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California Bans Microbeads: Why You Should Too!

If you are an Eco-enthusiast living in California (or anywhere, for that matter), it is time to say an emphatic "woo hoo"! The news world is buzzing as Governor Jerry Brown has approved a measure that will move to ban harmful "microbeads" from personal care products sold in California. As a California native and green skincare enthusiast, I am particularly excited about this news.

In case you are unfamiliar, microbeads are tiny plastic beads (about the size of a grain of sand) used in multiple different cosmetic products as an exfoliating agent. If you have used drugstore toothpaste, body wash, facial scrubs, or lotions, odds are you have utilized these tiny plastic beads. And why no, they do not pose any direct harm to your health during use, they are creating a major problem in our oceans, lakes, and rivers.

With the new bill in place, we can look forward to seeing these products off the shelves by 2020. And I, for one, am hopeful that this move will motivate individuals to look towards options that are not only beautifying, but eco-friendly as well.

Why This is Such a Victory

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If you are in the environmental pipeline, you may have heard of these beads and how they pose a threat to our environment, and later, to us. As these particles are so small, they can easily get through most water treatment plants, allowing them to get into major waterways. Once microbeads make it into major waterways, it is not uncommon for them to be eaten by fish.

I am sure you are wondering how this might affect you. Plastic has long been known for its ability to absorb toxins. While I was unable to find any concrete studies, scientists have suggested that any toxins absorbed by the microbeads can be released inside the body of the fish, allowing the toxins to be passed on to any animal or human that consumes the fish.

What is a Microbead User to Do?

If you have been loving the convenience of microbeads, fret not! There are many alternatives that are not only safe for the environment, but are actually better for your skin. These options are natural and biodegradable, and very easily available.

goodbye microbeads | microbead ban | banning microbeads | eco friendly | environmentally friendly | governor jerry brown | california | skincare | world | healthRice-Based Exfoliants - I first fell in love with rice-based exfoliants when I got my hands on Eminence Organics Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant. This amazing, everyday exfoliating power uses fine rice powder to slough away dead skin and purify the skin. This not only feels amazing, but it is so easy and convenient to use. Simply shake some onto your palm, add, water, and exfoliate (no environmental remorse necessary).

Bamboo - Typically coming in the form of Bamboo Stem Extract, this delivers a gentle yet effective way to exfoliate away dead skin. Rhonda Allison's Bamboo Scrub offers not only bamboo stem extracts, but jojoba beads for exfoliation that as nourishing as it is effective.

Ground Pecan, Almond, or Walnut Shells or Seeds - These are very popular, and are widely used in skin care products. However, they are very abrasive. I advise against using them.

Salt or Sugar - If you have not tried a salt or sugar scrub yet, I highly recommend it. Similar, but different, these two products work to slough away dead skin cells while offering a host of benefits. Sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it will draw moisture from the environment to your skin. Sugar also happens to be a natural source of glycolic acid, which delivers anti-aging benefits to the skin. Salt is known for being detoxifying, and scrubbing with it can help to improve circulation on the skin, as well as cell regeneration. Both act as physical exfoliants that will disintegrate naturally in the water.

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