10 Exfoliants That Don’t Contain Microbeads


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Say goodbye to your exfoliating body & face washes with plastic mircobeads…….for good reason. President Obama has signed into law the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, which bans microbeads, a common ingredient in personal care products. The bill is intended to protect our nations waterways, because the plastic microbeads do not dissolve and are polluting our waters. In September, a study published in Environmental Science & Technology reported that more than 8 trillion microbeads were entering the country’s aquatic habitats daily.  Not only are they hard to clean up because they are about the size of a pinhead, they are also posing a threat to aquatic life since marine life mistake small plastic as food particles.

Incase your favorite body or face wash contains the now banned plastic microbeads here are some great alternatives.

Burts Bees

Burt’s Bees pore-clearing scrub includes willow bark, which helps to remove dirt and excess oil, while peach stone gently polishes your visage.

Burt’s Bees Peach & Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub, $8, available at Target.


Made with real, true-to-life pieces of pineapple and papaya fruit as well as finely ground apricot seed powder, using this will be like a brief, but pleasurable, tropical vacation for your face.

Kiehl’s Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub, $28, available at Kiehl’s.

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This polish works double duty: making dead skin cells disappear while also hydrating and nourishing your bod in the process.

Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish, $38, available at Sephora.

St Ives

This is one of my favorites and I use this almost everyday. It is gentle, smells great and affordable 100% naturally derived exfoliants and skin-soothing green tea gently fights blemishes and reduces redness & irritation caused by acne. The result is clear and calm skin.

St. Ives Green Tea Scrub, $4.49, available at Walgreens.

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Lush made the move to remove micro plastics from their products last summer (and even started a national social media campaign to #BantheBead). The result? Natural products like this sea salt, straight from the ocean.

Lush Ocean Salt Face And Body Scrub, $21.95, available at Lush.

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“Sorry, no plastic microbead technology inside. Oops,” is what the packaging on S.W. Basics’ Exfoliate cheekily reads. Instead, it’s opted for three ingredients — and three ingredients only: organic oat and almond flour, and sea salt.

S.W. Basics Exfoliant, $24.49, available at Target.


Fresh’s natural and gentle soy face exfoliant uses jojoba, rose hip, and cucumber seeds to help refine your complexion.

Fresh Soy Face Exfoliant, $49, available at Sephora.


Buff away dead and dehydrated skin with Argan Sugar Balm Body Scrub. This moisturizing exfoliator contains a soothing combination of argan oil, coconut oil, and shea butter blended together into a nourishing balm to rejuvenate dry skin.

Josie Maran Argan Sugar Balm Body Scrub, $38, available at Sephora.

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Say yes to this grapefruit extract scrub that’s gentle enough to use every day.

Yes To Grapefruit Correct & Repair Daily Facial Scrub, $9.99, available at Ulta.

Shea Moisture

With the help of mango butter and green coffee bean extracts, your hands and body will be left baby soft.

SheaMoisture Superfruit Complex Hand & Body Scrub, $9.99, available at Target.

Now that you have found a new body or face wash, how do you dispose of the ones you currently have with out harming the environment? DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT wash these products down the drain. That’s how the plastic enters our water supply. Here’s what you can do instead:

Donate them to an educational cause. 

The 5Gyres Institute, a research and education group that studies plastic garbage, will accept your unwanted microbead products for use in educational kits. Tape the bottles sealed and mail to:

5 Gyres Institute, 3131 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA  90404

Donate them to science.

Mason, the chemist whose team documented the microbead pollution in the Great Lakes, and her team analyze bead concentrations and characteristics in consumer products. She is accepting microbead products at this address:

SUNY Fredonia, Attn: Sherri Mason, 280 Central Ave., 340 Sciences Complex, Fredonia, NY 14063

Ship them back to their manufacturer.

The International Campaign Against Microbeads In Cosmetics has provided a sample letter that you can send to a company when you return your product.


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