UK Wide Microbead Ban: What Does It Mean For You & What Alternatives Do You Have?

Yesterday, a UK wide ban on microbeads in certain cosmetic and beauty products came into place. These tiny plastics are most commonly added to cosmetic products as an exfolient, they are usually found in face scrubs, body washes and toothpastes but can be used in most makes.

This is only the first stage of a much larger microbead ban, with a full ban on any products containing microbeads to come into force in July of this year. The UK has been the leading force in banning microbeads, but the rest of the world is following closely behind, France voted last year to try and start implementing bans on microbeads this year.

This change has been welcomed by a vast amount of campaigners, microbeads are well known for being one of the most destructive products of the cosmetic industry, and are having a major affect on our worlds sea life. Growing concern over the damage being caused by microbeads has been emphasised by the recent TV documentary series Blue Planet 2, which was arguably the most popular show of 2017 and featured a massive emphasis on human effects on global warming and the ocean, highlighting the severity of plastics being introduced into our oceans, especially microbeads.

These small beads do not decompose, and often slip through drainage systems and enter our oceans. Here they can transport toxic elements, or smaller sea life can dangerously mistake them for food, causing them to enter the food chain.

The Soap Kitchen has never stocked any form of plastic microbead, but we are aware some of our customers do have products that contain them, or may have not used them because they cannot find any Eco- friendly alternatives.

So what are your alternatives?

Ground Pumice

In response to this ban, we are to start stocking three new grades of Ground Pumice.  As a naturally occurring product, Pumice is the best alternative to microbeads, it’s strong formation means it has the same effect when used in cosmetic products but it is chemically inert so will not carry the same level of toxins if it does end up in our oceans. Pumice is already being used as a successful exfolient in many cosmetic products so has already proven itself the natural micro-exfolient. The pumice we will stock is sustainably recovered from seabeds, from where it is abundant.

We currently stock one grade of ground Pumice which you can find HERE. Keep an eye on our social media feeds and website to know when we get our new grades in stock.

Larger Natural Exfolients

We already stock a large range of natural exfolients of different sizes. From Ground Almond Shells to Coarse Himalayan Rock Salt our range of exfolients should give you a great array of natural alternatives to choose from. It is worth mentioning, our peeling beads are NOT plastic, they are fine beads of natural wax.

A lot of large soap and cosmetic brands are also using naturally occurring botanicals for exfoliation. We stock a large range of dried botanicals, including seeds and powders and different sized beans. Depending on your product, these can have a great exfoliation effect.

You can view all of our exfolients HERE. You can shop our botanicals HERE.

When it comes to choosing an exfolient, it comes to the desired effects of the product you are making and your own personal preference. We are happy to support the ban of microbeads in the UK and see them start to be ruled out as a worldwide choice.


If you have any questions regarding microbeads, or any comments on this blog post we would love to hear them! Simply comment underneath or get in touch with us HERE. Also, if you enjoyed this blog post or know anyone who would like this blog post, then please to share it with your friends!

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