Do the current environmental issues with exfoliating beads have you searching for natural alternatives for your personal care formulations? With recent discoveries of synthetic beads polluting bodies of water and being ingested by marine life, manufacturers have recognized the need to eliminate them all together. Let’s review the benefits of using exfoliating powders, bead specifications for different product types and the natural alternatives that best fit those product types below.
Exfoliating scrubs and gels are probably among the most efficacious skin care products currently sold and provide an immediate consumer perceived improvement in skin feel and texture. These products can be used daily or several times a week depending on the type of exfoliant used. Colored beads in clear body washes also can provide a visual product signal.
Benefits of exfoliation include:
- Provides a soft, smooth skin feel.
- Visually improves skin texture and evens tone.
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Long-term use of exfoliants may increase skin firmness.
- May help increase the skin penetration of skin care ingredients.
- Improves the color quality and uniformity of sunless tanning products.
- Increases cell turnover.
- May induce the release of cytokines, which promote collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid.
Exfoliation is normally accomplished by using natural or synthetic based powders that have varying abrasive properties depending on amount used, shape, hardness, and particle size. Soft to moderate beads are normally the best for facial products, while mild to moderate particles should be used in body products. Generally moderate to hard particles are only used on products for the feet or hands.
Spherical or ground polyethylene beads with a particle size of 125-700 microns are probably the most common scrubbing beads currently used. There is, however, a current growing need to remove these materials from products due to their tendency to float and not be removed in sewage treatment plants. Natural abrasive options include waxes, fruits, nut shells and seeds.
Natural biodegradable polymeric options using naturally derived Lactic acid:
- Accuscrub 27N (Polylactide, 100-1300 microns – Accutech) – used as biodegradable exfoliating beads.
- Asensa NSC 22 (Polylactic acid, 325 microns – Honeywell Specialty Additives)
EU: Asensa NSC 22 | Honeywell Specialty Additives
- Asensa NSC 23 (Polylactic acid, 630 microns – Honeywell Specialty Additives)
EU: Asensa NSC 23 | Honeywell Specialty Additives
Natural ground or spherical waxes:
- Naturbead B20 (Carnauba wax, Beeswax, spherical-840 microns – Micro Powders)
- Jojoba Scrubeads (Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil-250 and 425 microns – Lipo Chemicals)
Natural ground fruits and shells:
- Lipo AMS (Prunis Amygalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond Meal), 800-1700 microns – Lipo Chemicals Company)
- Lipo VI 40/60 (Phytelephas Aequatorialis Seed Powder (Ivory Palm powder), 200-500 microns – Lipo Chemicals Company)
- Cocoa Exfoliator (Theobroma Cacao – Caribbean Natural Products Inc.)
- Corn Cob Granules (Zea Mays – Caribbean Natural Products Inc.)
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