It appears that “microbeads” have finally been banned. These are tiny hard objects that are put in cleansers and other skin-care products, to give them scrubbing or abrasive properties.
When these started appearing in face cleansers I bought, I just assumed they were some water-soluble thing. They’re not—they’re tiny bits of plastic that go into the water supply and just sit there. I kept buying them for a while, until I realized that. Some products had non-microbead versions at first, but these progressively went away, until there was only one choice, or maybe two, that didn’t have them.
I’d stopped using them on my face, first, because I’d realized that problems with my ear had begun just about the same time I started using the new grapefruit-scented scrubbing cleanser. An outer-ear infection, apparently. I found out this was a possibility only after I found something about it on an English site, after searching for “ear” and “facial cleanser” in connection. The serious medical sites just call it “swimmer’s ear,” though some state at the bottom of the page that it can be caused by chemicals. It’s apparently more of a skin irritation than a properly medical thing. Anyway, daily nauseating pounding in my left ear went away when I started protecting it with a cotton ball when I washed my hair or face.
The idea that putting tiny bits of plastic in things that would go down the sewer would seem to be obviously a bad one, you’d think, but I guess not.