polyethylene, or simply plastic beads. My favorite exfoliating scrub had these little buggers in them, and that had to GO. These plastic beads that are so great in scrubbing off dead skin cells gently are also super-pro at collecting in large garbage patches in our water systems and oceans. YUK.
Enter dry skin brushing. First of all, it's the cheapest exfoliating agent for the price, once you spring for the $7-10 brush (get one with natural agave or cactus fibers), you're good to go for years. I like the Yerba Prima Botanicals Skin Brush because it has a removable handle that makes it easy to scrub my back. Secondly, my skin has never been softer since I started using this method, and last, but definitely not least, it reported that skin brushing can help reduce the appearance of cellulite!!! Ok, I really haven't seen any changes in the cottage-cheese department, but a girl can dream.
So all you have to do is, before hopping in the shower, start at your appendages and brush in small, short strokes towards your heart. Dry skin brushing has been reported to stimulate your lymphatic system, so help a girl out and always brush towards your heart, since this helps with lymphatic drainage. Don't use this brush on your face, decollete, or lady parts, since the skin is super-sensitive, duh!
It will seem super-scratchy, at first, but your skin will start getting used to this mini-massage. It really does help wake you up! After you're done brushing, hop in the shower to rinse off all those dead skin cells. Be sure to wash your skin brush every week with castile soap, I like Dr. Bonner's Magic All-One Soaps, and let it dry with the bristles facing down, so water won't collect in the base of the bristles!
See, you can get super-smooth skin with no waste and no polyethylene! Win-win.