In this video I try to explain all the environmental reasons why micro-beads are a really terrible thing* — which they are. So let’s stop throwing pounds of plastic into the oceans for no reason. Sound good? Good!

But it turns out microbeads aren’t doing your skin (or teeth) much good either. This is trending slightly outside of my comfort zone, because I don’t know anything about proper exfoliating technique and practices, but people much more knowledgeable than me say your skin is pretty sensitive and these little beads can tear it up in all the wrong ways, leaving tiny holes for bacteria to set up shop. But companies are continuing to use microbeads as cheap plastic replacements for the more effective (but also expensive) exfoliators.

So what are our alternatives? Lots of products have thankfully started discontinuing the microbead so we can always just switch brands — but if you want to save a little money and make your own, this is a simple sugar exfoliating body scrub**.


  • Sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Optional: Essential Oil of your preference

The sugar to olive oil ratio is about 1:1 — mix those together in a re-sealable container and add drops of essential oil to smell. To use, scoop out a little bit in the shower or bath and rub into skin until the sugar dissolves, rinse, feel like the supreme ruler of the world.

That’s it, super easy, and a fraction of cost of whatever ‘jo-jo-ba loofah milk-towel‘ thing you were using from The Body Shop.



side note: does this make me a beauty blogger?

*although i didn’t mention coral, but apparently microbeads are killing coral too. Seriously, everyone needs to leave coral alone. After all its been through!

**Jessi here, invading Miriam’s post. I use this and have used this recipe for a long time! I like to use a little lemon in my scrub as well. Put it all into a mason jar and it’s pretty cute too! I use it just for my body, but Miriam even uses it on her face. I’ll leave that decision up to you and your skin type.


Video Sources:

Microplastic ingestion by scleractinian corals by N.M. Hall, K.L.E. Berry, L. Rintoul, M.O. Hoogenboom is published in the journal Marine Biology. DOI 10.1007/s00227-015-2619-7

Free, C. M., O. P. Jensen, S. A. Mason, M. Eriksen, N. J. Williamson, and B. Boldgiv, ‘High-levels of microplastic pollution in a large, remote, mountain lake,’ Marine Pollution Bulletin, in press.

Erikson, M., S. A. Mason, S. Wilson, C. Box, A. Zellers, W. Edwards, H. Farley, and S. Amato, ‘Microplastic Pollution in the Surface Waters of the Laurentian Great Lakes,’ Marine Pollution Bulletin,77, 177, 2013.




Written by miriam

Striving to be "The Infinite Probability Drive within the Heart of Gold," Miriam's interests include accidentally purchasing everything in purple, going deep on the frisbee field, local food, and taking the stairs. She studied film at Middlebury College even though she won't admit it (her degree was in Environmental Studies).

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