Ditch The Wipes: Four Fast, Easy, Effective & Sustainable Makeup Removal Solutions

The Body Shop Discontinues Wipes:
Here Are Alternative Effective & Sustainable Makeup Removal Solutions

I’ve made no secret of the fact I’m not an advocate of face wipes; these ‘handy and convenient’ alternatives to a proper cleanse can cause all number of issues if they’re relied upon regularly – or worse, used as your cleansing routine in its entirety. Often marketed as an easy and effective way to remove makeup and impurities, these little damp cloths tend only to remove the upper most layer of visible dirt while drenching your skin in drying chemicals and alcohol; they require a lot of pressure around delicate areas of the face to lift away mascara and lipstick, plus they can actually exacerbate the ageing process. But what’s become more of a talking point than all of that combined, is the fact that face wipes are incredibly bad for the environment.

It’s estimated that the wipe market will be worth over $20bn by 2021 – so that’s billions of predominately plastic (thanks to the inclusion of non-biodegradable polyester) wipes being thrown into landfill, and worse, flushed down our toilets and finding their way into our oceans. Unlike loo roll the majority of face wipes don’t disintegrate in the sewage system; they’re a huge contributing factor in blockages, but if they do make it through the system they can end up in our seas and consumed by sea life. It’s said wipes can linger for up to 500 years in the ecosystem, so they’re just as bad as those plastic bags, bottles and coffee cups we’re becoming increasingly concerned about consuming.

Recently The Body Shop have announced they’re discontinuing their wipes altogether (HOORAH!) due to mounting pressure from environmentally aware consumers, and I’ve no doubt many big brands will follow suit as the backlash against wipes begins to penetrate the beauty community. So if you’re planning on ditching the wipes (in the bin, not down the loo FYI!) altogether but still want a super fast and effective way to cleanse away the day’s makeup, what sustainable makeup removal solutions can you reach for instead?

First up you need to invest in a great oil, balm or cream cleanser that will help to dissolve grime and lift away makeup without drying skin or causing irritation; there are so many great ones to choose from (I’ve detailed some of my current faves in this post!) but the important thing is to massage the product into face for at least sixty seconds before removing it with warm water and an appropriate re-useable cloth. Disposable or single-use cleansing solutions are just not cool, but I’ve got four alternatives that will provide a far more efficient, effective and sustainable solution without breaking the bank.

Sustainable Makeup Removal Solutions: Faster & Better Than WipesSustainable Makeup Removal Solutions: Faster & Better Than Wipes

You don’t have to spend a fortune or get super complex when it comes to your cleansing routine – a simple old fashioned flannel is all you need. I stock up on black flannels from Primark (black hides the stains that are often impossible to remove completely from white flannels) or you can grab a pack of twelve* from Amazon for only £8.99; I have enough to last two weeks, so there’s always a fresh one to use every single day. These soft cloths are great if you have sensitive skin, or just want to try a proper cleanse for the first time.

For fans of Liz Earle this is practically the holy grail: a muslin cloth offers a mild exfoliating experience, helping to really lift away the dirt and grime that has been moved by your cleanser while stimulating blood flow. I used to use these every single day, but now I only reach for a muslin when I want to work my skin a bit harder or have been experiencing dullness – they’re great for bringing back radiance to skin, while effectively lifting away dead skin cells. You can pick these up a pack of twenty muslin cloths* from Amazon for less than a tenner.

A recent discovery of mine, these double sided pads are super handy and the perfect tool to accompany a double cleanse. One side is a cross between a flannel and a muslin, while the other is a softer side that can be used with a gel cleanse to remove those last traces. Again, they’re super cheap online – you can get eight for only £5.99 via Amazon*, including a little pouch to put them in so they don’t get lost in the washing machine. There are more fancy versions available (including this one from Face Halo for £7.00) but it may be worth starting with an affordable solution just to whet your appetite.

The konjac plant has been a vital part of Japanese culture for centuries; when fashioned into a sponge it can help to gently massage the skin and stimulate lood flow, aiding cell turnover and lifting away dirt for a soft and radiant complexion. These arrive hard, so you have to wet them and wait for the sponge to become soft enough to use – but the result is worth it. I love using these in the shower with a gentle cleansing foam or gel, using the sponge to really buff my skin and leave it feeling fresh. Although a bit more pricey, you can get some good deals online (including a pack of five for £12.99 here*) and benefit from an effective clease with minimal effort.

With these four alternatives, there’s no excuse for still using face wipes.

What are you waiting for? Get on board with sustainable makeup removal solutions – for your face and the environment!

Sustainable Makeup Removal Solutions: Faster & Better Than Wipes

*affiliate link



  1. June 4, 2019 / 4:26 pm

    Muslin cloth all the way! I alternate between Liz Earle cleaner and Lacura because I’m poor, so I want the Liz Earle to last!

    • hayleyhalluk
      June 10, 2019 / 9:02 am

      Haha I can relate 😉 The Lacura is still a great cleanser though.

  2. June 8, 2019 / 8:31 am

    Brilliant, just a question Hayley, have you come across anything that would replace cotton wool pads to be used with a cream cleanser?

    • hayleyhalluk
      June 10, 2019 / 9:01 am

      You can use those round ones instead of cotton pads too! They’re about the same size and if you buy in bulk you just wash them in the little bag they come in and TA DA no more cotton pads!

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