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New Soap Means Less Plastic in the Ocean


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New Soap Means Less Plastic in the Ocean

Soybeans: an Alternative to Plastic Microbeads

From body washes and foot scrubs to shampoos, exfoliating facial cleansers and even toothpastes, many of today’s personal care products contain plastic microbeads to help whisk away rough, dry skin cells or food particles (in the case of toothpaste).

microbeadsWhile these beads are great for exfoliation and cleansing purposes, unfortunately they’re not so good for the environment. The miniscule beads make their way through city sewer systems, and because they are so tiny, they eventually end up in lakes, streams, rivers and oceans. There, they can absorb toxic chemicals from polluted waters and may eventually be eaten by fish and other marine life, spreading those toxins up the food chain.

Fortunately, plastic microbeads have now been banned in places like the U.S. and Canada, but products containing them may remain on shelves until these bans actually go into effect, as late as 2018.

SoyFoliate

Courtesy of SoyFoliate

Consumers looking for a better alternative to the plastic bead may soon be able to celebrate more good news: As reported by imperialvalleynews.com, four Purdue University students recently developed SoyFoliate, an exfoliating soap containing soy-based beads. Raw soybeans have a texture and hardness similar to popcorn kernels.

“We mill down the soy and we set the size of the beads to one that we think is the best,” said Samuel Lewis, a third-year student in Purdue’s Doctor of Pharmacy program and one of the soap’s creators. “The soy is very rigid and once you break it down it has properties that help safely exfoliate your skin as you run it through your hands.”

The soap’s soy-based beads degrade naturally, providing a much more environmentally friendly substitute for plastic microbeads. The new product holds a lot of promise for consumers as well as the environment, and its creators even won first place in the Purdue University Student Soybean Innovation Competition—along with a $20,000 prize. And while SoyFoliate hasn’t made it to the market just yet, the groundwork is being done to pave the way for technical feasibility testing and further development.

did_you_know2

While many still prefer a mild soap to cleanse facial skin, more and more are coming to appreciate the benefits of using a high-quality microfiber cloth and water only.

comment_2To bead or not to bead? We’d love to hear about your face-cleansing regimen—just leave us a comment below!

Resources:

Have you ever used a product containing microbeads?

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Carrie Minturn
Carrie Minturn
4 years ago

I love it when smart people figure out sustainable alternatives!! Here’s hoping this all comes to market soon. 🙂

Christine Hinks
Christine Hinks
4 years ago

I certainly hope this new idea is using soy beans that are not GMO’d.

Bernice Caissie
Bernice Caissie
4 years ago

No need for soap when you use Norwex microfibre facial and body cloths.

Tanya Aoyagi
Tanya Aoyagi
4 years ago

This is so exciting! I love that this was developed by college students–our next generation is working to make this world a better place!

NML Mailman
NML Mailman
4 years ago

Soy is not a good alternative, there are many people who are highly allergic to all products with soy. What about them? You do not need soap when you use Norwex microfibre cloths, however, so that is the alternative for someone like my friend who is in this situation.

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
4 years ago
Reply to  NML Mailman

You bring up a very good point! Let’s hope that if and when SoyFoliate becomes available on the market, the label will clearly state that it contains soy.

Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner
4 years ago

I’m so glad there are people working on this!!

Amber Lettau
Amber Lettau
4 years ago

My goodness. I love the thought of using the SoyFoliate in my everyday regimen. Although I do know I can just use the Norwex facial cloths with water… I also do enjoy a good exfoliation once in a while. Can’t wait for this to hit the markets…. or possibly for Norwex to come up with a version of their own.

Susan Warkentin
Susan Warkentin
4 years ago

How exciting! Great alternative!

Annie
Annie
4 years ago

For those that have soy allergies, I mostly use my Norwex body cloth but on days when I feel I need to exfoliate; I use acure brightening facial scrub with ground walnut shells ❤️❤️❤️

April Nowlan
April Nowlan
4 years ago

i live in a apartment and no plants last as there is no air coming in its hot in here even when the windows are open what can i do to keep plants alive here as i would love to have then just dies so fast ?

Jennifer Rottman
Jennifer Rottman
4 years ago

I have thrown out my microbead facial cleanser. I now use a Norwex body cloth.

Leigh-Ann Ross
Leigh-Ann Ross
4 years ago

SO glad Microbeads are going, going, gone- and that we have smart new alternatives!

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
3 years ago

For facial cleansing, I use a makeup remover cloth with water, then I follow with a drop or two of pure jojoba oil. And that’s it!! I love my skin care routine… simple, inexpensive, and everyone comments how nice my skin looks!