Makeup remover wipes have been a constant in my life for years.
I used them because they’re convenient — one or two passes of the pre-moistened cloth and BAM! Makeup gone and I’m fresh-faced.
But recently, I tossed my makeup remover wipes due to their environmental impact (BAD) and the chemicals they contain.
There are so many products that don’t harm the planet (or your skin) and effectively remove your makeup at the end of the day.
Reasons for Ditching Makeup Wipes
Dr. Tijion Esho, an aesthetic doctor, posted a video on Instagram in which he applied liquid foundation to an orange.
Using a makeup remover wipe, he attempted to remove the makeup, but it only went deeper into the pores of the fruit — the video went viral.
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Although he’s been advising against using facial wipes for a long time, he didn’t expect the video to be so well-received.
“This video going viral showed me that since the pandemic more and more people are invested in skin health and being educated in this as part of wellness, which is great as it’s something I’m very passionate about,” he said. “As a whole it’s had a very positive impact, many people changing and improving their own habits just by that video.”
Dr. Esho added: “A minority were confused, saying ‘but my face isn’t a tangerine.’ Of course it isn’t. But microscopically your skin is quite similar. We don’t realize that the surface of the skin actually has several grooves and bits that we can’t see with the naked eye — it also has many oils and lipids that can act like the waxy surface of the orange — the video represents what can happen at a microscopic level and should be food for thought.”
Instead, he recommends double cleansing the skin using a cleanser or micellar water for 60 seconds and then moisturizing. Even simple water alone is better than using a makeup remover wipe, he explained.
Why Makeup Remover Wipes Are Harmful
Dr. Esho told Insider that as well as being unsustainable from an environmental standpoint, makeup remover wipes are not actually designed to clean the skin.
“They are formulated to break down makeup,” he said. “The chemicals in some cases can be harsh to your skin causing micro-tears, or push makeup and debris deeper into your pores leading to further problems.”
There are a lot of newer options for cleansing your face. We’ll break down what they are and why they’re better than makeup remover wipes!
Makeup Eraser Cloths/Towels
The Original MakeUp Eraser Original Pink is a sustainable makeup remover that erases all traces of makeup — just add water. And it’s reusable, so no environmental impact like makeup wipes.
Erase Makeup Facial Cleansing Cloth is comparable to the Original listed above, but about half the price if you’re on a budget or just want a cheaper option.
The PUFF-Set exfoliates as well as cleansing and toning with its double sides.
Erase Your Face cloths “remove all types of cosmetics, including waterproof mascara without the use of synthetic makeup removers.”
What is Micellar Water?
Micellar water is pretty close to cleanser and is referred to as cleansing water in beauty circles.
It removes makeup with the added benefit of ridding your facial skin of built-up dirt and sweat.
Micellar Cleansing Waters
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser is perfect for removing makeup and doesn’t require any water! A perfect replacement for those who used wipes because they were lazy (like me).
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water For Waterproof Makeup is the same as the one listed above but for tougher makeup — like waterproof mascara.
La Roche-Posay Ultra Micellar Cleansing Water and Makeup Remover for Sensitive Skin cleanses the skin of makeup, dirt, and oils, leaving your face refreshed and clean.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin is a lightweight cleanser that moisturizes and does not irritate sensitive or dry skin.
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin is a “non-irritating, non-comedogenic facial cleanser that treats your skin gently and helps retain its natural moisture” while removing makeup and oil.
To Cleanse or Double Cleanse?
“Double cleansing is as simple as it sounds,” says Healthline. “It involves thoroughly washing your face with two cleansers.
“The only catch is that the cleansers need to be two different types to have the desired effect. The first is usually an oil-based cleanser, followed up by a water-based one.”
Double Cleansing Duos
For Normal Skin
Use Tatcha’s Camellia Cleansing Oil to gently cleanse and dissolve waterproof makeup and follow up with Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser to boost hydration for soft, supple skin.
For Dry or Sensitive Skin
Eau Thermale Avène Xeracalm A.D Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil deeply cleans without drying out the skin or causing further aggravation during flare-ups.
Follow that with Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter, which activates into a silky foam that rinses away impurities, trapped make-up, excess oils and dead surface cells, while respecting the skin’s natural moisture balance.
For Combination Skin
Cetaphil’s Gentle Foaming Cleanser removes dirt, oil and makeup without drying skin. Finish the routine with Kiehl’s ‘Midnight Recovery’ Botanical Cleansing Oil, which gives skin needed moisture while ridding it of makeup.
Foreo’s LUNA mini 2 combines T-Sonic pulsations to effectively cleanse the skin with a nonabrasive silicone brush that’s gentle on the face. The compact device lasts up to five months from one full charge and is fully waterproof for seamless integration into any skincare routine.
On a budget but still want a sonic cleansing brush? Try the Plum Beauty Mini Sonic Facial Brush. Although it’s not quite as powerful as the Foreo and the charge doesn’t last as long, it has all the same features and gets the job done.
Conair True Glow Sonic Facial Beauty Kit effectively removes dirt, oil and makeup while gently exfoliating for smoother, clearer-looking skin. The high-frequency cleansing and exfoliating help to improve skin texture by removing buildup.
Make the Switch
There are no more excuses for using a product that is awful for the environment — ditch the makeup wipes and change up your routine with a natural cloth or cleanser that does the same, or even better, job of cleaning your face.
Your skin, and the planet, will thank you.
Were you aware that makeup remover wipes are harmful to your skin and the planet? Will you stop using them now that you know? Tell us below!
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