Mikroplastik

Microplastic-free into the future with natural cosmetics

Tiny and well hidden: Even today, many cosmetic products contain microplastics. And that, even though you can do without it - we'll show you the plastic-free alternative to conventional personal care products.

Discarded bottles, plastic bags, empty sunscreen tubes - mountains of plastic waste wash up on the world's beaches every day. But even the plastic that we don't see at first glance is causing enormous damage to our environment. Microplastics are increasingly becoming a global problem. There is now almost no place in the world where it cannot be detected.

Microplastics

 

What exactly is microplastic?

Although there is no recognized definition for the term "microplastic", this term generally refers to solid, non-degradable plastic particles under 5 millimeters. Microplastics are either created by the breakdown of larger plastic waste (such as PET bottles) in the environment or they exist from the start in particle form (such as an additive in cosmetics).


Important: In personal care products you will find plastics not only in their solid form, but also as dissolved and liquid synthetic polymers. These are just as difficult to biodegrade and, even if they are not officially called “microplastics”, they are just as harmful to the environment. According to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT, 922 tons of microplastics end up in our wastewater every year from cosmetic products alone. Most wastewater treatment plants cannot adequately filter the tiny particles, so they end up being washed into our rivers and seas.

 

“Micro” plastic: a macro problem

What can you find in the stomach of an amphipod measuring just under 5 centimeters in size at the lowest point on earth? Presumably dead plankton and other tiny particles that sink to the bottom of the sea - at a depth of over 6,500 meters, amphipods cannot be picky about their diet.

However, the researchers had not expected a tiny piece of plastic; after all, the amphipod was a new deep-sea species in a previously little-researched habitat. Yet it was already contaminated with human waste. Without further ado, its discoverers named the new species “Eurythenes plasticus,” thereby sending an important signal against the pollution of the world’s oceans.

But not just in the Mariana Trench, also on the highest slopes of Mount Everest and in the most remote regions of the Arctic - scientists can now detect microplastics everywhere. Even with the fresh snow in winter, the smallest microparticles trickle down to the ground.

micro plastic

Why are microplastics so harmful to us and our environment?

Hardly anyone would think of intentionally throwing rows of empty cosmetic packaging into the nearest river. Nevertheless, most people do exactly that - unconsciously of course - every day: when they soap themselves in the shower, wash their hair or brush their teeth. Many conventional cosmetic products contain a large proportion of microplastics. When we rinse them off our skin, the tiny particles end up in our wastewater and from there into our rivers and seas. There, plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose. In addition, once they are in the environment, the microparticles can no longer be filtered out. And because it's not bad enough that our planet is suffering massively from the flood of plastic, many skin problems are also caused in the long term by artificial additives.

 

Why then are there microplastics in many cosmetic products?

The answer to this question is relatively simple: it simplifies the manufacturing process for cosmetic manufacturers. As a gel, microplastic is, for example, a relatively inexpensive filler for shower gels or lotions. In the case of decorative cosmetics, microplastics are intended to promote hold. But it is also used as an abrasive, for example in peelings or toothpaste.


Microplastics in cosmetics are not prohibited by law because no direct harmful effects on the skin have been proven. However, it has been sufficiently proven that harmful and toxic substances can adhere particularly well to the surface of microplastic particles. In the worst case, these toxic substances are ingested by fish and marine animals (and may end up back on our own plates).

 

Plate with microplastics

 

Are cosmetic products without microplastics possible and how do I recognize them?

Of course, cosmetic products without microplastics are possible, because after all, the artificial additives serve no specific purpose. Your skin doesn't need it and won't miss it. In Germany, all ingredients must be stated on the packaging, so it is relatively easy to avoid microplastics. When shopping, pay particular attention to ingredients such as polyethylene, polyamide, polypropylene or polyethylene terephthalate. Microplastics are not allowed in certified natural cosmetics, so you can use them without hesitation.

Avoiding microplastics is easy for us

Even small changes in our consumer behavior can have a big impact on our environment. Products made from natural ingredients are usually not only more effective, but they also strengthen your skin in the long term and provide it with valuable nutrients. Our face creams , for example, contain no microplastics at all and still give you velvety-soft, smooth skin in no time. Of course, you won't find any microplastics or other artificial ingredients in our other products either, because we are convinced that natural ingredients are the best for the skin - and the environment.

Apart from that, we package all of our products as sustainably as possible. Even discarded and unrecycled plastic packaging turns into microplastics over time due to environmental influences. We would like to make our contribution to a future with less plastic. In the end, not only your skin benefits from cosmetics without microplastics, but also our oceans and the entire planet.


Sources:

Bertling, J., Hamann, L., Hiebel, M. (2018). Microplastics and synthetic polymers in cosmetic products as well as detergents, cleaning products and cleaners. Final report. Available online at:
https://publica.fraunhofer.de/eprints/urn_nbn_de_0011-n-4907737.pdf

Cox KD, Covernton GA, Davies HL, Dower JF, Juanes F, Dudas SE (2019). Human Consumption of Microplastics.
Environmental Science & Technology, 53 (12), pp. 7068-7074. Available online at:
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.est.9b01517

Weston JNJ, Carrillo-Barragan P, Linley TD, Reid WDK, Jamieson AJ (2020). New species of Eurythenes from hadal depths of the Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean (Crustacea: Amphipoda). Zootaxa, 4748(1), pp. 163-181. Available online at: https://www.biotaxa.org/Zootaxa/article/view/zootaxa.4748.1.9



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