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5 microbead-free scrubs you should be using

Microbead-less beauty

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 09 January 2018 16:13 GMT
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Now that manufacturers are being banned from adding microbeads to their beauty products, these are the alternative scrubs that you should be using instead.

Microbeads have long been used in the production of numerous products, including things like face scrubs, shower gels and toothpaste.

Not only can microbeads be harmful for your health, but the little pieces of plastic can also damage the environment by ending up in the ocean after being washed down the sink.

These microbead-free alternative scrubs will revitalise your skin and help us take better care of the world we live in. It’s a win-win!


Oats are a staple ingredient in many people’s breakfasts, but did you know that they could also benefit your beauty regime?

“If you have a particularly oily complexion, oats can help to absorb excess oil in your skin,” says Dr Rupert Critchley, GP and founder of VIVA Skin Clinics.

However, that’s not all. Oats could also be the key to calming down aggravated skin, as explained by Daiva Kamysova, skincare expert and facialist.

“Oats have anti-inflammatory properties, to help soothe irritated skin, and are also gentle enough for those with sensitive skin,” she says.


Salt is another ingredient commonly found in most people’s kitchens that could be utilised in an alternative way.

“Salt scrubs are a natural purifier that remove toxins that cause blocked pores,” says Kamysova.

“If you’re making a salt scrub at home, remember to add in essential oils and olive oil to soften the mixture.”

Kamysova recommends making a lemon and salt scrub to rejuvenate your skin.

All you need is one spoon of sea salt, half a spoon of natural almond oil, a teaspoon of rosemary leaf and half a lemon peeled skin for the mixture.

Jojoba beads

Many people opt to use products that contain jojoba beads because, unlike microbeads, jojoba beads are biodegradable and so don’t pose a risk to the environment.

The Trilogy Natural Skincare brand strongly supports the anti-plastic movement.

“Europe has been quite proactive in the last 12 months in addressing the problem of microbeads,” says Corinne Morley, the in-house skincare expert at Trilogy.

“The Trilogy range has always been and will always continue to be free of plastic microbeads.

“There are effective natural and biodegradable alternatives to plastic microbeads available, like the jojoba wax microspheres in our Gentle Facial Exfoliant, which are so much kinder to our skin and our world.”


Coffee isn’t only useful for boosting your energy levels - it can also be used for perking up your skin.

Optiat creates exfoliating products using finely ground coffee that will leave your skin feeling smooth and looking radiant.

“We’ve had fantastic feedback with people loving the fact we’re a company providing an alternative to our current ‘take, make, dispose’ world,” says Optiat co-founder Anna Brightman.

“The caffeine stimulates blood circulation which some claim can be effective against skin conditions like eczema, acne, cellulite and stretch marks.

“Once the coffee goes down the drain in the form of our natural scrub there is no environmental impact, so it has two eco-advantages in using coffee that would otherwise rot in landfill as well as replacing scrubs using harmful microbeads.”

Rice flour

The use of rice flour as an alternative exfoliant is gaining traction in the west, having been an extremely popular component in Asian skincare routines for centuries.

“The gentle nature of this mineral rich grain lightly removes dead skin cells while the amino acids and vitamins nourish the fresh skin,” explains Critchley.

“Over the counter options include Dermalogica’s Microfoliant, which is a rice-based exfoliant powder that activates on contact with water, releasing papain, salicylic acid and rice enzymes that micro-exfoliate dead cells.”

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