Alastin / 


What is perlite? 

Derived from the earth, perlite is a form of volcanic rock. Made mostly of silica—a common mineral found in the earth’s crust—perlite encapsulates large water molecules inside of its structure. This lends perlite with a hollow, spherical shape that makes it an effective-yet-gentle mechanical exfoliator when formulated in skincare that can help improve texture and brighten the skin.

This all-natural and super-effective exfoliator has big benefits for glowing skin.

The bead-like structure of perlite makes it an ideal natural mechanical exfoliator for the skin. Mechanical exfoliators—also known as physical exfoliators—require physical movement (aka a bit of elbow grease) to gently slough off dead skin and other gunk. Perlite’s naturally rounded edges prevent tearing or irritation while gently whisking away impurities to reveal fresh, rejuvenated skin underneath.

Perlite also has the ability to absorb moisture without impacting the skin’s ability to breathe. This is why you might see the ingredient in powders or mattifying cosmetic formulations as well.

Yes. Unlike polymer microbeads, which were at one time the ingredient du jour in exfoliating products, perlite is safe for the environment. Polymer beads are made of plastic. When they wash down the drain, the non-biodegradable plastic can end up in waterways and cause harm to marine life who often mistake them for food. That’s why the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 prohibited the use of microbeads in skincare manufacturing in the United States.2 (ALASTIN has never used microbeads in any of its products.)

Perlite, on the other hand, is a material found in nature that is completely safe for marine life and poses no risk to the environment.3 Perlite has also been shown to be more effective than microbeads for exfoliation—win, win!4

As a gentle-but-effective exfoliator, perlite removes dead skin and impurities from the outer layer of the skin to help create an immediate visible glow and even more benefits over time. Benefits of exfoliating with perlite include:
  • Gently removing the buildup of dead skin cells and impurities without stripping or irritating skin.
  • Helps to stimulate cell turnover to promote glowing skin.5
  • Helps enhance skin texture.
  • Helps skin feel smoother and softer.
  • Improve the overall appearance of the skin.6
You can find perlite in ALASTIN’s ReSURFACE Skin Polish, which combines this physical exfoliator with a chemical exfoliator (AHA). These two ingredients work synergistically to fully exfoliate without stripping skin.

Perlite has been found to be safe for both the body and the environment, so the vast majority of people won’t experience side effects.7 However, as with any exfoliating product, you should only use it as often as your skin tolerates it. It’s always a good idea to do a patch test before applying a skincare product to the face to make sure it works for you.