We’re starting to hear more about microplastics and microbeads, in part because countries and states are enacting legislation against their use, mostly in cosmetics and toiletries, such as the Microbead-Free Waters Act which was signed into law in the U.S. in December 2015. However, there are still many consumer products that contain plastics which are not prohibited. The subtlety in the law between “rinse-off” products, which contain plastic particles between 0.05 and 1 mm in size, and “leave-on” products, which have much smaller plastic particles, has allowed sunscreen to continue to include plastic…with 10 to 100 trillion particles in a single product! To protect yourself and the environment, opt for a natural sunscreen such as one with zinc oxide which might be mixed with natural oils, and make sure it is packaged in a non-plastic container!

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