||EN|| Bet you have heard that plastic microbeads are going to be forbidden in beauty products starting July 2017 in the US. Some beauty and dental care products have those beads in their composition to aid with the cleaning process. If your favorite scrub contains polyethylene, polypropylene or polystyrene, you are probably unconsciously littering the environment. It is surprising how something so small like microbeads can have such a big impact in the world we live in.
For several years now, the products manufactured by the industry, plastics in specific, have been polluting the oceans, threatening marine life. The impact the microbeads, or microplastics, have in the environment is part of phenomenon called Plastic Particle Water Pollution. This process is defined as plastics particles under 5mm in diameter found in the freshwater and oceans instead of in the plastic manufacturing stream. Unfortunately for marine animals, they get entangled or ingest the plastics as they perform daily activities. The microbeads or nurdles pose a great risk to the marine creature as they get to their environment with no effort whatsoever. When the beauty/skincare products are used, they get evacuated via drain and end up bypassing the sewage treatment plants due to size. The evacuation path for them is straight to the rivers and canals. Those microbeads end up being eaten by many small animals, like perch, and some other species, like the krill, die prematurely due to choking on those beads. Species like the krill make up the bottom of the food chain, and affect great part of the animals who depend on them for conversion of phytoplankton and zooplankton.
What a devastating effect the microbeads have over the marine life, and the species that feeds on them (birds, for example). Thankfully a solution for this was found. Due to high levels of pollution, Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 was created for better managing the amount of these pollutants. The beauty products manufacturers were not so happy about it for sure; so many products going to waste. Oh well, too bad! The environment comes first.
If you are curious, click here to see the list of all the products, some exfoliates as well, that contain microbeads. It is important you keep exfoliating your face and body despite not having the microbeads exfoliators. Exfoliation is an important process for the skin as it removes old dead skin cells from the epidermis, improving circulation. For a beautiful healthy skin, those old cells need to give space for new ones to come out. Otherwise the skin will be left without shine and dry and prone to clogged pores. This is great opportunity to use more natural ingredients in your scrub. There are many naturally occurring and biodegradable exfoliates that need to be explored.
Almonds, oatmeal, sugar, sea salt, apricot pits, coffee grounds and coconut husks are just few of the several exfoliates you can use in place of the microbeads. This is even better for us because we decrease usage of chemically produced ingredients in our body, and the money we save from not buying them. But there is a surprise: that was not the best part. What is more exciting than using less chemicals and saving money? You can make the exfoliates at home. Your body will thank you for that. Before starting doing your own scrubs, you should be acquainted with the ingredients that will be use. Here are some of my favorites:
Great for body exfoliator, the sugar (from sugar cane) is a natural source of glycolic acid, an α-hydroxy acid (AHA). This acid penetrates the skin easily to change its appearance and texture. Its working method is by breaking down the proteins connecting the dead cells together, revealing the new cells.
Wrinkles, acne, hyper pigmentation may be helped by this acid. Glycolic acid is used by dermatologist as an ingredient for chemical peels kits with the concentration varying from 20 to 70 %. Although your homemade scrubs will not contain a high quantity of glycolic acid, make sure to use sunscreen after the usage since the skin might be a little sensitive and easily sun burnt. Click here to learn a little more about this acid.
For a long period of time, salt has been a famous ingredients in skin health. It has anti-inflammatory properties due to presence of magnesium, specially for Dead Sea Salt. Salt baths can help with psoriasis and eczema by improving blood circulation and getting toxins out of the skin. The zinc in salt helps to generate new cells, keeping the skin rejuvenated. Consider taking more salt baths, or going to the beach. The benefits of salt depend on the amount of trace minerals and elements. Refined salt does not contain much trace minerals and elements because they stripped during the refining process. This is done to achieve the highest purity of sodium chloride. Make sure to take into account these last one before using salt for any scrub. For more information, click here and here.
Known for lowering blood cholesterol due to beta-glucan presence, oatmeal packs a lot more benefits for a healthy skin. Did you know that it is used to soothe some diseases like chicken pox, eczema?
This happens because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant anti-itch properties. Those properties come from saponin, compound of steroid or triterpenoid aglycone (sapogenins) and oglisaccharide moieties. The saponin is also a cleansing agent, which helps with removing the dead skins cells and other toxins from the skin. The presence of the saccharides helps with skin dryness due to its gelatinous properties when in contact with water. In addition, oatmeal helps improve the skin tone and texture like the sugar. For itchy skin, try adding a paste made from oatmeal. It will calm it. Great addition to your scrub. For more information on benefits of oatmeal, click here.
Sweet sweet Honey! Great sweetener, energy source, packed with vitamins and minerals. Try it in a toast in the morning for an energy kick. The sugar in honey is converted fast into energy, while sugar from other sources is absorbed at much slower rate.
If that was not enough, it has antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Retaining moisture is one of the great benefits from honey, as it prevents the skin from drying. Unwanted particles are absorbed by the honey, making it a great cleanser for the skin. Using honey will make your skin soft, glowing and nourished skin. This is why honey is found in many beauty products. For more information, click here and here.
There are many other ingredients that can be added to the homemade scrubs. Some of them may be a little to harsh to use on the face. Things do not tend to work the same way for everyone. Frustration may come from that, but our bodies react differently. You need to find your ingredients yourself if those on top do not work for you. It is all a matter of research and try. Take your skin condition into consideration, and asking a dermatologist opinion would be a plus for your research. If the ingredients you selected are providing you with good results, then perhaps you may have found your homemade goodies.
Before you go, I would like to ask the following questions:
- What are your favorite ingredients for scrubs?
- Have they given you good results?
Until next time, my Hungry People.
Featured Photo: Gannett