Microbeads in beauty products may seem like a dream come true for your skin, since these small, smooth beads (found in shower gels, toothpastes, face washes and body scrubs) claim to offer a level of exfoliation that only a dermatologist can. But their impact on the environment far outweighs the benefits they have on your body.
The problem is, they’re made of non-biodegradable plastic, so once they’re washed off after your weekly scrub, they end up in the Arabian Gulf.
The US has taken action. In January this year, a law prohibiting the manufacture of the plastics that make microbeads and the sale of products that contain them, from July 2017, was approved. The UK government has also pledged to ban them in 2017.
The law has not yet made its way to Doha, but nevertheless, perhaps it’s time to make a change. “A single tube of cleanser can contain approximately 300,000 microbeads,” says Erica Vega, training manager at Lush Cosmetics, which, as a sustainable company, has stopped using microbeads in all its products.
So what will this mean for your New Year beauty regime? Natural exfoliants that contain sea salt or sand can be used instead of microbead-filled scrubs.
Thalgo Exotic Island Body Scrub, for example, uses sand from Bora Bora, sea salt and coconut shells. It’s also packed with jojoba oil and monoi to leave the skin feeling smooth. Nuxe Body Melting Body Scrub uses extracts of orange peel, lychee and walnut to exfoliate the skin. Make the swap and you’ll still have baby-soft skin, but you’ll also be saving the planet.
Thalgo Exotic Island Body Scrub: QR330; Available at Diva Lounge Spa, Royal Plaza, Al Sadd (4443 6927). Nuxe Body Melting Body Scrub: QR250. Available at Boots,Villaggio Mall, Al Waab (4450 7325).