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Bye-Bye Microbeads: Exfoliating, The Environmentally-Friendly Way

Probably, at some point in your life, you’ve scrubbed your face with a drugstore (or high-end!) scrub containing microbeads. Most of us have. Whether it was a soap, body wash, or some desperate attempt to coax out blackheads. Many of us don’t even know what they are—just that they dig into the skin a bit and work to get some grit out from within our pores.

Microbeads are actually straight-up plastic. The problem with these microbeads is that once they go down the drain, they then flow into our water sources—and they don’t dissolve. They get ingested by animals and then sit in their stomachs and intestines making them sick.

As for the numbers? A single scrub-tube can contain as many as 300,000 of these microbeads, according to the 5Gyres Institute. In New York State alone, 19 tons of microbeads are washed down the drain each year!

And now—Congress has voted to ban these plastic particles which are polluting our oceans. Now, the bill (H.R. 1321 Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015), sponsored by New York’s own Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is on its way to President Obama’s desk. And it seems likely that by 2017, products containing microbeads will be phased out.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other effective ways to exfoliate. Korean exfoliants tend to be more gentle—something that is non-negotiable in K-beauty culture. So, here at Peach & Lily, we’ve already been using them (and preferring them!) to microbeads for quite some time! And if you are a loyalist to a scrub containing microbeads, then here's a fun list for experimentation in the next year.

This one falls in the gommage category of exfoliators. “Gommage,” means “to erase” in French—and that’s just what these gentle “scrubs” (though that’s kind of a misnomer) do. Applied to dry skin, the product, when massages into the face, balls up and takes dead, dry, dull, flaky skin along with it. Mizon’s is a cult-fave—contains no harsh chemicals, no microbeads (which, on top of everything else) can be irritating to some. Fruit and botanical extracts work to further soften the skin! 

Be The Skin, Non Stimulus Face Polisher, $29

The light gel texture on this super-popular exfoliant—another gommage gently sloughs away skin build-up revealing fresh, clean, radiant skin. 

 Mizon, Seaweed Jelly Scrub, $18

Seaweed is a power ingredient (one that deserves more attention if we do say so, ourselves!). It's strengthening and exfoliating. It minimizes swelling in pores and works to reduce acne, breakouts, and inflammation. Further, rather than those pesky microbeads, the exfoliating power comes vis–à–vis konjac vegetable fibers. 

 Mizon, Honey Black Sugar Scrub, $16

This not-so-little scrub tub will last you a while, as a little goes a long way. Formulated with 35% black sugar powder to exfoliate—blackheads, whiteheads, and dead skin residue is sloughed away with the all-natural sugary grits. Still, your face is left smooth and soft—even buttery—thanks to a bevy of nurturing ingredients: glycerin, grape seed oil, olive oil, and sunflower seed oil. Lemon and green tea extract are calming, cacao extract and mango seed butter are protective, and finally, Vitamin E aids in elasticity. 

Morihata, Binchotan Facial Puff, $15.50

The Morihata facial sponge is a must-have for sensitive skin in need of exfoliation. Mineral and vitamin rich Binchotan charcoal and konjac root gently but effectively pull impurities and extract debris from the skin revealing brighter, healthier, radiant skin. 

Cheers to radiance, and cheers to microbead-free exfoliation!

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Posted on December 21, 2015
by Peach & Lily