Exfoliants and the environment

Enjoy a soft and silky smooth skin without destroying aquatic life.

Microplastics are added in many exfoliating products or in soaps as a mild abrasive for skin; it is a cheaper alternative (but not biodegradable) to bamboo fragments, algae, kernels or horsehair gloves, which were used in the past.

These nanoparticles essentially made of polymers (a petrol-derived plastic) are rejected in the sewers after the product has been used and reappear in our rivers. They hang on to algae or settle in the silt. As they are often transparent, they are misidentified with plankton. As a matter of fact, significant quantities of many different microplastics can be found in marine organisms consumed by humans (e.g.: oysters, mussels, water snails, fishes and shellfish).

Source: Wikipédia