Lately there has been growing environmental concern about “microbeads” in our facial and body scrubs. These small, plastic beads – which manufacturers claim are scrubbing your pores (a claim I question having any real validity) are flowing out of our houses, making it through our cities’ water purification systems and into our waterways. This is causing problems for fragile ecosystems as animals and fish ingest these beads, and as they interfere with the life cycles of the organisms these sea creatures normally eat. For a full article on the subject, check out Scientific American here.. Anyway, does it seem necessary to scrub your face with plastic when there are a vast many natural alternatives?
I have a simple, CHEAP recipe for a natural facial / body scrub that cleanses your pores and should not dry out your skin. You do NOT have to keep this scrub in the fridge (which I find you need to with a large number of recipes online). I have never found a refrigerated scrub to be convenient, especially if you are using it in the shower (many of us are). I would say most people would forget to grab it prior to hopping in – and don’t think I need to elaborate on how annoying that is!
What you will need:
An old shampoo / body wash bottle or something else you can squeeze a relatively dense substance out of.
5 parts baking soda
2 parts sea salt
1 part vegetable glycerin
2 parts water
*Optional: Essential oil for scent
Mix together well and funnel into your bottle. If the substance is too dense to funnel, add a touch more water until at the desired consistency. If it is too dense to funnel, it will definitely be too dense to squeeze out of your bottle!
If you are using a scrub regularly, this one should keep for as long as you are using it. Basically it will have the same shelf as your ingredients, as it is a raw mixture. The glycerin is moisturizing without clogging pores, and the baking soda and salt will strip any make-up or oils off your face while still being relatively gentle*. If you want something scented, add a drop or two of a mild essential oil like lavender – use very sparingly**.
SHAKE BOTTLE well before each use!* Apply to your face generously and rub. Rinse thoroughly with water, and you should have some wonderfully radiant results!
*If you find that the ingredients are separating and you are left with a hard mass at the bottom of your bottle, add a small amount of HOT water to the bottle and give a vigorous shake.
If you find you have a reaction to the recipe (any lasting redness or itchiness, or a break-out), discontinue use – you may want to try one of these fresh recipes.. These recipes unfortunately need to be refrigerated and have a much shorter shelf life, but if your skin is sensitive it may be worth it. Because all skin is different, there are many recipes out there for all types. This one just happens to be the best for me, and the most convenient in terms of shelf life and storage!
**I would advise trying to recipe on your skin without the essential oil first, and then adding it later if you desire – as essential oils can sometimes cause reactions, it would be best to know if it is the scrub itself or the essential oil giving you a reaction if you do end up having one.
To demand the removal of plastic microbeads in cosmetic products, see Care2’s petition!