Plastic pollution is a global problem, with numerous studies focusing on the effects ofmicroplastics (1- 1000 μm). Cosmetic products like exfoliators have been identified as animportant source of primary microplastics. After abundant reports on the hazards caused bymicroplastics, subsequent banning or voluntary removal from cosmetics is going on, causing themto be replaced by the non- plastic alternative particles. However, the replacement by so- callednatural particles seems to be just a marketing strategy and lacks enough research verifying if theyare actually safer than microplastics.The present study investigated the chemical and particle toxicity of eight exfoliators containingmicroplastics and alternative particles used in Nepal. This was addressed by means of two in vitroand one in vivo assay. The bioluminescent bacteria Photobacterium leiognathi was exposed to 2-300 μg product and particles extracts and luminescence inhibition was measured. The recombinantyeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae containing a gene coding for human estrogen receptor alphawas exposed to 500 μg product and particle extract and estrogenicity was measured. Daphniamagna neonates (< 24 h old) were exposed to 2- 45 μm microplastic and alternative particles at0.8 – 500 mg/L for 21-days and survival and reproduction was examined.The chemical toxicity from products was higher than the particle toxicity for bacteria with nosignificant differences among microplastic and alternative particles. Most of the ingredients in theproducts were unknown and thus the observed toxicity could not be attributed to any specificchemical. In the YES, only one sample that contained parabens was estrogenic in the productextract but not the particle extract. Both types of particles did not show any adsorbance. From invivo assay, the alternative particles had stronger effects in the lethality of D. magna whereasmicroplastics caused higher reproductive effects.Based on the findings of this study, alternative particles cannot be considered safer thanmicroplastics and with regards to products from Nepal, chemicals used in the cosmetics seem tobe of more concern. Since this study analyzed only exfoliators, study on effects of other classes ofcosmetics using environmentally relevant concentrations and other bioassays needs to be done inthe future.