Nowadays a lot of beauty and skincare ranges and even toothpaste! contain microbeads.
These tiny plastic beads are used as exfoliants in replacement of more harsher natural products. Dermatologists actually tend to prefer them: The man-made, perfectly round shape means they're less likely to scratch your skin, like natural options with uneven edges such as pumice, salt, and seeds.
However the USA are implementing a phase out and complete end to these products due to the harmful effects they can have on the environment.
Although salts and grains aren't as smooth as the microbeads they do have the same exfolient effect and if you make a home made product at least you know what ingrediants you will be putitng on your skin and into the environment!
For example mixing a small amount of bakins soda into your normal facial cleanser can have the same exfoliating effects. It can be a fraction of the price of professional microbead products and if the UK government follow the way of the US then it may be the only way to get the sam exfoliating benefits!
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