Ingesting Microplastics in Health and Beauty Products

Written by Bryn O’Reilly


Posted on February 20 2022

Moving towards a cleaner and healthier lifestyle usually starts with what you put inside your body, but thinking about what you put on your body is important too! 

It is crazy how the tiniest things can have the biggest impact and I am talking about super tiny things such as microplastics. The miniscule plastic beads and other plastic ingredients found in skincare products like exfoliators, scrubs, soaps and yes, even toothpaste. 

You may have heard that microplastics like microbeads are a hot topic in the natural living world because they’re a cause for concern for the environment including wildlife, marine life and even our health. 

What are microplastics?

Microplastics are created when large plastics are broken down in the environment into smaller pieces. Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic, less than a millimeter in size, that are commonly added to scrubs and toothpastes to create a grainy texture for exfoliation. They’re made from the very same plastics you find in plastic bottles and other containers, just in nearly microscopic form. 

How do microplastics affect the environment?

I don’t know about you, but I sure do love to exfoliate. There is nothing better than a good face or body scrub to feel refreshed and renewed. When you wash your face with these exfoliators, you probably don’t think about those microplastics that are now being washed down the drain and ultimately leading towards our water systems. These plastic beads DO NOT disappear; they simply relocate. 

Microplastics are small enough to pass through water treatment facilities, so they end up flowing straight into our rivers, lakes and oceans. When these tiny plastic beads flow into waters, they can absorb toxins and chemicals and when worms, fish, frogs and turtles mistake them for food, they end up inside their bodies. 

What are the health risks of microplastics?

Once microplastics make their way into the water, it is pretty easy to see how they can end up in our food system. Microplastics eventually work their way up the food chain to end up in our food supply as members of the food chain consume food. Microplastics can be hidden pretty deep in the ingredients list of your favorite beauty products along with other chemicals you don’t want in your body but you can spot them by looking out for these common ingredients:

  • Polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP)
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  • Polyethylene
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
  • Polylactic acid (PLA)
  • Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)
  • Nylon


The Dirt

Are you looking for products that are all-natural and don’t have any microplastic ingredients? Well, look no more! Products from The Dirt pride themselves on chemicals belonging in a lab and not in your mouth or body! The Dirt does not use fillers, artificial ingredients, soy or anything else a person does not want to eat, but instead, uses effective ingredients such as essential oils, bentonite clay, myrrh and coconut oils! 

These are the BEST products I swear by from The Dirt: 

Trace Mineral Toothbrush Powder

This tooth powder comes in a variety of flavors including Sweet Spice, Super Mint, Bubblegum, Cinna Mint and Fennel Anise. You also have the ability to select from three sizes: 6 month jar, 3 month tub or a 6 week travel size jar. 

Coconut Oil Toothpaste

If you are having trouble jumping on the tooth powder wagon, our traditional toothpaste might just be for you! The coconut oil toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors including: Super Mint, Cinna Mint, Sweet Cinnamon, Cacao Mint or Rose Cacao Mint. You also have the ability to select from three sizes: 150g, 72g, 35g. 

Oil Pulling Mouthwash

Oil pulling has gained an immense amount of popularity and traction in recent years as an effective way to remove plaque and germs from your mouth. The Dirt offers two different sizes: 4oz or 8oz and comes in four different flavors: Rose Clove Mint, Super Mint, Fennel Anise or Sweet Cinnamon. 

Eco Friendly Bamboo Toothbrush

The most important product from The Dirt is the Eco Friendly Bamboo Toothbrush as it is single handedly, made entirely from all-natural resources. Avoid directly putting a plastic toothbrush in your mouth by using one of these amazing brushes!