Facial Cleansers with MicrobeadsMany facial cleansers use microbeads and are marketed to exfoliate the skin of those who use it. We are now finding out that these tiny little microbeads, typically made of plastic or synthetic materials, are too small for sewage treatment plants to catch. The plastic that is getting washed down the drain is collecting in our water sources and greatly polluting them. As many as 8 trillion microbeads are being deposited in our water sources every day in the United States alone. Aquatic animals and birds often mistake these microbeads as food, and the plastic that we have polluted our water with eventually works its way back to though the food chain.
Shampoos and SoapsThe problem with many super sudsy shampoos and soaps is that they contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Both of these ingredients are hard on your skin and harmful they get in your eyes. Although SLES is the less harmful of the two, 1,4 dioxane is often mixed in with it, which has been suspected as a human carcinogen. After these chemicals enter the waterway through our drains, they ultimately end up building up in marine life. Just as with the microbeads, these harmful toxins again end up back to us via the food chain.
There are four common chemicals found in many sunscreens—cinnamate, benzophenone, camphor derivatives, paraben, and oxybenzone. These harmful chemicals are known to contribute to coral bleaching which leaves can lead to viral infections and the ultimate death of the coral all over the world. Oxybenzone specifically has been proven to be fatal to baby coral. It causes baby coral to encase itself in its own skeleton and die. Anywhere between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen have been estimated to wash into the ocean each year. Studies show that only 62 parts per trillion oxybenzone is needed to damage coral. That is roughly one drop of water in 6.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Ingredients to AvoidParabens
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate
MEA and TEA
DMDM Hydantoin and Urea