Pretty, Complicated

This video explains how those plastic bits in face washes, scrubs, and toothpastes can hurt ecosystems

By now, most of us know that if we want our consciences to be as squeaky clean as our faces, we have to ditch our most beloved scrubbing products. While microbeads — the tiny plastic bits most commonly found in face washes, scrubs, and toothpastes — might do great things for your pores, they could also quietly wreak havoc on the environment by steadily streaming into the Great Lakes and oceans.

Couldn’t care less about fish? Get this: Through the magic of the food chain, these little plastic beads actually carry the potential to come back around and screw with human health. We turned to Andrew Maynard, mastermind behind the Risk Bites YouTube channel and director of Arizona State University’s Risk Innovation Lab, to figure out just how hazardous an exfoliator could be. Check out his findings in the video above!