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Here's What You Need to Know About the Plastic Microbeads in Your Makeup

Makeup and beauty products have the ability to make a woman feel confident and beautiful, but despite personal care products being an important part of our routine, the production of some of these products can be incredibly bad for the environment, even contributing to marine litter.

In particular, plastic microbeads (a small, solid plastic particle or fiber) have been linked to marine plastic litter, and these microbeads can be found in cleansing and exfoliating products, and even some toothpaste. In fact, they have been added to thousands of products around the world.

The aim is for these tiny pieces of plastic to clean the skin by exfoliation, which removes dead skin cells as well as dirt and helps to unclog pores, while in dental care microbeads are used to help remove plaque from the teeth. But these products go down the drain and into the sewer system, and water plants that deal with waste are not designed to filter them, which is why they end up in the oceans.

For years, environmental campaigners have been trying to raise awareness around the effects of microbeads. That awareness has finally created change. According to Hello!, just a single shower can send 100,000 of these tiny pieces of plastic into the ocean, which can harm marine life. And this is why the British parliament took action in 2018 and banned the use of microbeads.

Despite measures like this being taken, microbeads only account for 1 percent of marine litter, The Facts About reports, and other industries also need to be held responsible. Also, many countries are not as accountable when it comes to removing products that include “ingredients which are commonly considered to be microplastic ingredients,” Beat The Microbead reports.

[Image via iStock/Getty]

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