Synthetic plastic microbeads are found in soaps and cosmetics, particularly in exfoliators, but environmental experts have raised concerns of plastic pollution in waterways, and there have been many moves of late to work them out of cosmetics.
Many manufacturers such as Unilever, Beiersdorf, Colgate-Palmolive, P&G and L'Oréal have all announced they are working to stop the use of microbeads, and Bulldog boss Duffy believes this is an important subject in the beauty industry that manufacturers should all support.
“We would love to see plastic microbeads banned and we hope that the renewed wave of media interest about the negative environmental impact will help motivate the big global brands that still widely use these beads to commit to more urgent deadlines for removing them from their formulations,” he tells CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.
The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association recently noted that the hype over the environmental impact of the beads may be being overblown, as the presence is not solely down to personal care products.
However, Duffy questions why they are needed in the first place and why it will take so long for companies to phase them out of products.
“The frustrating thing is that eliminating microbeads is a very simple formulation change that is not difficult to implement. Bulldog has been doing this since we launched in 2007,” he says.
Simon explains that at Bulldog, the use of microbeads was one of the issues addressed when it first started making key formulation decisions about its products.
The process also included the British brand’s commitment to using natural ingredients and not testing its finished products or ingredients on animals.
As for the alternatives available? Duffy states that Bulldog uses Pumice and Coconut shell in its Original Face Scrub which he says are ‘both brilliant performers’.
“This is a fantastic product which people provide brilliant feedback on, so it's clear to me that eliminating plastic microbeads from scrubs and exfoliators does not equate to a compromise on performance,” he adds.
“In fact I think our customers prefer natural solutions. There really no excuse for the biggest brands not removing these beads as a matter of urgency.”