The State of California’s Legislature this week announced that it will vote to ban the use of microbeads (read: teeny tiny non-biodegradable plastic balls) in skin care products. Primarily used as an exfoliant, a single tube of facial cleanser can contain over 300,000 beads! In New York State (which tried unsuccessfully to pass a similar bill last year and is making another attempt this year), it is estimated that 19 tons of these beads are washed down the drain each year. But these beads can also be found in toothpastes. Think about it. You could be swallowing them too!
I first wanted to blog about this last year when I heard about the NY bill falling short. But, life was hectic and I moved the blog to the bottom of my to do list.
So, I never got around to writing about it. But I did start doing research into the products I use. I found a list of microbead-free products and a blog post by a fellow Forever Business Owner. Forever Living’s exfoliant products (the Aloe Scrub and Sonya® Aloe Deep-Cleansing Exfoliator) are and always have been micro-bead free. The gentle exfoliating action in these products come from jojoba oil beads which not only scrub but also provide an extra moisturizing action. Plus, as with all FLP products, they contain extract from the aloe barbadensis plant which has been used to protect and hydrate skin since the time of the ancient Egyptians.
Like my colleague who wrote the blog post, FLP’s Aloe Scrub is a constant in my bathroom. I love the gentle smell (I’m not a fan of perfume-y products) and the way my skin feels afterwards. It feels clean, smooth, and soft. I have combination skin and I find that the scrub helps even it out.
And the thought of microbeads going in my mouth? Forget about it! FLP’s Forever Bright Toothgel cleans your teeth with an aloe-based formula that lifts up stains plus bee propolis which provides a natural anti-bacterial that has been clinically shown to reduce the harmful bacteria that can lead to cavities and gingivitis. The toothgel is also a staple my bathroom cabinet and is one of my Top 10 favorite FLP products. It sounds silly but I can actually “feel the clean” after I brush with this toothgel and I love the mild minty taste. Plus, as a mom, I like that it conains no fluoride (even the FDA now requires labeling that warns about fluoride toxicity in small children).
For those of you who are into making your own products, ridding your house of microbeads is easier and cheaper than you may think!
Here is a simple aloe-lemon-salt face scrub recipe from Zuzkalight that I recently tried. I love the refreshing smell of citrus! I used 1 tbsp of FLP’s Aloe Vera Gelly because my aloe plant isn’t big enough yet for clipping.
My friend, Stephanie at EcoFriendlyMom.com, made me an delicious scrub from coconut oil, sugar, and essential oils. Pop over to her website for some other great ecofriendly tips and products! (Just a warning for sugar-based scrubs: make sure you use a tight jar to store it in and wash off the outside after every use if you live anywhere where there are ants! I learned that the hard way!).
And if you have 15-20 minutes to pamper yourself (give the kids extra screen time and tell them not to call you unless the house is on fire), here’s a refreshing mask made with just strawberries and oatmeal from my friend Lorraine at JustMassage33. (Of course, I added a tablespoon of aloe to this recipe too but you definitely don’t have too!) If you are in the Bordeaux area and are looking for a massage therapist, Lorraine is bilingual and comes to your home!
In addition to salt and oatmeal, other great exfoliators that you can use are ground almonds, used coffee grinds or tea leaves, and even dried flower petals. Just mix with olive, sunflower, almond, or coconut oil based on your preference or what’s in your house. I usually use a 2:1 oil:ingredient ratio but it depends on your preferences and the ingredients. Recipes abound on the web (try pinterest!). Please link below if you find any ones you really like!