By: Sassy Auburn
It is a common occurrence for us fair skinned redheads to have sensitive skin. We often have trouble finding skin care items that do not irritate our face and body. Some contain ingredients that are too harsh causing our face or body to itch, redden or even burn. It is difficult to find items that we can use to get our skin clean and glowing without feeling like a guinea pig. Trying to find something new, when we find out that our favorite products have been discontinued or reformulated, is discouraging and frightful.
Something that has happened recently, however, may actually benefit us gingers when it comes to helping us keep our skin healthy and happy without unnecessary irritations. Recently, a US law was passed banning ALL microbeads in health and beauty products.
What are microbeads?
Microbeads are tiny plastic spheres used in various products such as toothpaste, deodorant, face washes, masks, and body washes. Years ago, when exfoliating your skin was “the thing to do,” cosmetic companies jumped on board. It made sense, right? Getting rid of dead skin cells allowed the younger, newer skin to the surface. But, instead of using natural components like raw sugar, they began using tiny synthetic plastic particles called microbeads.
Now studies show that these little plastic beads (found in beauty products everywhere) can get into our lives in many different ways; even if we don’t use the actual products! Microbeads have found their way in rainwater and as a result, they wash across farming lands then filters into areas where our food supplies digest the water and end up in their stomachs. That’s not good. Not to mention, because they are plastic, they also have an indefinite life when they get into the surroundings. They never break down. This is obviously not good for the environment or those who live off the balance of the land.
What to stay away from:
If you see the word “Polyethylene (PE)” on any products, do not buy them. Or, if you they’re in your house, throw them away. Just do us all a favor, and do not contaminate the water by emptying your bottles full of microbeads down the sink. Safely throw them away, in its container, in the garbage.
How does this affect redheads?
In addition, microbeads can be VERY harsh and irritating on someone with sensitive skin. That includes us delicate redheads. Any product coarse on our skin can cause us to become red, break out, burn, cause small cuts or tears or even worse. From someone who knows all about this, I am well aware that it is much easier to avoid anything that can cause a problem than it is to fix the problem.
Thanks to this new law, beginning in 2017, no product can have microbeads in it. However, this does not mean that products cannot have exfoliants in them. And that’s okay. For us redheads, there are many other options to rid yourself of dead skin cells on your body and face without using little plastic unnatural, non-beneficial microbeads.
When I used to make my own skin care products (and still do very often), microbeads were not available to me and I was totally fine with that. I HAD to use ingredients that were available anywhere and were natural. I did a lot of research on what I could use. To my very happy surprise, there were many!
When I make my own cleansers, masks, scrubs and body washes, there are a few items that I put into my own recipes to rid myself of the old and bring the new, young skin to the surface. These are all items you can find in your own home or store. Look for or add things like fine white sugar, brown sugar, honey, finely ground coffee, regular coffee grounds or even oatmeal powder. All of these items can do what microbeads do, only gentler and more environmentally friendly.
Best ‘Redhead Friendly’ Microbead-Free Products:
I have even found a few products on the retail level that I like that do not use microbeads to exfoliate. Three of my favorites I have been using for years are:
1. Befine Exfoliating Cleanser: It uses brown sugar to gently scrub the face.
2. Perfectly Posh The Daily Grind Body Coffee Scrub: It takes fresh coffee grounds, mixed sea salt and natural moisturizers to exfoliate the body from the neck down.
3. For Goodness Grape Lip Scrubs: Combines different grain-sized sugars mixed with healing butters to exfoliate chapped lips while conditioning them with healing butters.
When it comes to exfoliating the dry skin on your body, it is nice to know that we will all be protected from harmful plastic spheres. They are not just bad for our face and body, but are also dangerous to the environment. There are many other ingredients that can do the same thing that are more natural and gentler on our skin. Let’s give a cheer for those who are looking out for us sensitive skin people as well as the environment. A double fix.
Now, go take your happy skin and Rock it like a Redhead!