Medical aesthetician recommends organic exfoliation beads over microbeads

Companies continue removing microbeads from face washes

By Haley Hernandez - Health Reporter

HOUSTON - They're supposed to give a vibrant complexion and help with anti-aging but the so-called "microbeads" are getting banned from products.

The government accuses these beads of polluting the environment and threatening users' health.

Right now, companies should be making moves to get rid of the plastic beads in body and face washes. Manufacturers have until next January before the ban will take full effect.

Baylor College of Medicine medical aesthetician, Kim Chang says exfoliation is an important step in your beauty routine.

“Two to three times a week is typically a good time to exfoliate,” Chang said.

However, the beads made of polyethylene, polypropylene, poly methacrylate or nylon are accused of harming the environment and ultimately us.

“It's going into the ocean and the fish are actually eating these microbeads, which are plastic beads,” Chang said. “Eventually it will turn up on your table to eat.”

She says that's dangerous because the plastic is porous and absorbs other harmful chemicals.

That’s why President Barack Obama signed a bill to ban plastic microbeads due to suspicion of the ingredient threatening sea life. 

Last year, Crest removed the plastic beads from toothpaste. Some dentists complained of infections when the beads got lodged into the gum line. 

Instead, Chang recommends organic beads made of jojoba, silt or diatomaceous earth.

“It's a natural, sedimentary occurring rock that is really good for your skin,” she said about diatomaceous earth. “You still need a type of bead, remember? Either a bead or a chemical to exfoliate. So, that bead actually will slough off the dead skin on your skin to help the skin renew again.”

The ones Chang recommends are found at spas or organic retailers, although jojoba beads can be found easier in some drug store products.

She also recommends an easy, inexpensive exfoliate is salt or sugar on arms and legs, but she does not recommend those ingredients on your face.

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