Today is World Oceans Day, a day set up 14 years ago by The Ocean Project, aiming to raise awareness about the plight of our oceans. They may well be terrifying, unknowable entities but they also generate most of the oxygen we breathe, regulate our climate and, let’s not forget, provide an awful lot of the ingredients in our skincare.
One thing the ocean does not provide is the very thing harming it the most. Microbeads are commonly used in exfoliating facewashes and body scrubs, and have the potential to seriously harm marine life. Campaigners have been calling for a complete ban on the tiny pieces of plastic, which get swallowed up by fish, thus entering the food chain. In fact, the UK could follow President Obama’s suitand ban plastic microbeads used in scrubs, because of the threat they pose to the environment.
Eighty per cent of marine pollution comes from land. Stats released by the National Geographic Society and Davidoff estimate that by 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic than fish, measured by weight.
So, what can you do? For starters, stop using those microbeads. We know summer is the season during which we need the most exfoliation, but you needn’t go poisoning fish in your pursuit of smooth limbs. Thus, we have compiled a selection of the best non-plastic face and body scrubs on the market.
Best for… light face exfoliation
Technically a cleanser, the Active Enzyme Cleansing Cream by Trilogy, £25.50, gently sloughs off dead skin cells using naturally exfoliating fruit enzymes. Top tip: slather it on in the morning before your shower and leave it on as a face mask for five minutes before washing off – it makes the skin look immediately brighter.
Best for… deep face exfoliation
These little PHA+ Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads by Zelens, £65, don’t seem like much, but they really do pack a punch. Sweep all over cleansed skin and let the chemical exfoliants do their job. You skin will look immediately smoother and refreshed, and the effects improve over time. Use twice a week – and if you use it in the mornings, always follow with an SPF.
Best for… fake tan prep
The satisfyingly scrubby mix of sugar and salt in Origins’ Smoothing Salt Scrub, £25 is the best prep for fake tan. It doesn’t leave any sort of oily residue, and doesn’t feel scratchy on the skin. The scent of spearmint and orange is pretty delicious, too – we give this natural scrub top marks.
Best for… silky, glowy skin
The Omorovicza Gold Sugar Scrub, £57, is one of the most decadent body scrubs we’ve tried. The sugar base is very moisturising and leaves the skin silky smooth. It also has flecks of gold in it – we told you it was decadent – which leave a soft, beautiful shimmer on the skin. Great before a night out.
Best for… travel
These handy sachets by Frank Body are great for packing away in your travel kit. We love the Coconut Coffee Scrub, £13.95, with it’s natural mix of invigorating coffee and coconut. It’s a little messy, but who cares if you’re in a hotel shower?