True Grit: Microbead-Free Exfoliators

Jamie Newman | January 26, 2016 | 2:15 PM
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Pore Minimizing Facial Scrub by Acure: Gentle, pore-minimizing scrub uses Moroccan red clay to draw out impurities, and black jojoba beads to exfoliate. The formula is vegan and 100-percent biodegradable.
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Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser by Aveda: This daily cleanser gently exfoliates using jojoba beads and glucosamine, while nourishing skin with mango butter and babassu. Formulated with finelypowdered tourmaline, it gives skin an added boost of radiance.
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Measured Micrograins+ by Bioelements: Doubling as a multi-action facial scrub and mask, the clay-based formula is designed to remove dead skin cells, control oil and calm skin. Clients can use up to three times per week.
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Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser by Pevonia: Jojoba beads exfoliate while other ingredients work to prevent clogged pores, restore skin’s pH and even neutralize the drying effects of hard water. Rich foam refreshes, leaving skin smooth and radiant.
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Daily Microfoliant by Dermalogica: Gentle, daily-use exfoliating powder uses a rice-based formula activated upon contact with water. It releases papain, salicylic acid and rice enzymes, which exfoliate dead skin cells.
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Single-use treatments are applied with a cotton swab to face, throat and back of hands to leave skin clearer, brighter and smoother. The main exfoliating agents are phyto-marine actives and all-natural ingredients.
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Sorry Barbie, life in plastic is actually not so fantastic. Now microbeads are banned, you may be wondering: what is the future of skincare buffng?


Plastic microbeads are small particles less than five millimeters in size, but they are causing a big impact on the



In the final days of 2015, President Obama signed the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. The law implements that companies completely eliminate plastic microbeads in their products, which includes personal care, cleansing and exfoliating products, by July of 2017. In the meantime, it enacts a progressive weaning of the additive in products.


A ban on microbeads is actually a good thing for both the environment and your clients, and it doesn’t mean all exfoliators’ ingredients will change.


As an effective ingredient in beauty products, microbeads were never that great to begin with. Amy Halman, president and formulator of Acure skincare, says there are other ways to buff your clients’ skin that are more effective than the microbeads. Natural alternatives include jojoba beads, dehydrated lemon peel and sea kelp, all which remove dead skin cells without creating inflammation.


When buffing skin, even with these natural ingredients, Halman says it is important to be gentle to protect skin’s overall health.


“It is key to be aware of the pressure you use when exfoliating,” Halman says. “Light, fingertip manipulation is all that is necessary for an effective, healthy exfoliation. Brushes, face cloths and aggressive rubbing typically lead to broken capillaries, dryness and inflammation.”


When choosing an exfoliator to retail in your salon or use during facials, Halman says to look for natural exfoliating ingredients that have rounded edges, such as jojoba beads and dehydrated lemon peels, to prevent microtearing, as more jagged and aggressive exfoliating agents tend to do.


Not sure if a product you retail or use yourself has microbeads? Halman says to check the ingredients panel. If it doesn’t list polyethylene or polypropylene, then your product is microbeadfree. If it does, start looking for a new go-to exfoliator. These products use eco-friendly ingredients as their buffer tools.

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