Cheap skin care—but at what cost?

 

A sample of microbeads collected in Lake Erie. | Photo courtesy 5gyres.org

Microbeads in beauty products are causing big problems in lakes, rivers and wrecking havoc on our skin, too

While companies might not even list them on the label, microplastics (or microbeads) are a common ingredient in thousands of today’s beauty products, including skin-exfoliating cleansers and toothpaste. Referred to as “polyethylene” or “polypropylene,” these microbeads are made from plastic and have been used to make beauty products for nearly five decades, and without assessment of their effect on the environment, the Independent’s Steve Connor and Zander Swinburne report. Hidden behind the brightly colored bottles and low prices is an alarming impact.

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