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There are many hidden ingredients in health and beauty products that we are unaware of but when I came across this I was dumbfounded. There are a lot of toxins and chemicals which we are aware of such as parabens, aspartame, sulfates and propylene glycol that we know to avoid but what about the not so known ingredients? I recently found out about a list of ingredients that are common in beauty products (mostly skincare) but can also be found in certain toothpaste tubes as well.

These list of ingredients are actually believe it or not plastic beads but they are called other names to hid that from you, the consumer. The issue with having these plastic beads in beauty products is that when you wash your skin with them you’re actually just rubbing little pieces of plastic on your skin which may exfoliate but it has a short lived exfoliation effect. If on the other hand you use a product that has another exfoliation bead (such as tamarind and jojoba bead in a facial cleanser from shea moisture that I like) the exfoliation effect lasts longer so you don’t have to exfoliate as often.

It saves you time because you don’t have to exfoliate as much as well as money because you use less bottles of exfoliating skincare products overall. Not to mention a natural plant based product works better so you’re getting a higher quality product and effect on your skin. The benefits of using all natural plant based beauty products go beyond the bottle to your wallet and overall appearance.

Not only that but now companies are including these small plastic beads in toothpaste in order to feel the exfoliating effect in your mouth so that your teeth and gums feel clean. Can you believe that? You could be washing your teeth with small plastic beads and swallowing them! Talk about a low quality product with no positive effects.

Here’s a quick video sharing how these plastic beads get into beauty products and toothpaste:

You want to avoid all products (but look specifically in beauty and some in health) that contain the following ingredients:

* polyethylene
* polypropylene
* polyethylene terephthalate
* polymethyl methacrylate

The big problem occurs when these beads (which are used by millions of people) are used and washed down the drain in your shower or sink and these plastic beads make their way to the river, lake or ocean where fish reside. These fish eat these small plastic beads and then guess what? You eat those fish the next time you go out to get sushi or any fish dish…. OR the next time you buy free range organic fish from your local health food store.

These plastic beads are bad for our health (to put into our mouth as a toothpaste, what were these companies thinking?) and to use them in our beauty products which lead to more plastic and issues in teh environment. I highly recommend to stop using these plastic beads and find a product that is natural and plant based that offers ultimately better benefits.

Worse yet, the American Dental Association supports Crest (one of the brands that have these beads, avoid them) and their plastic beads citing a lack of clinical evidence questioning their safety. How funny is that? The AMA (American Dental Association) really doesn’t care if you wash and brush with plastic beads because there’s no proof that it is unsafe. You’d have to brush your teeth with gasoline for the AMA to do anything to “protect” you because putting plastic in your mouth and ingesting some of it is not healthy. Plastic contains a chemical known as BPA which is a toxic chemical that disrupts hormones in the body.

Brands such as Crest, Colgate and many others contain plastic micro-beads.

This is actually from, they don’t take any responsibility and did a nice job displacing that but at least are making positive changes now, although I still wouldn’t support this brand because their ingredients are nothing close to natural or healthy for your health or teeth long-term.

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As you can see below there are quite a few beauty product brands that include micro-beads in their products:

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You have a choice as the consumer to support companies that create plastic bead free toothpaste and beauty products. These products are better for your health, better for the environment and support a happier and healthier future. I personally like and use doterra on guard natural whitening toothpaste, earthpaste which are both bead free toothpaste options (I would only use earthpaste once or twice a week because the clay in it is too abrasive to use daily in my opinion and the opinion of a holistic dentist I interviewed) and an array of natural beauty and skincare products.