The case for natural microbead alternatives

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

The case for natural microbead alternatives

Related tags: Fruit, Uk

A supplier of natural ingredients for the cosmetic industry has released its list of key natural alternatives to microplastic particles.

The list from Lessonia includes: shells and kernels (i.e. from almonds, coconuts, apricots, etc), minerals (including corindon, garnet and pearl), seeds (such as blackcurrent, cranberry and kiwi), flowers and leaves (including olive, lavender and jasmine) and fruits (like apple, grape and lemon).

A big year for reformulation

Lessonia, a company particularly recognised for its expertise in exfoliating ingredients, has described 2017 as a crucial year in which the industry needs to work towards replacing Polyethylene.

Indeed, following from the UK government’s announcement last year that it is ready to ban microplastics in cosmetics and personal care, and ahead of France’s deadline of 1 January 2018 for the removal of such elements, European brands along with companies that retail in Europe are already making strides to reformulate.

Its also a global concern: the US no longer permits microbead use, as of 1 January this year, while Canada is said to be considering a ban of its own

As the CTPA notes, in the UK, 70% of products no longer have microbeads, thanks to voluntary efforts from the industry since 2015.

It’s likely that alternative exfoliating agents will be a key part of the widespread reformulation efforts taking place in the industry.

Is natural necessary?

With the environmental concern that has played out regarding the negative impact of microplastics on marine life and waterways having received global attention, totally natural exfoliating agents may now be an essential consumer demand.

“It is necessary for the manufacturers to find natural, biodegradable alternatives non-susceptible to affect the environment​,” Lessonia suggests.

“Many technical solutions exist to replace polyethylene particles. Each of them presenting advantages and disadvantages,” it notes, adding, “For each project, an alternative exists.”

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