You’d never throw a plastic bag into the ocean, right? But did you know that your beloved exfoliator could actually be causing just as much harm to the environment? And before you go tossing every tube in your bathroom, you only have to worry about the ones that contain microbeads – those little plastic microspheres found in body scrubs, exfoliator and toothpaste that can have such a dire impact on the environment, that President Obama has banned the manufacturing and sales of microbead containing products, with Australia not too far behind. “At the last meeting of Environment Ministers in December, we joined our state and federal counterparts in calling on the industry to voluntarily phase-out microbeads in exfoliating face and body wash products,” the Minister of Environment and Heritage Protection Dr Steven Miles explained. “The microbeads from rinse off products ultimately reach the marine environment where they can affect the health of aquatic organisms as well as work their way right up into the food chain into the fish we eat.” It’s not just the environment at risk, but our health too.
Supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths have already jumped on-board and shown their support by promising to have eliminated the sale of products containing microbeads by 2017, proving just how serious environmental conservation has become. While a serious global issue, the good news is that this doesn’t mean we have to stop exfoliating altogether (phew), it just means we need to be a bit more mindful about the way we go about it. “I encourage people to check the ingredients in their cosmetic and shower products when they’re in the supermarket and opt for something that doesn’t contain microbeads”, Miles said. In the same way we check food labels for nasties like sugar and preservatives, get into the habit of checking the ingredients of toothpaste, exfoliator and body scrub and opt for products that contain natural exfoliating agents like coffee granules, crushed walnuts and raw sugar. Companies like Frank Body, Kora Organics and Bert’s Bees all have the environmentally friendly tick of approval, but if you want to do your part, why not make your own?
Coconut and Rose Body Scrub
You will need:
- 1 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1 Bunch of roses
- 1/2 cup of raw sugar
- 1 cup of almond/jojoba oil
- Few drops of essential oil (optional)
- 1 mason jar
- 1 spoon
How to make it:
Scoop the coconut oil into the bottom of the mason jar and press flat with a spoon.
Pluck the petals off the roses and lay them on top of the coconut oil.
Cover the petals with raw sugar & pour almond/jojoba oil evenly over the mixture and allow to sit with the lid on until the liquid absorbs.
It’s fair to say that none of us want our skincare routine to affect the environment, and becoming conscious about the products we use is an easy way we can all do our bit to reduce the dangers facing our marine life.