Cosmetics and alternatives to plastic microbeads


Composition Materials Co. has over 30 years of experience in natural cosmetic ingredients, including apricot shell and walnut shell scrubs, as well as all-white tagua for use in personal care formulations .

Figure 1. Walnut shell for cosmetics. Image credit: Composition materials

Natural cosmetic raw materials

Composition Materials produces sustainable, all-natural, and eco-friendly exfoliators from by-products of natural sources, such as fruit and nut shells. Composition Materials supplies these products as microbead replacements to cosmetics manufacturers around the world.

Microbead Replacements

Many companies around the world, including cosmetics companies, manufacture personal care items, soaps and skincare products with microbeads in their composition. The main material used in the production of plastic microbeads is polyethylene. In a single product, there can be up to thousands of tiny microplastic beads.

When the microbeads are washed down the drain, these tiny plastic particles move through the water and eventually reach bodies of water like rivers, seas and oceans. Instead of deteriorating, these microbeads break down into even smaller particles when exposed to UV light.

Why is microbead replacement important?

Plastic microbeads can impact wildlife and marine life as well as the food supply through the accumulation of these tiny plastic beads. The result of this harmful impact is that many countries have banned the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics.

For example, the Microbead Free Waters Act of 2015 in the United States banned all cosmetic products containing plastic microbeads since early 2017. Across Europe and Asia, many cosmetic companies have followed suit.

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Alternatives to microbeads of composition materials

Sustainability-conscious cosmetic companies have found alternatives to microbeads in abrasive grains from natural sources such as apricot shells and walnut shells in personal care products (Figures 1 and 2). These all-natural products are made in sizes preferred by cosmetics formulators.

Apricot kernel for cosmetics

Figure 2. Apricot kernel for cosmetics. Image credit: Composition materials

Natural alternatives to microbeads

Products like crushed walnut shells and apricot shells are used for their exfoliating properties. Recently, Composition Materials introduced a new sustainably sourced exfoliating ingredient in the form of Ground Tagua – this material has an ivory white color – which may be very appealing to cosmetic formulators.

Tagua Natural White Scrub.

Picture 3. Tagua Natural White Scrub. Image credit: Composition materials

Tagua – A Naturally White Exfoliator

Green products have been supplied by Composition Materials for nearly 100 years, providing all-natural solutions to a range of industries around the world.

For more information, please visit the Composition Materials website, where you will find full details on Composition Materials and details of their sustainable cosmetic ingredients.

Composition materials

This information has been extracted, revised and adapted from materials provided by Composition Materials.

For more information on this source, please visit Composition materials.


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