Kiwi skincare company takes microbeads off the menu
24 April 2015, 9:45AM
While many multinational beauty companies are pledging to phase out plastic microbeads, one multimillion dollar Kiwi skincare company is leading the charge in New Zealand with the launch of its new microbead-free exfoliator.
Xtend-Life Natural Products’ Age-Defying Exfoliator Scrub refines and renews skin without using plastic microbeads that contaminate the world’s waterways and oceans.
Microbeads are tiny, non-biodegradable plastic particles made of polyethylene that absorb toxins from other pollutants and contaminate the world’s water supply. They pose a significant threat to all marine ecosystems and are readily consumed by various species of aquatic life, passing directly into the food chain.
Many water treatment plants in New Zealand and around the world are not equipped to filter or breakdown synthetic, floating plastic particles, says Xtend-Life founder and chairman Warren Matthews.
“Plastic microbeads replaced natural abrasives such as pumice due to their low cost and have made their way into thousands of personal care products,” he says. “These products are washed down drains and enter the world’s water supply where they can survive for more than 100 years.”
Xtend-Life refuses to use plastic microbeads in any of its products, formulating its new Age-Defying Exfoliator Scrub from naturally-derived volcanic stone pumice and powdered apple peel.
“When it comes to environmental matters, too often people make commitments promising to do things in the future,” says Xtend-Life beauty ambassador Angela Stone.
“But with man-made waste applying serious pressure to our natural resources, we feel this is simply not good enough. We’ve already seen the impacts larger plastics have had on our marine life, but mircoplastics are even more widely dispersed. Once ingested, these compounds and anything they have absorbed can move up the food chain.”
The Netherlands was the first country to announce its intent to ban the manufacture and sale of cosmetic products containing microbeads by 2016. New Jersey passed its own bill banning the use of microbeads in personal care products and over-the-counter drugs last month (23 March 2015), becoming the second U.S. state, behind Illinois, to do so.
Warren says a prohibition against mircoplastics is the only way to prevent pollution and further damage to our waterways and fragile marine ecosystem.
“We urge the New Zealand government to join us in our fight to stop the manufacture and sale of plastic microbeads in all personal care and consumer products in this country,” he says.
Microbeads are found in scores of personal care products including toothpaste, face and body cleansers, sunscreens, shampoos, soaps and moisturisers, but Warren warns these polyethylene beads can actually tear the skin.
Xtend-Life proudly stands behind its claim of not using microbeads or any synthetic ingredients that could potentially harm the environment.
Xtend-Life’s Age-Defying Exfoliating Scrub is designed to exfoliate, refine and renew the skin without damaging the environment. Its unique combination of coarse and fine grinds of rhyolite – a natural volcanic stone pumice – and powdered apple peel removes dead skin cells, unclog pores and support healthy circulation beneath the skin to reveal a natural, healthy glow.
The product has a light, natural scent and is packed full of natural ingredients including Manuka honey, Shea butter, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, Kiwifruit extract and avocado oil to nourish the skin.
Angela says Xtend-Life is breaking way from the perception that exfoliators should only be used to combat young, oily and/or acne prone skin.
“While our exfoliator is suitable for those skin types, it is also formulated with moisture rich emollients, beautifully soothing oils and fruit extracts to nourish the skin without leaving it greasy,” she says.
“It is the perfect product to buff away dead skin cells to leave your skin feeling smooth, moisturised and radiant. The best part is with each and every use, you can feel good knowing that you are not applying toxic chemicals to your skin or contaminating the world’s waterways and oceans.”
Stone says the older a person, the more they should exfoliate.
Xtend-Life recommends that 25 to 35-year-olds should exfoliate once each week, while 35 to 45-year-olds should exfoliate twice and those aged over 45 years, three times per week. As skin can be sensitive after exfoliating, it is best to follow-up with Xtend-Life’s Restorative Night Cream.
To learn more about Xtend-Life’s Age-Defying Exfoliating Scrub, visit
Xtend-Life Natural Products promotes marine conservation and advocates against the use of harmful cosmetic ingredients via its website www.xtendoceanlife.org.
To align with this year’s 45th anniversary of Earth Day (22 April 2015), Xtend-Life has launched a new-look Xtend-Ocean Life website which now features valuable, educational resources for children.
Caption: Xtend-Life beauty ambassador Angela Stone and company founder Warren Matthews.
The 5 GYES Institute, Microbeads: Face to Fish
• A tube of face wash can contain over 330,000 microbeads
• 1,147 personal cleansing products around the world contain micro-plastic particles abrasives (microbeads), employed as an exfoliant
• 663 species of marine wildlife are affected by plastic pollution through ingestion or entanglement
• Micro-plastic particles attract other pollutants in the environment including PCBs, flame-retardants, and other industrial chemicals
• Many sewerage treatment facilities do not capture synthetic, floating particles the size of microbeads that are only about 0.5 mm in diameter
• Suring heavy rains some treatment facilities let sewerage overflow directly into our waterways
• 43,000 plastic particles per square kilometre were found by 5 Gyres in Lake Erie – the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes in North America
• A single plastic particle can absorb up to 1,000,000 times more toxic chemicals than the water around it