The sad truth about makeup wipes
The Makeup Remover Wipe: What started out as a quick fix has since become one of the most popular skincare products in our collection. It’s our handy camping companion, our incredibly easy nighttime rescue when double cleaning is downright daunting.
But when it comes to skin health, are these all-in-one wipes all they’re made out to be? Makeup wipes are more like a one-shot wonder: easy to love, but not much more to offer. They don’t completely cleanse your skin and aren’t on good terms with the environment.
It’s time to wipe the slate clean and reveal the real effect of makeup remover wipes on the skin. If you’re dedicated to this makeup remover wipe life, we’ll share some jaw-dropping facts: like how long it takes for a makeup remover wipe to break down (you’ll be floored)! We’ll also reveal some truly clean, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly options so you can make a responsible choice in the makeup aisle.
The problem with makeup wipes
Makeup wipes are pre-moistened wipes that are lightweight, versatile and easy to carry – and still so convenient! But wipe it or not, most conventional makeup wipes aren’t good for your skin or the environment.
The problem with most makeup products is that they don’t cleanse the skin effectively or remove makeup properly. Many wipes simply push dirt and makeup around your face, without completely removing or rinsing them off. The chemicals used to preserve wipes can also irritate your skin – and that goes for fragrances too.
The environment isn’t a big fan of cleansing wipes, as most makeup wipes aren’t recyclable or compostable. The average makeup wipe takes a staggering amount of time 100 years to decompose. While it’s tempting to sweep makeup away and then toss it without a second thought, this waste adds up quickly.
With reports suggesting millions of pounds of makeup wipes are thrown away or rinsed off, it’s easy to see why this staple is quickly taking its toll on the planet.
Why most makeup wipes aren’t good for your skin
While makeup remover wipes may seem like the holy grail of makeup removal, they can also cause rashes, irritation, and allergic reactions.
Most makeup wipes are either made from or contain non-biodegradable plastic and synthetic fibers such as polyester, polypropylene or rayon.
The types of ingredients used in makeup wipes can be harmful to your skin. Most of them contain perfumes, chemical preservatives, alcohol and surfactants that won’t be rinsed off when you’re done. Not only can this dry out your skin, but the rubbing action and pressure itself to remove makeup can irritate your skin.
Cleansing wipes and the environment
From a sustainability perspective, these fibers can also contaminate oceans and water sources as they are unable to biodegrade naturally. In addition to the material used for the wipe itself, the ingredients of some makeup wipes can also bioaccumulate in our environment.
Compostable/biodegradable wipes are a great start, but remember one very important fact: kind of products that you delete play an equally important role. Some cosmetic ingredients like silicones, plastics, and heavy metals can bioaccumulate in the environment and won’t break down, even if your makeup wipes do. Plant-based makeup and skincare products are the real starting point for reducing your beauty footprint.
Do makeup wipes really clean your skin?
You can see the makeup on the wipe, you can feel the foaming action – but do face wipes actually clean your face? With makeup remover wipes, you skip that essential “rinse” step, so dirt and grime are left behind.
There is no rinsing with a wipe. While they can sweep up a lot of makeup and debris, they also move and redistribute it around your face. They can’t completely remove everything like a traditional water-based cleaner.
Fragrances and other preservative ingredients in your wipes will also be left on the skin overnight. This could be a major precursor to clogged pores and breakouts!
Now into textured facial wipes: the idea sounds effective, but they don’t do a great job of cleaning the skin enough. They can only reach so far into the pores to remove dirt and bacteria, even with their added texture. So if you’re really worried about your pores, use a powder cleanser or a konjac sponge to remove the embedded debris.
Should I stop using makeup remover wipes?
Ultimately, we don’t think makeup remover wipes should be the end of your cleansing routine. Much like hand sanitizing instead of hand washing, makeup remover wipes should be reserved for situations where using a face wash is not an option (camping, gym, etc.). Or, you can use them as a supplement to remove stubborn makeup before washing your face.
The best eco-friendly makeup wipes
While eliminating makeup remover wipes may seem like a big sacrifice in inconvenience, these alternative makeup removal methods are both eco-friendly and a snap. Here are five great eco-friendly methods that get the job done, while being kinder to the environment and your skin!
Use Micellar Water
Micellar water is going to create the closest experience to using a makeup remover wipe, but here’s the thing: it’s much more effective. Micellar waters hydrate the skin while removing makeup, as well as dirt, sweat and environmental impurities. Even better: a good reusable cotton pad will be much more absorbent than those soft wipes, so you’ll melt away your makeup with ease.
To use micellar water to remove make-up, simply saturate a reusable cotton ball with micellar water and sweep over the face. For good measure, follow with a water cleanser, but micellar water is great for nights when you just need to get some shut-eye.
Soak a damp towel in the cleansing balm
If you’re looking for a method that will remove even the most stubborn makeup, look no further than a cleansing balm.
With their oil-based formulas, Cleansing Balms melt away waterproof mascara, lipstick, dirt and oil by penetrating deep into pores to remove impurities.
For an even easier and more effective way to remove your makeup, try putting some cleansing balm on a damp towel and gently massaging it into the skin. It’s perfect for those nights when you’ve been out with friends and just need to take your makeup off so you can go to bed.
Try a cleansing milk
While this method isn’t best for heavier makeup, a cleansing milk can provide a nourishing, long-lasting way to remove makeup, sunscreen, sweat, and dirt, all in one step.
Our Calendula Flower Cleansing Milk is lightly foaming and silky smooth, perfect for sweeping away the day and all its leftovers, while washing away environmental pollutants. Made with sea buckthorn oil, rose hydrosol and chamomile to deeply hydrate and soften the skin.