Microbead Ban Changes Skin Care Products

Patient Expert

(Image: mbapolymers.com)

Some of your favorite skin care and dental products will be seeing a big change in a little over a year. President Obama recently signed the “Micro-bead-Free Waters Act of 2015,"  which is a bill that prohibits skin care companies from using plastic microbeads found in face creams, soaps, body washes and toothpaste. Although it was signed in December of 2015, the bill will go into full effect starting July 1st, 2017.

Microbeads are placed in products to help with exfoliation and/or cleansing, but cause huge issues in our environment. In fact, a study published by the Environmental Science & Technology found that approximately 8 trillion microbeads are polluting our waters every day. These beads are hard to clean up and are now negatively affecting aquatic life.

How do you know if the products in your cabinet are made with plastic? Storyofstuff.org reports that if polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate or polymethyl methacrylate are listed on the label, the product contains plastic components, and there's a high chance it’s also contriuting to environmental pollution.

Despite the new change there is hope and natural alternatives for exfoliated skin. Krystal B. Armstrong, Professional Makeup artist, and owner/creator of Adrelles by KJC a line of natural skin care products says there are alternatives to scrubs for the skin which include:


Epsom Salt:** Can be used in face washes and bodywashes to help exfoliate skin. It can also help rid of blackheads.

Dead Sea Salt: There is an extra bonus to this salt. It has been found to help ease the symptoms for psoriasis patients. You can also use this in body washes and facial creams as a natural scrub for the skin.

Brown Sugar: This option is a bit gentler than the first two choices and works just as well. You can mix it with other natural ingredients such as honey or lemon for an even better cleanse.

Himalayan Salt: This salt can not only be used for the body but can also be ingested and has a variety of health benefits that can help with allergies and asthma.

If these scrubs are too harsh for your sensitive skin, Krystal suggest using Kaolin clay which can be used on the body and the hair.

Krystal adds that those of us with skin issues such as psoriasis or eczema should only use natural and gentle exfoliators only about once a week. For skin that is less sensitive or has no issues at all, it’s okay to exfoliate 2-3 times a week. She states that exfoliation is needed to rid the skin of dead cells, an issue that those of us with psoriasis know too well. Following this regime will:

  • Improve Skin Tone* ** Detoxifies the Skin*** ** Prevents Breakouts*** ** Prevents Breakouts**

According to beatthemicrobead.org a site against microbead usage, there are over 50 different products with the harmful plastic beads. For a full list click here. So what does this microbead ban mean for skin care companies? Krystal says that the world is becoming more health-conscious and businesses must adjust. She suggested that, “…most of these companies will probably just switch to natural alternatives to compensate for what the microbead ban is removing.”

Aside from a better environment there are other advantages of using natural products for skin care. “Besides the obvious lack of harsh chemicals the main advantage is knowing exactly what is in your skin care products… As long as you don’t have an allergy to a natural ingredient, you don’t have to worry about it being harmful,” says Krystal.