Contrary to what Aqua's throwback "Barbie Girl" single would have you believe, life in plastic isn't so fantastic when it's causing harm to the environment. Last year, CNN reported that the exfoliating plastic microbeads in many face and body scrubs were ending up in oceans and lakes. This proved to be harmful for the aquatic animals, as the beads were so miniscule, they were often mistaken for food.
Not only did this present bad news for the wildlife, but also for those who are fond of seafood. Unilever, the company behind Dove, AXE, and Simple Skincare among many other brands, immediately took note and announced that they'd be phasing out all use of plastic microbeads by 2015, and in February of this year, bills to ban the items were introduced in Illinois and New York. While all the items aren't off the market just yet, you can still help make the oceans and lakes a safer place by trading products that contain the microbeads for eco-friendly, natural versions.
For body, we're obsessed with the Sugar Tiare Flower scrub by LaLicious ($34; lalicious.com), which contains ultra-hydrating coconut and almond oils to keep your skin supple, not to mention the amazing tropical scent. The Ocean Salt Cleanser by Lush ($22; lushusa.com) is also in heavy rotation on our vanities—the texture is perfect for unclogging blocked pores, and while the infusion of lime and vodka sounds more like a cocktail, the ingredients boast major benefits for clearing up blackheads and blemishes.
Not a fan of the grit? Spritz on the Organic Mineral Peel for Face ($44; orgskincare.com). The word "peel" may seem intimidating, but the all-natural ingredients prove to be incredibly gentle, and won't irritate even the most sensitive complexions.
Want to green your beauty bag even further? Check out more eco-friendly products that really work!