth mentioning. Their Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub uses natural sea salt, avocado, and coconut. To make it even more of a cocktail, it’s infused with lime and vodka to help unblock pores and brighten skin. LUSH cosmetics are pricey, but they last long and are of superb quality. They also offer free sample sizes bottles of products you’re interested in. So if you happen to find that must-have miracle product for your skin, go ahead and splurge.
Of course, there are other more professional-grade brands that offer cleansers made with entirely natural ingredients, however, as a woman who loves good quality products on a bargain, these brands stood out as the top picks. What are your favorites?
Kristina Brooks is a gluten-free digital editor at HealthCentral, with a background in animal biology, ecology, and health science. While studying broadcast journalism, she discovered the great need for health reporters that could translate research to the public. In her work, she hopes to use research to help consumers make smart decisions about their healthcare, and empower patients to stay confident and in charge of their chronic conditions. Kristina works on the HealthySelf newsletter, as well as HealthCentral’s MythWeek.