Skin Care Products and Aquatic Ecosystem Pollution

There are many reasons to use natural skin care products and cosmetics, but did you know commercial skin care products and cosmetics contain ingredients that actually harm our environment by polluting our water? Here are three ingredients found in most beauty and personal care products that have been found in our water sources, wreaking havoc on aquatic ecosystems:



  1. Triclosan- an antimicrobial agent used as a preservative in personal care products such as soaps, detergents, toothpastes, sunscreen, and deodorants. Triclosan is unable to be completely removed from water even after going through treatment plants, and has been found in multiple aquatic environments disrupting plants and species such as algae, earthworms, and fish. Triclosan has been found to create endocrine disruption in certain fish (and also in the human body). Triclosan has also been detected in drinking water- meaning after these products are rubbed into our skin and rinsed off, they cycle back around and we later ingest them. 

  1. Plastic microbeads- I’m sure you all have heard of this one. Plastic microbeads are used as exfoliants in toothpaste, soap, face scrubs, and shampoos, and most are made of polyethylene. These microplastics are too small to be trapped in sewage treatment plants and enter waterways through domestic drainage systems and make their way to seas and oceans. These microplastics are then ingested by marine life such as crustaceans, mollusks, birds, and fish, where they can cause intestinal blockage and starvation. Microplastics can also cause the fish that we eat to become toxic to us. 

  1. Parabens- another class of preservatives used in personal care and cosmetic products. Parabens have been detected in air, dust, soil, and water, and even after almost complete removal of them through water treatment plants, parabens are still detected in rivers and are thought to be present in oceans as well due to parabens being found in several animals- even polar bears from remote marine areas such as Alaska. Parabens have endocrine disrupting abilities in vitro and in vivo in animals and humans, and are currently being looked at as a possible link to breast cancer in humans. 

Sage & Stone products are completely free of triclosan, parabens, plastic microbeads, and any other synthetic preservatives, dyes, or fragrances and contain only 100% natural ingredients. When shopping for household or personal care items, you can now know which ingredients to look for to avoid. If you haven’t made the switch yet to completely natural beauty, personal care, cosmetics, and household products, please start! It is so much healthier for you and the planet. 




"Cosmetic Ingredients as Emerging Pollutants of Environmental and Health Concern. A Mini-Review"

By Claudia Juliano and Giovanni Antonio Magrin

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