Ban on microbeads! Let’s talk natural alternatives.

Day 2 of blogging, and this is going to be about microbeads. I just learned today from my Facebook feed that president Obama has signed a bill prohibiting the usage of microbeads in products.

What are microbeads – they are the tiny (usually spherical) particles we see suspended in most anti-acne face washes, face/body scrubs, and in some anti-bacterial hand washes. They help in gently exfoliating the skin.

Why are they being banned – these beads are apparently made of plastics and are not bio-degradable. As a result they wash down the drains into lakes and other water bodies, potentially harming aquatic life. The fish often mistake the microbeads for food particles and consume them. The chemicals in the microbeads could potentially enter the food chain because of this.

If you’d like to know more about microbeads and some history behind this new bill, check this out.

Natural alternatives –

While the microbeads will be missed, (loved the “Morning burst” by Clean and Clear) there are plenty of natural alternatives. These are some of the natural scrubs I have personally tried, so can recommend.

Strawberries – I personally don’t fancy eating strawberries much (I do like them in a milkshake). But if you have some in the fridge, just toss a couple of them in a blender and scrub your face with the resulting paste. The seeds act as perfect substitutes for microbeads. What’s not to love about a scrub that makes you feel fresh and smell great too?!

Pomegranate – Similar to strawberries, the seeds help in exfoliating the skin. Make sure you grind the seeds for a good amount of time. I made the mistake of leaving them too coarse, and had to be extra gentle while scrubbing my skin.

Oatmeal + Yogurt + Honey – This combination was handed down to me from a favorite aunt when I was getting married. Grind up some oatmeal, and mix it with some yogurt and a little honey (I used 2 tbsp oatmeal + 1 tbsp yogurt + 1 tsp honey) to make a paste. Apply to face and neck and scrub off while rinsing with water. This not only exfoliates, but the yogurt also helps brighten skin tone.

Almonds + milk – Soak 5 almonds overnight, and peel the skin. Grind them with a little bit of milk to make a coarse paste. Apply to face and neck and wash off gently scrubbing after 10 minutes (or once it feels dry). Strongly recommended for folks with dry skin.

Rice flour + milk – Two staples I always have on hand. Mix some milk with about 1 tbsp of rice flour to make a smooth paste. Scrub the face and neck with this mixture gently for a few minutes and wash off with water.

There are a ton more ‘recipes’ floating around the web, so here are a few links I found –

Happy exfoliating!



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