Did you know that when you’re exfoliating your skin with a skin care product containing microbeads, you’re feeding fish with plastic? Or, if this statement doesn’t touch you (we hope it does, though), read it another way: when you’re washing your face with a microbead skin scrub, you’re cooking a fish stuffed with plastic for dinner. In short, you’re doing harm, all the way and up the food chain. Microbeads are tiny, less than 2 mm -sized particles made of polyethylene or polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate or nylon. Plastic all over. You can find it in your face wash gels, body washes, or toothpaste. Water filtration systems can’t stop them and, once in the drain, they go directly to our rivers, bays, seas and other watersheds, causing unimaginable damage to marine life. You don’t want to contribute to plastic pollution in the environment, right? Fortunately, you have the power to stop this happening and it starts with switching to more natural ways for treating your skin. And we can also back you with a few ideas for skin scrubs that are 100% natural.

Before we proceed with our top 5 natural scrubs, we’ll tell you a secret. Microbeads are completely rounded and perfectly smooth. On the other hand, natural substitutes got some texture to their edges which makes them far more effective at exfoliating your skin. Consequently, you don’t need to use it every day to keep your skin smooth and bright.


My personally preferred. Ground coffee is a wonderful natural exfoliator. When applied to your skin gently in a circle motion, it removes your dry, dead skin, helping new healthy-looking skin to shine on the surface. It leaves your skin smoother and energized. Besides excellent exfoliating properties, coffee possesses another secret weapon – caffeine. Caffeine has the power to tighten your skin, thus, being effective at reducing the appearance of cellulite (though temporarily). Caffeine restricts blood vessels, so when you apply it under your eyes it can minimize puffiness, swelling or inflammation. If you go for this natural scrub material, choose the Robusta type of coffee. The coffee we drink every day is usually Arabica. Robusta coffee beans, on the other hand, are stronger and contain twice more caffeine than Arabica beans.

Whole oats

You can kick-start your day with whole oats. But not in your breakfast! Oatmeal is suitable for all skin types, even for the most sensitive. It has a soothing effect that can reduce irritation and treat inflammation. Whole oats contain saponins – a great cleansing agent. When applied to your skin this natural scrub will not only remove dirt from your skin pores but moisture your skin and absorb excess oil on its surface. It can do an amazing job if you grind it in a blender and mix it with water to make a paste. You can also combine it with honey and milk to make a face mask at home for dry and irritated skin. Or add yogurt to rejuvenate your skin and clean your pores deeply.


Sugar may not be welcome in your food, but it’s an excellent ingredient in skincare! It is a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). It penetrates your skin and boosts cell regeneration, removes dead cells, leaving your skin fresh and new! To avoid scratching your skin, you can mix sugar with a natural oil like olive or grapeseed, or use honey to make a paste. Commercially produced cosmetic products contain less than a 10% of glycolic acid because it can be irritating for some skin types. Sugar is also a natural humectant. This means it can help hydrate your skin and lock moisture within. What type of sugar to use? Brown sugar is generally softer, so you can use it for face scrubs, and coarser raw sugar can be better for exfoliating your body. Anyway, don’t forget to make a test on a small skin area to make sure your skin tolerates it.

Jojoba Beads

Pointed to be the best natural substitute for microbeads in commercially produced skin care products. They are perfectly smooth, thus, often mistaken for plastic microbeads. Jojoba beads are actually absolutely natural and are derived from the jojoba shrub. Jojoba wax is extracted from jojoba shrub seeds – the so-called jojoba oil popular for its moisturizing and emollient properties. The precious jojoba beads are, in fact, jojoba wax in its fully hydrogenated form. They gently clean your skin with no breaks or micro scratches. Jojoba beads are biodegradable and can be purchased in a variety of colors. Mix it with natural oils, or add pineapple and honey to make a paste. Enjoy!


Papaya is not only tasty, it offers excellent exfoliating properties and can be very effective against blackheads and pimples. It doesn’t make the scrub structure we are used to thinking of when saying ‘exfoliator’. But…it will surprise you with its secret ingredients. Papaya contains papain – this is an enzyme that helps remove dead skin cell. Natural alpha hydroxy acids boost cell production and heal damaged tissue. Papaya is rich in Vitamin C and E that will help your skin stay young. Preferably, use green papaya for your DIY scrub, because papain is best in young fruit. Simply blend the fruit to make a smooth paste. You can also add a tablespoon of sugar or honey.

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After all said and done, I hope we helped you rethink your own anti-microbead strategy. If you need one more reason to do so, here it comes. Using natural scrubs will not only involve you in preventing microbeads leave their dirty mark on the environment. They will also keep you away from a whole bunch of other not-so-friendly chemicals thriving in many commercial beauty products. And…help you sleep well at night – with a clear conscience.

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