Alternatives to Plastic Microbeads in Cosmetic Products

Building on over 30 years of experience in cosmetic ingredients, Composition Materials Co, Inc. supplies all-white tagua, apricot and walnut shell scrubs for use in cosmetic formulations.

Walnut Shell for Cosmetics

Figure 1. Walnut Shell for Cosmetics

Composition Materials’ all-natural and environmentally friendly exfoliants are sustainably derived from fruits and nuts. They supply these microbead replacement products to cosmetic manufacturers worldwide.


Many companies manufacture personal care items, such as soaps and skin care products, with microbeads in their composition. Polyethylene is primarily used to produce microbeads. There are thousands of tiny microplastic beads present in a single product.

When they are washed down drains, they eventually reach water bodies such as seas, oceans, and rivers. These tiny beads do not deteriorate, but are reduced into smaller particles when exposed to UV light.

Significance of Replacing Microbeads

Besides affecting food supply, the accumulation of these tiny beads causes trouble to wild life and marine life. As a result, several cosmetic manufacturers are in process of phasing out the application of microbeads in cosmetic products.

In the United States, the Microbead Free Waters Act of 2015 will ban all cosmetic products containing plastic microbeads beginning in 2017. In addition, many cosmetic companies in Europe and Asia are phasing out microbeads.

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Composition Materials’ Microbead Alternatives

Cosmetic companies have been using apricot pit shell and walnut shell abrasive grains and flours in personal care products for over 30 years (Figures 1 and 2). They produce these all-natural products in standard sizes.

apricot Pit Shell for Cosmetics

Figure 2. Apricot Pit Shell for Cosmetics

These products are recognized for their exfoliating properties. Composition Materials more recently introduced ground Tagua - an exfoliation ingredient that has an ivory-white color - which is very attractive to cosmetics formulators.

Tagua Natural White Exfoliant

Figure 3. Tagua Natural White Exfoliant


Composition Materials has been providing green products for more than nine decades to help industries across the globe to get all-natural solutions.

Composition Materials

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Composition Materials.

For more information on this source, please visit Composition Materials.


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