How do you know if the beauty products and cosmetics you are using are really plastic free?
You may have seen on our social media channels recently that we have been awarded the ‘zero plastic inside’ certification from Plastic Soup Foundation, who run the ‘Ban The Microbead’ campaign.
This certification means that not only are our products 100% free from plastic packaging on the outside of our products, they have been certified to be completely free from microplastics inside the products as well.
What are microplastics and what on earth are they be doing in your cosmetics??!
What exactly are microplastics? The beat the microbead website explains it clearly here; “In cosmetics, the term “microplastic” refers to all types of tiny plastic particles (smaller than 5mm) that are intentionally added to cosmetics and personal care products. They are often used as emulsifying agents or just as cheap fillers.
Why are microplastics a problem?
These microplastics, hardly visible to the naked eye, flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter them out; that is how microplastics contribute to the ‘Plastic Soup’ swirling around in our oceans.
Sea animals absorb or eat microplastics; these particles can then be passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we also ingest microplastics. Microplastics are not biodegradable and once they enter the (marine) environment, they are almost impossible to remove.
Using body washes or cosmetics that contain microplastics can put the ocean, ourselves, and our children at risk!”
If you head over to the beatthemicrobead.org website, they have an abundance of information and tools to help keep you informed on what the most common microplastics in cosmetics are. They even have a handy app that you can download, so you can check out the products you are buying to see if they contain microplastics or not.
Take a look at this worrying data taken from the beat the microbead website: ‘Using a variety of cosmetics and personal care products is one of the most prominent ways our bodies are exposed to microplastics. Take lipsticks for example; often, lipsticks contain microplastics like Polyethylene or Polyethylene-terephthalate (PET). People are likely to ingest lipstick accidentally through consuming food or licking their lips while wearing it. What happens to the ingested plastic particles in our body?
Our tests show that every time you use anti-wrinkle cream, you put about 90,000 plastic particles on your face! Some plastic particles in this facial cream are smaller than the average diameter of a human hair (60-80 μm) — we found particles that were as small as 1,6 μm. If microplastics manage to enter our body, they have the potential to interfere with our organs.”
The Beat The Microbead team are working with The Plastic Health Coalition to test a wide variety of products over the course of coming years. All these products and more will be tested in a lab by Vrije Universiteit (VU) of Amsterdam. The aim is to continue to investigate if there are plastics or dangerous plastic additives in cosmetics and personal care products.
In the meantime, you can do some research yourselves to see whether the products you are using contain microplastics.
We are really proud to have been awarded the certification for our products, we think it is important for consumers to have full visibility of what is inside the beauty products that they are buying. Don’t forget to check out the amazing work being done by the Plastic Soup Foundation to help spread awareness of this problem within the cosmetic industry today.