The biggest names in beauty back Miranda Kerr's demand.

Image via Getty.

UPDATE: Following on from beauty giants Unilever, L’Oreal and The Body Shop’s decision to stop using microbeads in their facial scrubs and exfoliants, three more companies have followed suit. 

Clarins, Clearasil and Ella Baché have all agreed to phase out polyethylene microbeads out of their products. Clearasil and Ella Baché have told environmental campaigner Jon Dee, who runs the advocacy group DoSomething2016, they aim to find a suitable alternative by the end of 2016.

Miranda Kerr has previously given her support to advocacy group DoSomething, and their mission to make beauty companies stop the production of harmful microbeads. Microbeads (unlike other exfoliants like salt or oat scrubs) are not biodegradable, when you wash them down the drain, they make their way into the waterways becoming a major cause of environmental pollution. 


Miranda Kerr has spoken. There’s one skincare ingredient she’d like to see banned, and there’s a very good reason for it.

The 32-year-old model has backed the campaign to ban microbeads in cosmetics by the end of 2016. The campaign is being led by NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes and Jon Dee, environmentalist of advocacy group DoSomething, after high levels of microplastics were found in Sydney Harbour.

Microbeads – unlike other exfoliants like salt or oat scrubs – are not biodegradable. When you wash them down the drain, they make their way into the waterways becoming a major cause of environmental pollution.

The face wash so bad, it’s been banned.

According to The ABC, researchers from the University of New South Wales found microplastics in sediment samples from 27 different sites around Sydney Harbour. At one site, the concentration of microplastics was greater than that found outside a former plastics factory in Sweden.

Microbeads are not only harming fish, but humans too.


This is because microbeads don’t just clog waterways; they also look exactly like fish eggs, which means there are plenty of marine animals treating them as snacks. “We know they’re being ingested – there’s a whole gamut of species that we now know have these microplastics in their guts… We need to find out what risks there are to humans as well as to the organisms,” says but Dr Scott Wilson, a coastal management expert from the Central Queensland University Gladstone.

“I feel good knowing my customers and I aren’t harming the environment by flushing plastic microbeads down the drain and ultimately into our waterways and ocean,” Miranda Kerr told Fairfax Media.

“I believe in living in balance with nature, respecting our environment and making informed choices. I feel that if we all start by making small changes we can all have a positive impact on our planet.”

Are you exfoliating too much?

Global beauty brand Unilever, which owns Dove and St Ives skincare, has already said it will phase out microbeads in their exfoliating face and body washes in January.

Similarly, The Body Shop released a statement last year also indicating they will replace microbeads in their three facial exfoliators with safe and environmentally friendly alternatives by 2015.

If they are looking for a solution, they could find it in Miranda Kerr’s KORA Organics brand.

“Like many other women, exfoliating plays a part in my skincare regime as I exfoliate two to three times a week, so I’ve specifically developed an exfoliating cream for KORA Organics that uses fine natural bamboo particles,” says Kerr.

So how do you avoid microbeads? Avoiding microbeads is easy. Just don’t buy any products that list them as an ingredient. Because up until recently, microbeads were seen as a good thing, products mostly declare on the front of the packaging.