THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. - When you use face wash with microbeads, you're doing more harm than good.
You've most likely seen them, and felt them, in many of your face washes. In fact -- one tube of face wash contains up to 300-thousand microbeads.
"Very, very small, plastic beads. They don't hold any medicine, they perform a mechanical explanation. You put them on your face and rub them. Theoretically it gets rid of dead cells. In the process, it also injures some of the underlying tissue," Dr. Richard Foxx of the Medical and Skin Spa at the Hyatt Regency in Indian Wells said.
These plastic particles are non-biodegradable. They often slip through sewage system filters and pile up in waterways. Illinois became the first state to ban the manufacture and sale of personal care products with synthetic plastic microbeads, effective at the end of 2017. Governor Pat quinn says quote "banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow."
"The beads absorb the toxins and then fish come along and eat them and absorb them and then theoretically you can get toxic poisoning from fish exposed to it."
Other states, including California, may take a cue from Illinois. Dr. Richard Foxx, from the Medical and Skin Spa at the Indian Wells Hyatt, says he's not a fan of microbeads.
"We knew from the beginning that microbeads were not a good thing because it injured underlying tissue. We went the chemical route and we have an exfoliate...chemical exfoliants. They get the dead skin cells off without harming tissue," he said.
If you don't want to use the plastic bits, look for products listing polyethylene and polypropylene on the ingredients list.
Several major cosmetic companies pledged to phase out the use of microbeads. Johnson & Johnson says it will eliminate microbeads from half its products by the end of next year. The company plans to test for natural alternatives, like ground seeds or nuts.