Those Microbeads in Your Beauty Products are Hazardous

Lovers of exfoliating products may be in mourning soon as the U.S. House of Representative’s Energy & Commerce Committee voted this week to approve a bill that will prevent the use of plastic microbeads in beauty products. It’s called the “Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015,” and if it goes through, Beauty companies that use plastic microbeads will have to fall in line by July 2017.

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So what does the Energy & Commerce Committee have to do with your favorite beauty products? Quite a lot, actually. While a good scrub may be the ultimate luxury at the end of a hard day, it could also be damaging to the environment. What’s that saying? “One man’s treasured microbead could be another detriment?” Okay, so maybe that’s not a saying, but it still rings true. Products containing the synthetic microbeads ultimately end up in our seas, lakes or oceans once we rinse them off, which contributes to plastic pollution and waste. Even worse, marine animals often eat the microbreads, mistaking them for fisheggs.

All is not lost, however, as there are a ton of other exfoliating options—both chemical and mechanical— that are gentle, just as effective and won’t kill off our marine eco system. All the more reason to hug your Clarisonic a little tighter; it’s gentle on your face and eco-friendly.