Microbeads, the Microplastic Chemicals Destroying Your Heath

(and the various names they are listed under in common product ingredients).

Microbeads are tiny plastic particles that were once commonly used in personal care and cosmetic products for their exfoliating properties. However, due to environmental concerns, many countries have banned or restricted the use of microbeads in these products.

Here is a list of some common products that used to contain microbeads:

  1. Exfoliating Scrubs:

    • Facial scrubs
    • Body scrubs
    • Foot scrubs
  2. Toothpaste:

    • Some toothpaste formulations used microbeads for added abrasiveness.
  3. Body Wash and Shower Gels:

    • Some body washes and shower gels contained microbeads for exfoliation.
  4. Face Cleansers:

    • Certain face cleansers, especially those marketed as exfoliating or deep-cleansing products.
  5. Hand Cleansers:

    • Hand cleansers or sanitizers with added exfoliating properties.
  6. Makeup:

    • Certain makeup products, such as foundations or powders, used microbeads for texture or to provide a matte finish.
  7. Hair Care Products:

    • Some shampoos and conditioners contained microbeads for exfoliating the scalp.

Many countries have implemented regulations or voluntary phase-outs to eliminate the use of microbeads in personal care products. In response to these concerns, many companies have reformulated their products to use natural alternatives like ground seeds, salts, or sugars for exfoliation. Always check the ingredient list or product packaging for information on whether a product contains microbeads. 

However, Microbeads can be listed under many different names.  Please look out for these following terms, which indicates the presence of these tiny plastic particles.

  1. Polyethylene (PE):

    • Polyethylene is a common type of plastic used in microbeads. Look for ingredients like polyethylene or any term containing "poly" along with "ethylene."
  2. Polypropylene (PP):

    • Polypropylene is another type of plastic that may be used in microbeads. Check for ingredients containing "polypropylene."
  3. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET):

    • PET is a type of polyester resin that can be used in microbeads. It may appear as polyethylene terephthalate in ingredient lists.
  4. Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA):

    • PMMA is a type of plastic that can be used as an alternative to polyethylene in microbeads. Look for this term in ingredient lists.
  5. Nylon:

    • Some microbeads may be made of nylon. Check for the term "nylon" or related variations.
  6. Polyurethane:

    • Polyurethane may be used in some microbeads. Look for ingredients containing "polyurethane."
  7. Methacrylate Copolymer:

    • Some microbeads may be listed under terms like "methacrylate copolymer."


To learn about the scientific data showing Microplastics and their adverse effects on your health please visit our page of Published Scientific Studies on Microplastics.