Ready to make the switch over to the green side?
In the beauty industry, face wipes and cotton pads are some of the worst environmental offenders for contributing to waste and single-use consumption: they create a huge amount of unnecessary pollution, litter our beaches and oceans, and take years and years to decompose in landfill. Which is why making the switch to reusable make-up pads is the sensible choice.
We’ve seen a huge rise in the number of reusable make-up pads hitting the market and with good reason. They’re super easy to use and you can pop them in with the rest of your laundry. Better yet, with so much innovation behind them now, you’ll find that reusable make-up pads are a lot more high-tech – and a lot better for your skin – than a standard face wipe, too.
Seeing as it’s Plastic Free July this month, now is a prime opportunity to switch up your routine by making a few small swaps here and there to reduce your carbon footprint—and the best reusable make-up pads are a great place to start.
Why are face wipes so bad for the environment?
We’ve all fallen victim to the convenience of a face wipe at some point or another, especially when we’re feeling lazy at the end of the day. But while they can feel like the easier option to remove your make-up they are, to put it simply, terrible for the planet.
Most will know the environmental damage caused by face wipes, however, despite growing awareness, the average woman still uses nine wipes every week – with every single wipe taking over 100 years to break down in landfill. According to a study carried out by Mintel on Women’s Facial Skincare in August 2020, 44% of women still use facial cleansing wipes.
Then there’s the production of cotton that can require a lot of water and pesticides that can cause pollution too.
Aside from the environmental impact, face wipes are often formulated with preservatives, which can damage the all important skin barrier too. Many won’t actually cleanse your skin and remove make-up effectively, while others are formulated with ingredients that can be abrasive and too harsh on sensitive skin types.
How do reusable pads work?
Reusable make-up pads mean you can use the same piece of material over and over again: simply sweep water, cleanser or toner onto the pad, remove your make-up or clean your skin, and then toss the pad into your laundry. Genius, right?
Not only are they completely reusable – with each one promising an average of 500-1,000 uses – it makes them a more cost-effective way of taking care of your skin too. Better yet, the majority of reusable make-up remover pads are made from natural fibres too, some of which biodegrade entirely within a few years.
Some of these materials also come with added skincare benefits, too. Bamboo, for instance, is hypoallergenic and contains naturally porous particles meaning it’s ideal for absorbing excess oil to help reduce skin shine, while also still being gentle on the skin.
With so many new reusable iterations cropping up from indie and big brands, there’s a lot to choose from. Forget bog standard pads too, now you’ll find mitts that heat up to your body temperature, gentle flannel-like cloths to remove every last trace of make-up; those that activate simply with plain water, and others that you can pair with your go-to micellar water.
As for the array of options, Eco brand Bambaw’s cleansing pads are double-sided with a soft, velvet side for the delicate under-eye area and the other to exfoliate for a deeper cleanse. Meanwhile, Face Halo’s HaloTech gentle fibres remove make-up using water only. Whatever your skin type, the PETA certified make-up remover is gentle and pH neutral and uses a revolutionary fibre-filled pad to reach deep into your pores without disrupting your skin barrier. Did we mention it takes half the time to clean your face and remove make-up than a standard face wipe, too?
How do you look after your reusable pads at home?
Though different products vary, most reusable cotton pads can be thrown into the laundry after use. Some will even come with a wash bag to keep them together too.
Many will advise that once you’ve cleansed your face, rinse the pads with warm water and soap to remove any residue and reduce stains before throwing the pads into the wash. This helps get rid of any product buildup and prolongs the longevity of the pad for future use.
Ready to switch up your routine? Keep scrolling for some of the best reusable make-up pads around..
The first UK brand to go Carbon Positive, Neighbourhood Botanicals has been working hard to make our beauty routines a whole lot greener. Try these Zero-Waste hypoallergenic make-up remover pads created from a soft natural fibre made from bamboo pulp (bamboo being one of the fastest growing plants in the world) to take care of your skin and the planet.
In keeping with its cool, minimalist aesthetic, these reusable make-up pads by cult skincare brand, Typology, are easy on the eyes and come in a sleek recycled cotton case too. They’re made with bamboo which helps absorb excess oil from the skin and reduces skin shine, making them a great choice for oily skin types.
Made from 60% post-consumer material, these eco-friendly make-up removal pads look good and do good. Use them alongside your favourite cleanser to remove your make-up gently and effectively, before popping them into your laundry to use again and again. They also come with a mesh bag so you can keep them all together when you throw them in the washing machine, too.
Founder of Face Halo, Lizzy Pike, has been on a mission to make our beauty routines more sustainable since the beginning. Face Halo’s innovative pads are made from unique HaloTech fibres (that, FYI, are 100 times finer than human hair) to lift away your makeup from deep within your pores and cleanse your skin—all by just applying water. The best part? The brand has saved one billion wipes from going to landfill!
Creator of the IG-famous face serum and homeware handle, Vanderohe’s Sasawashi Exfoliating Face Cloth helps exfoliate the skin and boost circulation, all while making your cleansing routine a lot more sustainable.
Did you know? Garnier’s first-ever micro-fibre pads last for up to 1,000 washes making them a more cost-effective purchase compared with regular disposable cotton pads. Top tip: use them with the brand’s power partner, Micellar Water, to take the day off, remove makeup, SPF and built-up oil all without disrupting the important skin barrier.
A double-action cleansing pad, e.l.f’s reusable pads feature a soft white cleansing pad to use around the delicate eye area and remove your everyday make-up, and a black cleansing cloud with denser fibres to remove tougher make-up.
Stylpro’s make-up remover pads come housed in a cute minimalistic storage barrel so you can keep it handy next to the rest of your beauty products and remove your make-up easily after a long day.
Made from 100% natural materials, UpCircle’s triple layer pads are gentle and effective on your skin, with seven different pads so that you have one for every day of the week!
Give your skin a DIY facial with Skinesis’ cleansing mitts created by celebrity facialist Sarah Chapman. These exfoliating cleansing pads ensure you don’t need to rely on disposable cotton pads, and instead use your body temperature to retain heat and give your skin a deeper cleanse, all while removing every last trace of make-up. Pretty clever, eh?
We all know how important it is to look after our precious planet by now. Your first step? Investing in these eco-friendly make-up remover pads by Magnitone. Great for sensitive skin, they’re made with a clever MicroFibre to reduce any redness or irritation when removing your make-up.
For more eco-friendly makeup removal, try LastObject’s reusable pads created from 100% renewable raw materials (like Scandinavian wood fibers and cotton fibers that are too short to be used in the textile industry). They come in a case made from repurposed ocean-bound plastic too, and the best part? Just one pack replaces 1,750 single-use cotton rounds.