The Regimen

What are Cellulose Microbeads and Why Do They Matter?

African American woman with yellow dress sailing and looking at sea

For years, the cosmetics and skin care industry used plastic microbeads in all kinds of products from toothpaste to exfoliating scrubs. But in recent years, it became clear that those tiny spheres were having a big impact on the environment. Once washed down the drain, the beads were ending up in the ocean, contributing to the glut of plastic in our seas that is harming birds, fish, and other marine life. 

A ban was placed on plastic microbeads—The Microbead-Free Waters Act—in 2015. Manufacturers were given until July 2019 to comply, but we wanted to get on it immediately.

Because exfoliating scrubs are critical to removing dead skin cells and encouraging new collagen production (the foundation of healthy skin), we had to find a good alternative bead for our scrubs pronto.

We knew about the cheaper, biodegradable alternatives that were already out there—jojoba beads, apricot kernels, ground nutshells, salt—but these can be irritating because of their lack of uniformity. They often have sharp edges that can irritate skin.

Being a scientifically based line, we knew that there had to be an effective solution that would provide healthy exfoliation and keep plastic out of the ocean. The answer was cellulose, the material that forms the tough fibers found in wood and plants. It’s the perfect biodegradable and renewable alternative to plastic. These eco-friendly microbeads are robust enough to remain stable in a face scrub or body wash but can be broken down by organisms at wastewater treatment facilities, or in the environment in a short period of time.

We replaced plastic microbeads in all our scrubs with the sustainable, biodegradable cellulose beads in 2017 (two years ahead of the requirement). Not only are the cellulose beads in Vivant’s products good for the environment, they feel great on your skin because of their uniform shape and smooth texture. No irritation. No micro-tears. No clogged pores or dullness.  

You can use all of Vivant’s exfoliating scrubs with confidence, and your conscience can be as clear as your skin.


Vivant’s Eco-Friendly Scrubs:

Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Exfoliating Cleanser

This hydrating and healthy scrub clears cellular debris, kills acne bacteria, and suppresses pigmentation to promote a bright, smooth complexion without drying or irritating. Best for mild to severe acne in dark skin tones.

BP 3% Exfoliating Cleanser

Flushes out impurities, peels away impactions, refines pores and accelerates cell renewal for more rapid clearing of acne and minimal scarring. Great for targeting acne on the face, back, forearms, or for use after a sweaty workout. Ideal for mild to severe acne in skin not prone to hyperpigmentation

Buffing Grains

Exfoliate, polish, and hydrate with this refreshing water-based scrub. Removes dead skin cells and oil while encouraging the production of collagen and elastin to immediately reveal a more radiant, glowing complexion. Use on its own or add it to your favorite targeted cleanser to turn it into an exfoliating scrub. Good for all skin types and tones.


Related Articles

Not Exfoliating Is Not An Option

Why Exfoliation is an Important Part of Your Skin Care Routine

Subscribe to get our latest newsletter on email

Due to severe weather conditions in the South Florida area, orders may be delayed up to 24 hours. Thank you for understanding.