There’s been a lot in the news recently about the vagaries of the products we use on our skin for personal care and their effect on marine environment. The worst offenders are exfoliators that contain plastic microbeads.
The microbeads effect every layer of the food chain. They are swallowed by fish and seabirds and, as they breakdown, they are ingested by organisms as small as plankton. Every stage of the ocean’s life cycle is effected.
If that doesn’t make you think perhaps this will: if the plankton absorb the broken down plastic microbeads and then the prawns eat the plankton, the next time you have a lovely prawn curry, you could be eating the plastic absorbed at the very beginning of the food chain. Plastic microbeads are not biodegradable. They may break down but they cannot be removed entirely from the food chain. Certainly food for thought; excuse the pun.
I believe it is not just the responsibility of the manufacturers using the microbeads to remove them from their products but also our responsibility as consumers to not use any products containing any ingredients that, on entering the water supply via our sink or basin, will damage aquatic life irrevocably.
Of course our ability to do this starts with knowledge. In some cases, the more natural products may be very expensive making the choice to buy a product that does not damage the environment, impossible.
Instead of writing a thousand word post on what you shouldn’t be buying, I thought I’d share a way to make your own homemade exfoliator from ingredients found in your store cupboard. It isn’t costly and doesn’t involve plastic microbeads. That’s a win-win!
First of all you need a base for your exfoliator:
You will need
- 2tbsp of good olive oil
- 1tbsp of honey
Then you need to add the exfoliant. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin here are some suggestions.
2tsp of the following:
- Oats or oatmeal for more sensitive skin
- Be really green and use up those old coffee grounds
- Sugar: brown or white granulated
- Rice ground down with a pestle and mortar
- Almond meal
You can just use the exfoliator like this or you could add your own favourite scent:
- 1tsp nutmeg
- 1tsp cinamon
- A couple of drops of your favourite essential oil
To make, mix all the ingredients together, rub in a circular motion across your face and wash off with warm water.
If you don’t fancy the hassle there’s still a way to use the products you already have. Take your own favourite natural cleanser and add a teaspoon of sugar to the tsp of your cleanser. Bingo, your very own exfoliator.
You don’t need to exfoliate your skin everyday. Once a week is enough. For very sensitive skin, exfoliating every day can irritate it. By making your own, you can choose the coarseness of the exfoliant you are using and choose one that is best for your skin.
We’d love to know if you have a go at making your own exfoliator and what your favourite recipe is if you have one. There are lots of recipes for homemade beauty products to be found all over the internet but I’ve found some great ones on the Baldwins & Co website, here.
If you want to read more about microbeads you can do so here