Pumice – Microbead Replacement

Pumice the natural microbead replacement.

Pumice Grains and Powders are used in a variety of exfoliating and cleaning products, shower and body gels, facial and foot scrubs, heavy duty hand cleaners etc. Our Pumice is naturally occurring product neutral in pH, chemically inert, hard enough to exfoliate yet soft enough to not damage skin. Pumice-based scrubs and soaps exfoliate in a gentle with the microscopic surfaces of the pumice doing the hard work.

Plastic microbeads are due to banned in most countries by next year. They are too small to be removed by water filtration systems, this  means that they can end up in rivers and oceans where they are ingested by birds, fish and other marine life.

Plastic Microbead Replacement IIWith the majority of countries banning the manufacture and commerce of products containing plastic microbeads, pumice stands as a proven and effective replacement for microbeads in cosmetic and cleaning products while doing no harm the environment.

Pumice is a lightweight, frothy stone formed from volcanic activity. It is non-crystalline in structure (amorphous) and so poses no respiratory hazards. Many factors affect the useful quality, color, and purity of a pumice deposit, but on a chemical analysis level, pumice is basically an aluminum silicate. Pumice is widely used in many applications including cosmetics, water filtration and horticulture.

Techfil offers a wide range of Pumice Grains including coarse, medium and fine sizes ideal for products requiring exfoliants. We understand the importance of the evaluation and testing process and always offer samples free of charge. Pumice offers many benefits to the formulator of cosmetic scrubs and hand cleaners:

A Proven Solution – Pumice is already being used successfully in as an exfoliant in cosmetic scrubs and hand cleaners.

Sustainable – our Pumice comes from an ancient sea bed and our deposit has a confirmed yield in the millions of tons.

Eco-Friendly – Pumice is abundant and benign. Nor does it add a carbon source with the potential to unbalance the eco system (that it is eventually washed into) like biodegradable botanical grits can.

Ideal Structure – the frothy micro-sponge structure of pumice even when refined to fine powders means pumice provides both excellent exfoliating texture and absorbency for liquid ingredients and scents. A very low specific gravity means pumice stays suspended in the product.

Naturally Pure and White – Our Pumice deposit, is a naturally pleasing  light grey colour and offers a purity that has our Pumice in demand worldwide.

We know the process of identifying and testing a viable replacement of exfoliating microbeads is a complex one as a variety of criteria must be met. We’re here to help, please feel to Contact Us or email us at Info@techfil.co.uk

Pumice – fast replacing Plastic Microbeads

A worldwide ban on plastic microbeads in cosmetics should be imposed as soon as possible. This is call of many legislators worldwide.

In the press recently, there has been much debate about the damaging effects of microbeads.

In light of the United States FDA banning use of Polyethylene Microbeads, due to severe damage to marine life, many major European and Global manufacturers have decided to remove microbeads from products within their range.

After much testing and analysis, many companies are now selecting our Pumice Powder 0-3/4 grade. This is due to the similar particle size and it being a natural volcanic rock with great exfoliating capabilities. Pumice is a very cost effective alternative to microbeads and most importantly its neutral pH does not harm the marine environment.

Why are microbeads controversial?

Microbeads are plastic particles smaller than 5mm. They are used in cosmetics, including toothpaste, to add body and provide abrasion. Manufacturers use them because the beads can be manufactured to uniform degrees of size and hardness.

Microplastics from cosmetics are thought to constitute up to 4.1% of plastics entering the marine environment.

Governments will consider a ban on microbeads in cosmetics if the EU does not legislate against them.

Ban Plastic MicrobeadEasy to eat

Microplastic pollution is potentially more environmentally damaging than larger plastic waste, because it is more likely to be eaten by wildlife. Microplastics also have a greater surface area to attract toxins.

An average plate of oysters could contain up to 50 plastic particles. We do not have any evidence yet for the harm this might cause but most people would probably prefer not to be eating microbeads in food.


Cosmetics is one of the biggest sources of waste microplastics along with abrasion from car tyres and road markings. But these issues are likely to prove much more difficult to address than a relatively straightforward ban on microbeads in cosmetic products, where substitutes are readily available.

Over 280 marine species have been found to ingest microplastics, but much more research is needed into plastic pollution because there is huge uncertainty about the ecological risk.

“We are absolutely committed to protecting the world’s seas, oceans and marine life from pollution, and will take a detailed look at the recommendations contained in this timely report,” a spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

“Many leading manufacturers have already taken voluntary steps to remove microbeads from cosmetics, beauty products and toothpastes and are switching to Pumice. We will now consider what further action is appropriate, and make any announcements in due course.

Many argue an outright ban would send a clear message that microplastics have no place in beauty products with alternatives such as Pumice readily available.

Techfil offer 3 distinct grades of Pumice specifically formulated to replace microbeads:

Pumice 0-3/4- Fine Grade

Pumice 1/2 – Medium Grade

Pumice 1-1/2 – Coarse Grade

For more information or to request a sample please click on one of the following links: Technical Specification, Contact Us