Beat the Microbead 4+

Fight plastics in cosmetics‪!‬

Plastic Soup Foundation

Designed for iPhone

    • 4.6 • 22 Ratings
    • Free

iPhone Screenshots


A small update, so that the app works even better. Your feedback about the app is welcome and we try to include as much as possible in next updates.

The Beat the Microbead app is the fastest way to learn if your cosmetics and personal care products contain plastic ingredients. This app uses state-of-the-art text recognition technology. Just scan the ingredients of your products and check them for microplastics. Not only that, but you can also get to know microplastic-free brands certified by us.

How does it work?

It’s straightforward: you can scan products with four easy steps:
- Find the ingredients list on your product.
- Position the full list within your camera frame.
- Make sure the ingredients are clear to read.
- Take a picture to scan!

A traffic light rating system

- RED: Products that contain microplastics.
- ORANGE: Products that contain what we call “sceptical” microplastics. With this, we mean synthetic polymers for which there is not enough information available.
- GREEN: Products that do not contain microplastics.

Help us enrich our database!

Every time you add a product to our database, you help us build a case against microplastics. With every product information, we can create evidence and convince authorities about the extensive use of plastic ingredients. A bit of extra effort on your side makes you a part of the fight against microplastics in cosmetics and care products. So, go ahead, scan the barcode of your product and help us get some more information!

By adding the products to our database, you can also discover our certified microplastic-free brands. These brands have their entire range of products free of all known microplastic ingredients.

Why is it important?

Plastic in cosmetics is a global problem! Microplastics are hardly visible ingredients that pollute our planet & may pose health risks. These microplastics, hardly visible to the naked eye, flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Microplastics are not biodegradable, and once they enter the (marine) environment, they are almost impossible to remove.

Sea animals absorb or eat microplastics; these particles are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we also ingest microplastics.

Using body washes or cosmetics that contain microplastics can put the ocean, ourselves, and our children at risk! With this app, you can get aware of this issue and make environmentally friendly choices.

Who is behind this app?

The collaborators behind this app include the following partners:

Plastic Soup Foundation: NGO based in Amsterdam, initiators of the worldwide campaign “Beat the Microbead”. Their mission: No plastic in our water or our bodies!

PINCH: a renowned mobile development agency from Amsterdam that is proud of their work for the Plastic Soup Foundation.

What’s New

Version 3.1.0

A small update, so that the app works even better. Your feedback about the app is welcome and we try to include as much as possible in next updates.

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
22 Ratings

22 Ratings

Margaretannem8s ,

Great scan recognition of my products

I was feeling iffy about what’s in my products and going on my body. I was reading an older National Geographic article about micro plastics and they mentioned this app. I tested it in my son’s bath bubble foam by taking a pic; it recognized and verified the ingredients as safe. Since it wasn’t in the database I added the product name and category. I feel like this is a great concept they worked hard on and we should all do our part to use it to start cutting back on products that contribute to the microplastic problem. We should all try to scan and update products into the database. There’s millions of products out there, so it’s understandable we won’t see them all here preloaded, but at least it can read our labels with the scan feature. Let’s do this!!

Developer Response ,

Hello Margaretannem8s, thank you for your review. We really appreciate it!

8limblife ,

It starts with policy...

this is a great app and i support anyone who wants to reduce the microplastics and nanoplastics polluting our earth. in the US microbeads were banned and no longer allowed to be in cosmetics since 2019.

elsewhere, thank you for not supporting these plastic products. also, check out your government's policies and see where laws stand or not. get involved by educating your polititians and lawmakers. support organizations such as PLASTIC SOUP FOUNDATION.

this is a global health problem. it is an everyone of us concern. microplastics and nanoplastics are not just in healthcare products, they are in our food, water and the air we breathe.


L+R ,

Under developed potential.

Having used this app for scanning product over a few years now I’ve found it really hasn’t progressed. Instead of just live scanning or library pic scanning which means users collecting pics or screenshots they don’t need the app should allow for cut and paste text abilities from a list of ingredients. This text feature should also be included in the webpage.

I’ve scanned and submitted many products to the app for inclusion to the database but, they never really end up there! The database search feature is also very poor and inaccurate or simply doesn’t work. It feels at times like the app is pushing to towards ‘green’ or microplastic free brands only and not the info the user seeks regarding a product of interest.

App Privacy

The developer, Plastic Soup Foundation, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Identifiers
  • Diagnostics

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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