If someone told you rubbing plastic on your face might make your skin softer, would you do it?
That’s what beauty companies are really saying when they tell you that microbeads, an ingredient frequently found in face and body washes, can improve your skin. One bottle of drugstore-bought face wash can contain hundreds of thousands of them. As with any plastic product, these little orbs are not biodegradable and are polluting our water systems.
Thankfully, the great state of Illinois acted out against the polluting beads. The state—adjacent to Lake Michigan, one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world—became the first in the nation to issue a ban on the manufacture and sale of microbead-infested personal care products.
But have no fear—there are tons of natural alternatives to the synthetic plastic bits that can exfoliate your skin without the use of chemicals. Here are some ways to get the smooth skin you’ve always wanted in ways that won’t harm the planet.