Why We Should Avoid Microbeads

For the past decade, “microbeads” have been ubiquitous in the world of personal care products; these round, plastic particles are an exfoliation ingredient in everything from toothpastes to facial scrubs.

Unfortunately, because of their tiny size, they wash right down the drain, through wastewater filtration systems and, finally, into lakes, rivers and oceans. There, they harm the marine animals that mistake the beads for food and humans often eat these fish who have consumed microbeads, ingesting plastic and the harmful toxins therein. Public water utilities filter and treat water to remove impurities before it is sent to our faucets. However, these processes often do not remove microbeads. In short, microbeads are far from the friendly little scrubbers they’ve been made out to be. In fact, by the end of 2015, 8 trillion microbeads were entering America’s aquatic habitats each day. (That’s enough to cover the surface area of 300 tennis courts.)

In response to environmental advocacy efforts, President Obama signed the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 on December 28th, 2015. The bipartisan bill prohibits the manufacture and distribution of microbeads – defined as any plastic particle smaller than five millimeters in diameter— and hundreds of personal care brands will need to phase them out of their products by July 1, 2017, when the bill’s enforcement will take effect.  In the meantime, you can get a jump-start on solving the microbead problem by avoiding any products that contain the harmful pellets. (The International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics has compiled a list of these products here.)

The easiest way to avoid products that are harmful to the environment and to you is to choose brands that avoid those ingredients for you, opting for all-natural, plant-based options.  This is why we created Nine Naturals’ line of pregnancy-safe body care products provide for luxurious (and safe) showering, nourishing your skin and hair and keeping your baby and the planet healthy, too.

Our Citrus + Geranium Soothing Pregnancy Body Wash keeps skin clean and fresh with natural surfactants (no microbeads here!), and avocado oil and cupuaçu butter soften and moisturize even the driest, stretched skin, keeping it soft and supple. (Your growing belly will thank you.) Gentle enough for daily use during pregnancy in bath or shower, this creamy body wash –like all Nine Naturals products–is sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, BPA-free, triclosan-free, DEA-free, petrochemical-free and contains no artificial chemicals, dyes or synthetic fragrances. When it comes to personal care during pregnancy and beyond, as well as protecting the planet, it’s a win-win.