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You're Not Still Using Makeup Wipes Are You? | AD

Are you still using skincare wipes to remove your makeup or cleanse your face everyday? Well stop right now and here's why...

I've recently been watching the BBC Three documentary Plastic Not Fantastic and during one of the episodes, focussing on the beauty industry, I was shocked to discover the horrendous impact makeup wipes are having on the environment.

This blog post is part of my series which is called 'Simply Sustainable'

There has been a large amount of awareness for Climate Change recently through protests across the country and on the news, through different documentaries, on social media, petitions being signed and generally weather extremities worryingly taking place across the globe. In addition, other global problems such as inequality and poverty, among other things, that we should all help to improve worldwide by making small changes or supporting organisations and companies that are combatting these global issues. I believe that it is time to change our lifestyles in small simple ways so we can all lead more sustainable lives to ultimately improve the future.

So here is my second blog post of the series...

I read a while ago a few blog posts stating that using makeup wipes actually is really bad for your skin, and switching to alternatives, such as micellar water and other facial washes, is much better. So I made the switch from makeup wipes to micellar water and cotton pads a while back, however I still kept a packet of makeup wipes in my bedroom and bathroom for rushed early mornings or getting back after a night out skincare routines. But since I have discovered how awful makeup wipes are for our planet and it is safe to say I won't be purchasing a packet of face wipes again (unless they're sustainable beauty wipes but anyway more on that later...)

So what's up with face wipes?

We've recently been more aware than ever about the issues of single-use plastic and the strain it is causing on the planet. We're aware of problems such as plastic bags and straws, but no one is talking about makeup wipes. If you're not already aware, makeup wipes contain non-biodegradable polyester (plastic), and these wipes are being thrown into landfill and flushed out into our oceans as they don't disintegrate (like toilet roll does). Apparently face wipes can linger for up to 100 years per wipe on Earth. Also makeup wipes are a huge problem for sewage blockages which cost water companies around £90 million a year just in the UK.

If these wipes make it through the sewage system (which they commonly do), they end up in our marine ecosystems causing damaging effects to marine life. Dr Laura Foster from the Marine Conversation Society stated "We've seen a 700% rise in wipes washed up on beaches." and according to the BBC, 'over 5,000 wet wipes were washed up on the shores of the Thames just last month.'

So it's clear that makeup wipes are completely unsustainable - so what are the solutions?

Makeup Remover Pads

You can purchase makeup remover pads that take off your makeup with just a little bit of water! That's it - just water! Face Halo have created some amazing quality face pads that are amazing (#gifted). The water (warm or cold) loosens your makeup allowing the HaloTech fiber strands to reach deep into your pores to remove and tap makeup. There is no need to rub or scrub your skin, you can just simply wipe away your makeup. Once you've used one then just pop it into the washing machine so that it is ready to be reused!

An extra tip for heavier eye makeup - rehydrate your Face Halo well with water, and hold it on to your eyes or eyelashes for an extra 5-10 seconds. 

Cleanser & Cloth

There are plenty of amazing quality cleansers and facial washes that can be used simply with a flannel or even better a muslin cloth. My favourite cleanser at the moment is Soap&Glory The Fab Pore Cleanser (#gifted). The cleanser leaves my skin feeling purified and mattified.

So as I said when using these cleansers, you can use a muslin cloth to ensure a full cleanse. I use The Body Shop Muslin Cloth as I feel it leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean, it's 100% organic and it's super affordable too. This cloth will last you for ages, just buy two or three and once you've used it in the morning or evening, wash it out or pop it in the washing machine. 

Sustainable Wipes

Sooo yes I said that you should stop using makeup wipes, but that is all makeup wipes except compostable sustainable makeup wipes; like these ones by Beauty Kitchen (#gifted). These makeup wipes are a total game changer and should certainly be a staple in your skincare collection. These sustainable wipes are perfect to cleanse, freshen and hydrate your skin whilst being made from 100% natural ingredients. The amazing thing about these wipes is that they are biodegradable and compostable.

Cleanser & Reusable Cotton Pads

Another sustainable alternative to makeup wipes are reusable cotton pads. You can purchase these pads from a number of small businesses on Amazon or Etsy, but these ones are made by Tabitha Eve and can be purchased from The Wise House. The pads are 100% organic and have a layer of naturally antibacterial bamboo towelling on one side which is perfect for cleansing your skin. Similar to the MakeUp Eraser, these pads can just be machine-washed after use.

Cleanser & Konjac Sponge

Beauty Kitchen have recently launched their new Seahorse Plankton + range (#gifted), formulated with blue chamomile and sustainably grown microalgae to renew and protect your skin. This range features a RRR logo on the packaging. The 'Return. Refill. Repeat.' program encourages customers to return their empties to be washed and reused. Beauty Kitchen will pay for your postage, and you will also earn up to 50% off your next order. In line with Cradle to Cradle principles, this program is the most sustainable way to do packaging and Beauty Kitchen are the first beauty company to do this.

Instead of using a cloth or pads, you could use a sponge. This chamomile infused Facial Cleansing Konjac Sponge (#gifted) by Beauty Kitchen is an 100% natural sponge made from plant roots making it vegan, plastic-free and 100% compostable! This sponge leaves skin clean, glowing and silky smooth.

I hope this post has inspired you to choose alternative cleansing methods to stop the use of makeup and face wipes. This is a super simple change, and if everyone decides to take action then we can make a huge positive impact on our oceans!

I have added below some more articles that you can read if you're interested in finding out more about the impact makeup wipes are having on our planet, and if you have any other sustainable alternatives that you like to use in your skincare routine then please share these in the comments section below!



  1. I try my best to take my makeup off with a flannel rather than cotton pads and I stopped using face wipes years ago now!

    Lucy | Forever September

    1. That's amazing Lucy! Yes it takes a while to get used to using a flannel or reusable makeup remover pads, but now I love it because it leaves me feeling super refreshed, ready for bed and I've seen a difference in my skin complexion which is a bonus! xx

  2. Such a beautifully written post Lily. I am definitley going to look into purchasing some of these, it's a great idea!

    Love, Cynthia xx

    1. Thank you so much Cynthia! I would definitely recommend using all of these products - they're great! xx


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