If you rely on microbeads to buff your skin to glowing perfection, it might be time to start searching for a new way to exfoliate. A study published in December 2013 by 5Gyres and SUNY Fredonia revealed alarmingly high concentrations of small plastic particles polluting the Great Lakes. “As we looked for the source, we recognized that they were coming from personal care products,” Stiv Wilson, Policy Director at the 5Gyres Institute says, “because sewage treatment isn’t designed to filter out things that small.” Avoid products with polyethylene or polypropylene in favor of biodegradable exfoliates.
MORE: Is Your Face Wash Destroying the Environment?