In the video, Emma, who filmed the video from her car, began by explaining that she had just left her facial appointment, during which her aesthetician allegedly had to remove “beads” from Neutrogena’s Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub Oil-Free Acne Wash from her pores.
“Guys, this is wild. So I just went and got my facial and she asked me mid-facial, she said: ‘What kind of face wash are you using?’ And I was like: ‘Well, I ran out of my normal stuff so I’ve been using Neutrogena, the grapefruit stuff,’” Emma recalled.
According to the TikToker, her aesthetician then asked her whether the product contained orange or red beads, at which point she informed Emma that she’d found the beads in her pores.
“Neutrogena beads have been stuck in my face. Stuck in my face. She pulled out multiple Neutorgena beads,” Emma continued. “If you are using Neutrogena Grapefruit Scrub, stop… what, crazy, wild. I feel so much better.”
Emma then proceeded to show the areas of her skin where her aesthetician had allegedly removed the beads from her pores. “Like, there were beads in my skin, and I’m so freaked out,” she added. “And I’m so thankful for my aesthetician.”
The TikToker concluded the video by showing herself throwing out her Neutrogena face wash.
The video, which has since been viewed more than 1.8m times, has sparked horrified reactions from viewers, with many sharing their own experiences with the scrub.
“Omg!! I literally use this one and noticed my skin started getting bumpy!” one person commented, while another said: “Omg. I had one get in my eyeball!! My eye swelled so badly and had to go to the eye doctor to have it removed.”
Others said that they would heed Emma’s advice and stop using the product, with one person stating that they would be throwing out the face scrub, while another said: “Maybe we shouldn’t use anything with beads.”
“Omg I have that stuff... I’m throwing it away right now, thank you!” someone else wrote.
Speaking to BuzzFeed about the experience, Emma said that she has used the face scrub on and off when her own facial cleanser has run out, and, up until her facial appointment, hadn’t noticed anything strange from using the product.
“I actually thought the face wash was working nicely. My skin was looking just fine, and I didn’t have any irritation. I have sensitive skin, too, but I had no idea the product was damaging me,” she said.
According to Neutrogena’s website, the face scrub “features gentle exfoliators that smooth away roughness without over-drying or irritating acne-prone skin,” with the website noting that the product “does not contain plastic microbeads”.
While Neutrogena states on its label that the beads are not made of plastic, the experience has made Emma question what the beads are made out of.
“If they aren’t dissolving in my face, they aren’t dissolving period,” she said.
Plastic microbeads have been banned as an ingredient in cosmetic products since 2015 due to the harmful impact they have on the environment. However, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 does not address consumer safety, with the FDA noting that it does not “have evidence suggesting that plastic microbeads, as used in cosmetics, pose a human health concern”.
The Independent has contacted Emma and Neutrogena for comment.