Plastic Microbeads in Cosmetics

Over the years, many cosmetic companies have incorporated plastic micro beads (commonly polyethylene) in skin-care products as a means of providing exfoliation. However, these plastic particles have been of recent concern to scientists because of potential effects they have on sea and lake water. A significant amount of plastic micro beads originating from cosmetic products have been found in Great Lake waters. The beads pose a threat to wildlife, as they can be mistaken for food particles due to their small size. Recently, New York state and California have proposed bills to ban the sale of cosmetic products containing plastic micro beads. In New York, cosmetic companies would have until Dec. 31 2015 to remove all plastic micro bead ingredients from their products. Some industry leaders have already opted to remove the plastic ingredients from their products in an attempt to promote a cleaner environment. One alternative to the plastic micro beads is the use of coconut husk as a natural, biodegradable exfoliator.