The microbeads in so many popular facial scrubs just happen to resemble miniature fish eggs. People scrub their skin with the cleansers, rinse, and the beads go down the drain, adding to global pollution of oceans, lakes and rivers and also harming marine life and entering the food chain.
Neil McMahon for the Sydney Morning Herald:
“Tiny and buoyant, and not filtered by sewerage systems, they are swiftly ingestible by marine life, making them more immediately dangerous than a discarded drink bottle. They are likely to have entered the food chain – so while you wouldn’t eat your facial scrub from the jar, you might be consuming it if you eat fish.” Studies show the discarded plastics have been detected in the Great Lakes and other waterways, leading to a call for bans.
A professor of dermatology reports the scrubs do little to help the skin and may even be harmful.
The good news: Cosmetic manufacturers are responding quickly, with many saying the beads will be phased out within five years.
Photo of fish eggs with sushi, courtesy of Lord Mountbatten and Wikimedia Commons.