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Microplastics in Skincare and How To Avoid It

“It is said that by 2050, more plastic than fish could swim in our oceans.”

Mankind has not been kind enough and has been plastic-polluting the environment more than ever. We are consciously aware of the plastic-situation in our country and the ways of how we can reduce it. While some of us are mindful in their utilitarian choices of clothes and cosmetics, others are not even aware of the toxic chemicals they have been using on their skin in the name of beauty, let alone know about microplastics and microbeads being present in them. Well, we are here to shed light on a topic of high concern, Microplastics!

What are Microplastics?

Microplastics, as the name suggests, are small pieces of plastic. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the European Chemicals Agency, “Microplastics are fragments of any type of plastic less than 5 mm in length.”

The source of microplastics come mostly through textiles (synthetic/polyester), and the dust of tyres that get blown away from roads, and both of them end up in the oceans. 

But what are microplastics in skincare?

Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastics with huge consequences. Cosmetic microplastics have been knowingly added in skincare products such as exfoliants, peelers and body washes. They can also be found in most cosmetics including your foundation, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, and so on. These are known as Primary Microplastics. Glitter and microbeads are both examples of cosmetic microplastics. Microplastics from cosmetics are estimated to only contribute 2% to the global release of microplastics. The rest are from textiles, tyres and city dust. This percentage could be brought down to zero if the skincare industry switched to natural alternatives such as clay, wax and starch since microplastics are added exclusively, which is not only harmful to your skin in the long term but also the environment.

How do microplastics affect your skin?

Plastic in any form, is dangerous to your skin’s health. They can have an abrasive effect on your skin in the short and long term. Microbeads in your face scrubs and body washes can cause skin abrasions, which not only irritate but also dry out the skin. In toothpaste, the intense friction wears down the tooth enamel. And if the particles get stuck in your gums, they will attract bacteria

How to know there is microplastic in your skincare product?

Read your labels thoroughly and if you find the below ingredients written on your mono carton’s ingredient label, beware!

  1. Polyethylene
  2. Polypropylene
  3. Polyethylene terephthalate
  4. Polymethyl methacrylate
  5. Polyurethane
  6. Polylactic acid or nylon
  7. Acrylates Copolymer

So make sure you choose wisely and switch to clean beauty, because if not now, then when?

Vanity Wagon is India's 1st Clean Beauty Store, with 200+ Clean & Natural beauty brands and over 7000+ products and has all sorts of clean, vegan, natural and cruelty-free products that are safe for your skin as well as the environment.

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