Like almost everything you find on store shelves, health and beauty products often come with their share of synthetic chemicals hidden in their ingredients list. While these compounds might help exfoliate your skin, kill bacteria, or leave you smelling amazing, they also end up polluting the air or washing out into our natural water sources. Don’t fret, though—there are plenty of natural, organic alternatives that provide the same effect without harming the environment. You can do your part to protect our planet by avoiding these health and beauty products that are bad for the environment.
Soaps With Microbeads
Many companies put plastic microbeads in their face washes and body scrubs. These beads exfoliate the skin, but afterward, they wash down the drain and into waterways. There, fish and other marine life consume these beads, facing health issues as a result. Avoid soaps and washes that include microbeads or polyethylene beads. Instead, search for alternatives that use natural ingredients to exfoliate. Some common natural exfoliators include sea salt, sugar, or coffee granules.
Many people already avoid synthetic fragrances because they cause skin irritation, but these fragrances also happen to be one of the biggest ingredients in health and beauty products that are bad for the environment. Wastewater treatment plants don’t break down fragrance chemicals, so they’re free to build up in our waterways and harm the wildlife that lives there. Seek out products with natural fragrances instead. For example, essential oils have pleasant scents without any of the harmful toxins of synthetic fragrances.
Deodorant is such a normal part of your daily routine that it’s easy to miss the fact that most deodorants harm the environment. Deodorants—along with soaps, hand sanitizers, and other antibacterial products—contain an agent called triclosan. This chemical is toxic to aquatic organisms, which means it poses a serious threat when it washes down the drain and ends up resting on the surfaces of bodies of water. Triclosan also threatens our health. Fortunately, you can avoid triclosan by purchasing natural deodorants with organic ingredients instead.