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Physical Exfoliants That Are Safe for Your Skin and the Planet

By Kristina Rodriguez

With the launch of the Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial, we introduced a new kind of exfoliation: dual-action and triple-powered from a combination of physical and enzymatic exfoliation, boosted by caffeine from yerba mate. With this facial, we created something good for your skin and safe for the planet—something that wouldn’t cause microtears in your skin or create pollution in the environment.

In the past, physical exfoliation has sometimes meant microbeads or jagged scrubs—the kind of features that give it a bad rap (think: sugar, walnut shell, or apricot scrubs). Are they effective at scuffing off the dead surface layer of skin? Sure—but at the expense of skin health. These materials are abrasive and sharp and can cause micro-tears in the skin. Other, smoother physical exfoliants include polyethylene beads—microplastics that damage the environment the second you wash your face and the product goes down the drain. They tragically end up in our streams, lakes, rivers, and oceans. These materials do not break down and pollute our environment, or disrupt or harm our various ecosystems. We won’t ever include these in our products.

The Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial is different. The physical exfoliation is brought to you by silica from bamboo and diatomaceous earth—components safe for both you and the planet. These micro-exfoliants are naturally derived, sustainable, and specially tumbled to be kind to skin. Diatomaceous earth has no hard edges, so you can gently and safely polish off dead skin cells without causing micro-tears and damaging irritation. Our bamboo extract is composed of silica sustainably taken from the base of bamboo stems. It is not only an amazing option for an exfoliator, but it is far more eco-friendly than incorporating hard plastics that contribute to pollution. 

Diatomaceous earth is silt and clay with fossilized material called diatoms. This sediment is a byproduct of naturally occurring processes that have continuously occurred for millions of years. Earth and its oceans are living, and diatomaceous earth is a natural result of that. Bamboo itself is an incredibly sustainable product because it is able to regenerate itself without the use or need of fertilizers. It can grow up to three feet per day.

Sustainability of ingredients is key when it comes to developing new products. It is our responsibility to our planet to ensure that when creating vegan, superfood products that give you visible results at home, we are in turn protecting our planet and its natural resources. Our aim is always to create products that are both good for your skin and for the planet.