Many over-the-counter exfoliants contain microbeads, which are tiny plastic particles less than 5mm in size. They can take any shape, but the ones used in cosmetics are spherical. Microbeads were patented in the 1970s and became a common ingredient in skin care products, toothpaste, and other health and beauty aids that require an abrasive quality.
For many years, microbeads were considered the perfect exfoliating solution for skincare products -- safe, effective and inexpensive to produce. In recent years, as eco-awareness has grown and taken more precedence in the minds of consumers, major media outlets such as the New York Times began raising the issue of environmental damage caused by microbeads.Read More