Over the holidays, I was re-gifted an Aveeno product line from my mom. I love a good re-gift (I give ‘em, I gladly accept ‘em!) Now, I’m a committed Aveda gal; however, it’s always a shame to see products wasted. I figured I’d work them into my daily routine – who couldn’t use an extra moisturizer in the winter?

One of the products was the Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub. As a lass with dry skin, exfoliation in winter is a high priority. I use my Aveda scrub every few nights before bed, so I tossed this Aveeno scrub into the shower to use in the mornings. Now, I confess that I did not double-check the ingredient list. Aveeno claims to be a natural product line, using the slogan “active naturals,” and I assumed they were an environmentally responsible brand.

Imagine my disappointment when I took a closer look at the label one morning to discover that my “brightening” daily scrub was using toxic microbeads! I did an angry bear dance in the shower that morning, talk about harnessing the power of nature!

Microbeads are tiny bits of plastic, and their place in beauty products ensures that they are flushed down the drain. They are too small to be filtered out by water treatment plants, and eventually find their way into our rivers, lakes and oceans. Because they are not biodegradable, and animals are not able to digest them, they are very harmful.

Microbeads can be found in many beauty products, soaps and even toothpaste, and it is difficult for consumers to even know they are present (check out this blog from one of our Green Action co-workers who discovered them while brushing her teeth). Thankfully, the Government of Canada is moving forward with its plan to ban microbeads from personal care products. You have until March 10th to submit your feedback during their public consultation phase.

While I’m happy to see that Johnson and Johnson, the maker of Aveeno, has committed to eliminating microbeads from its products by 2017, I do think that that is an awful long time to knowingly sell harmful products to hundreds of thousands of consumers. If you agree, visit Beat The Microbead’s website and commit to raising awareness about this issue. Have a product in your home with microbeads? Ship it back! If you can’t afford to send it back, do take the time to write to the manufacturer and express your disappointment.

DIY 2 Folk Fest 2014 (Main Pg)And you’re probably wondering, what is in the Aveda products that I use, and other environmentally friendly beauty products, to exfoliate? Jojoba beads! Learn more about them here. You can also make your own Brown Sugar Scrub and other products!