The microbead alternatives that could boost male skin care sales

What are the alternatives to microbeads for male skin care and how do we assess their exfoliating performance? Stacey Irving explains

With the ban on the use of microbeads in cosmetics now in place, beauty brands, manufacturers and development laboratories are experimenting with alternative exfoliating solutions that can offer the same performance and results that microbeads were able to provide, while also being gentler on the skin.

There is a growing demand for natural and naturally-derived exfoliants that are also sustainable and friendly to the environment.

Facial masks and scrubs have increased in popularity and have also made their way into the male grooming market.

How does exfoliating work?

The exfoliating mechanism removes parts of the epidermis above the basal layer of the skin, which effectively removes dead skin cells, creating a smoother appearance and encouraging cell proliferation.

Mechanical exfoliation involves physical contact and an abrasive tool or ingredient such as granular scrubs to remove dead skin cells and to buff the skin.

When the abrasive used in the treatment comes into contact with the skin a thin layer of the skin is removed.

Chemical exfoliation, meanwhile, uses chemical means, usually alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), to remove dead cell build up.

Chemical exfoliation requires the use of acid to dissolve the dead keratin tissue away from the skin’s surface.

Advantages of facial exfoliation

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