What Kind of Exfoliant Do You Use?

If you exfoliate on a regular basis, you have got to read this article.  The UK (and maybe Europe) has banned the use of plastics in exfoliants, but not North America… could you imagine?  Many high end brands do use natural exfoliants, but they’re still pretty easy to run into.  What do you guys think?

I think it’s pretty easy to find an exfoliant that’s not plastic and an easy choice to make for the environment.

The following is an excerpt from years ago about plastics in skincare products, click on the link at the very bottom to read the whole thing.

“Exfoliants: little granules that massage you as you bathe.” He selects a peach-colored tube of St. Ives Apricot Scrub; its label reads: 100% natural exfoliants. “This stuff is okay. The granules are actually chunks of ground-up jojoba seeds and walnut shells.” Other natural brands use grape seeds, apricot hulls, coarse sugar, or sea salt. “The rest of them,” he says, with a sweep of his hand, “have all gone to plastic.”

On each, listed among the ingredients are “micro-fine polyethylene granules,” or “polyethylene micro-spheres,” or “polyethylene beads.” Or just polyethylene.

“Can you believe it?” Richard Thompson demands of no one in particular, loud enough that faces bent over microscopes rise to look at him. “They’re selling plastic meant to go right down the drain, into the sewers, into the rivers, right into the ocean. Bite-sized pieces of plastic to be swallowed by little sea creatures.”

Read the rest here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

5 Responses to What Kind of Exfoliant Do You Use?

  1. La Bellissima July 12, 2007 at 11:54 pm #

    Wow, that’s rather disturbing. I use exfoliants from The Body Shop but next time I shop anywhere for beauty products I’m going to look for those plastics. I wonder why those are used instead of salt or sugar? I’d think that would be less expensive to obtain than creating plastic exfoliating beads.

  2. Henna July 13, 2007 at 8:29 am #

    Or what if you think about the plastic beads as more like ground up waste material… not so expensive now, is it?

  3. La Bellissima July 13, 2007 at 7:50 pm #

    Good point.

    I just thought about what the scientist said concerning certain fish eating those beads and I’m wondering if that contributes to some of the warnings against eating particular fish? Besides the mercury problem, that is. Anyhow it was a great article.

  4. Alison November 2, 2017 at 8:27 am #

    What exfoliant do you recommend? I was using a philosophy one and it is empty. Looking For a new one

  5. Henna November 7, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

    HI Alison, I recommend the L’Oreal Clay Cleansers in the Hammam (pink) version. They’ve got some ground up clay in there that’s natural and does a good job! It’s not too harsh but you can still feel that it’s there. I hope it helps! I’m actually using it right now and I like it as an exfoliant.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.