Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Horrible Environmental Problems Inspire me to Make Beauty Products out of Things I Should be Eating

 Microbeads. They’re sand-like bits of plastic that you find in skin care products like facial scrubs and exfoliants. Not only can they wreck havoc on my already too dry skin if I use them too often, but they ravage the environment  These microplastic beads are too small for water treatment plants to remove them, so they end up in rivers and lakes. 

All sorts of chemicals were once dumped liberally into many rivers and lakes across the US. While we've cleaned up our environmental act over the past two decades, elevated levels of industrial chemicals like PCBs are still found in many of our waterways. Small bits of plastic, like microbeads, soak up these remaining toxic chemicals. 

Microbeads are so small even mussels and plankton can eat them. Small fish eat both the  toxic-coated plastics and chemical-infused plankton. Then those fish are eaten by bigger fish, and then they get eaten by even bigger fish. The bigger and more predatory a fish is, the more likely it is for them to have the highest levels of chemicals in their bodies. I love sushi, but I hate wondering if the fish I eat are saturated in toxins. 

So even though I know most of you hippies already use granola in the shower to exfoliate your skin, encourage your grandmas who are using products containing plastic microbeads to switch over to something biodegradable.

I decided to experiment with making different facial scrubs in the kitchen. Ingredients from four different scrubs included coffee grounds, oatmeal, lavender, honey, olive oil, dried milk, cornmeal, and sugar. The process was wildly easy. I have plenty of left overs and am happy to package it up, put it in the mail/meet you downtown, and share. Comment below to let me know if you want some!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photographs, Marian! I love the Pyrex bowls. Thank you for writing such an informative post--I was not aware of microbeads and their effect on the environment.