What do bird poop facials, BB creams, and rolling needles across your face (microneedling) all have in common? They are skincare fads. While nightingale feces in Japan was touted a miracle anti-ageing treatment, BB creams lost their steam when we figured out they were not really different from our regular foundation. Microneedling – well, I don’t like needles so I’m not going to be stabbing my face any time soon.
One of the worst recent fads, though, is plastic beads in soaps, shower gels and shampoos. Seriously, what were these companies thinking? Everything we use on our faces and bodies is washed down the drain. It doesn’t end up in some magical sorting area where drainage elves sort the bad from the good. Microbeads are difficult to remove from wastewater and are able to enter lakes, rivers and oceans. In our waterways, pollutants cling to them. Marine animals eat these toxic pills and then, in turn, they end up in the human food chain.
These pollutants aren’t just any small thing. According to a recent Globe and Mail article (Breaking Down Canada’s Move to Ban Microbeads by Carly Weeks), they can include: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT).
Thankfully, the Canadian government has declared use of microbeads to be toxic and has banned them as of July 1, 2018. The U.S. banned them (five millimetres or less in size) as of this year. So, sounds like a done deal, right?
Well, yes and no. We here at SeaLuxe bring this topic up because we all need to be aware of the fact that, just because a product is on store shelves, it doesn’t mean that it’s good or even always safe for us to use. We need to educate ourselves so we can make the best decisions. It befuddles us that plastic microbeads were considered in the first place, when we can use natural exfoliants such as coffee grains and oatmeal.
That, friends, is the dark power of marketing.