Phone App Tracks Plastic Microbeads

To find out whether your beauty products contain microplastic ingredients, use the Beat the Microbead app.

What are microbeads

Microbeads are a kind of microplastic with specific function for scrubbing or exfoliating. In cosmetics, “microplastic” refers to all types of tiny plastic particles (smaller than 5mm) that are intentionally added to cosmetics and personal care products. They are often used as emulsifying agents or just as cheap fillers.

Why are microplastics a problem?

These microplastics, hardly visible to the naked eye, flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter them out; that is how microplastics contribute to the ‘Plastic Soup’ swirling around in our oceans.

Sea animals absorb or eat microplastics; these particles can then be passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we also ingest microplastics. Microplastics are not biodegradable and once they enter the (marine) environment, they are almost impossible to remove.

Using body washes or cosmetics that contain microplastics can put the ocean, ourselves, and our children at risk!

Look for the Zero

There are cosmetic and personal care brands that are entirely free of any known plastic ingredients. Brands and companies that do not use microplastic ingredients in their products can carry the Zero Plastic Inside logo.

At a glance, this logo makes it clear to consumers that a product is guaranteed 100% free of microplastic ingredients. We certify brands for your convenience, so that you can use cosmetics and personal care products without worrying about your health or the health of the environment.

Which products can you use safely, and which should you avoid? 

Research shows that many more types of plastics are added to personal care products than just the ‘classic’ plastic microbeads: Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or Nylon. 

To make sure that cosmetic products are completely free of any microplastic ingredients, you need a guarantee. Our Look for the Zero logo is such a guarantee

. Despite these many variations of plastic, there are products that are free of plastic ingredients.

The brands and companies that do not use any microplastic ingredients in their products can carry the ‘Zero Plastic Inside’ logo. Look for the Zero is provided free of charge to cosmetic & personal care brands after sharing their full list of ingredients with us and signing our statement: “We as a producer declare that all of our products from the brand […] are 100% microplastic free”. 

At a glance, this logo makes it clear for consumers that a product is guaranteed 100% free of microplastic ingredients. You can also have a look at our Guide to Microplastics and check the products yourself. 


Beat the Microbead app


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