Microbeads are tiny manufactured pieces of plastic which are less than 5 millimetres in size. They are made of polyethylene but can be produced from other petrochemical plastics. Often added to everyday cosmetic products such as soap, face wash, exfoliators and toothpaste, these little pieces of plastic have a bigger impact on the environment than you may initially think.
Microbeads are small enough to be washed down the drain as well as pass through water filtration systems or sewage treatment plants, undetected. This means they can end up in rivers, canals, and even the sea. In fact, according to Greenpeace, 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans, every year.
Why is this ingredient damaging?
Microbeads play a part in water pollution, and many researchers have discovered that these plastic beads are ending up in the stomachs of marine life and even birds! For example, whales mistake these beads for food. This infringement of the food chain is worrying for both animals and humans, as those who eat seafood may end up ingesting a piece of this toxic plastic from an affected fish.
What are we doing about it?
More than a year ago we initiated action to remove microbeads from our products. We want to help preserve and protect our wildlife, water quality, and general environment. Thus microbeads have been removed from our Clear Acne Cleanser and Brightening Polish. In addition, new formulas, without microbeads, have been introduced into the Daily Polishing Cleanser and Refresh Facial Polish.
Our dedication to not testing on animals goes hand-in-hand with this commitment to avoid damaging our environment. We do not wish to leave our wildlife and waterways worse off than we found them.