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“These 3-inch rounds are made with a double layer of organic cotton flannel, for a soft but absorbent reusable makeup wipe.”
“These organic bamboo cotton rounds prove eco-friendly living doesn’t have to be expensive.”
“Use these clothes dry or wet to gently exfoliate your face and slough away dead skin cells.”
“Discover how luxurious reusable rounds can be with this elegant set.”
“Experience the opulence of a spa but in the comfort of your own home with these cleansing cloths.”
“Anti-bacterial and fast-drying bamboo is blended with organic cotton to craft these durable rounds.”
“Made from fibers finer than human hair, this double-sided pad can clean away any makeup.”
“A clever pocket design allows you to put your fingers into the back of this pad for extra control when applying toner.”
Turning your skincare routine green can feel like an overwhelming task. But investing in reusable makeup wipes or cotton rounds is a simple swap that requires little to no effort but will pay back an enormous amount of environmental impact.
To go from zero to zero-waste hero with your skincare routine is remarkably easy. Opting for organic cotton or an eco-friendly alternative such as bamboo lyocell is a fast method of replacing damaging wipes and rounds with sustainable, reusable versions. Once used, they can be thrown into the laundry and washed as part of your normal laundry schedule—from there you can continue to use them again, and again, and again. Not only will you reduce your impact on landfill, but you’ll likely save some cash in the process.
We recommend choosing companies that have transparent, ethical practices such as sustainable sourcing and manufacturing processes, and which incorporate either recycled or organic textiles into their products.
To find the best, we’ve scoured the internet and store shelves to bring you this round-up of our favorite reusable makeup remover wipes and organic cotton rounds.
Marley’s Monsters 100% Organic Cotton Facial Rounds
These 3-inch rounds are made with a double layer of organic cotton flannel, for a soft but absorbent reusable makeup wipe. They’re sold in a pack of 20, which comes bundled in just a recyclable paper wrap label, and are available in either a natural cotton color or in white.
Twenty wipes is usually plenty to last for two weeks, so you’ll have time to wash used wipes before you run out of clean ones. They are machine washable and can be tumble dried on a low setting. The cloth is fully compostable, just remove the polyester tread—which can also be recycled with textile recycling or through TerraCycle.
Greenzla Reusable Cotton Pads
From a brand that avoids synthetic and chemical-heavy materials, these sustainably-sourced, organic bamboo cotton rounds prove that eco-friendly living doesn’t have to be expensive. Affordable in price, they’re also fully biodegradable, so can be composted when they’ve come to the end of their life—which shouldn’t be for many years.
Twenty fully-reusable pads arrive in a recyclable storage case, meaning you’ve got enough to keep you going for a few weeks, and making these the perfect sustainable alternative to single-use options. What’s more, clear washing instructions ensure that these rounds remain as sparkly white as the day they were delivered.
Pai The Aileron Cloths Exfoliating Face Cloths
If a cloth is an indispensable part of your skincare routine but you’re committed to sustainability, then The Aileron cloths might be the pick for you. There’s a reason these cloths from sustainable skincare pioneers Pai are bestsellers. Made from organic, double-layered muslin (spun from non-GM organic cotton grown in India), these face cloths are eco-friendly in more ways than one.
Use dry or wet to gently exfoliate your face and slough away dead skin cells and throw them in the laundry for reuse. The best bit about Pai is the fact that’ve been certified by Cruelty Free International and Cosmos (The Soil Association) to confirm their products are 100 percent ethical, organic and free from animal testing. Purchasing these cloths means your conscience will be left feeling as radiant as your skin.
Jenny Patinkin Organic Bamboo Reusable Cosmetic Rounds
We’d never realized quite how luxurious reusable rounds could be until we discovered this elegant set from Jenny Patinkin. Comprising a pink, snakeskin-effect vegan leather carry case, laundry bag, and 14 rounds made from carbon-neutral bamboo, this set is perhaps the most gorgeous introduction to sustainable skincare we’ve seen.
This brand has sustainability at its heart. It aims for its products to be reusable keepsakes rather than single-use disposables. These organic bamboo rounds have a luxury terrycloth surface that can be combined with makeup remover or just water to gently exfoliate your skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and cleansed. This set looks would make a beautiful gift, but don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to keep it for yourself—we won’t judge!
Juice Beauty Eco Cleansing Cloth
Experience the opulence of a posh spa day but in the comfort of your own home with this set of three cleansing cloths, from organic and luxury wellness brand Juice Beauty. Sustainable, bamboo fibers are combined with organic cotton to create a plush and extremely soft face towel that’ll gently remove dirt and makeup from your skin.
All-natural fibers can be relied upon in these cloths, which are fully organic and cruelty-free. For a luxury bath time experience every morning and evening, combine these with your favourite cleanser (or just with water to simplify your beauty routine) and apply to your skin to gently exfoliate away the day.
Best for Sensitive Skin:
Snow Fox Reusable Bamboo Make Up Removal Pads
These biodegradable organic cotton/bamboo blend rounds save an astonishing 8,987 gallons of water compared with conventional cotton pads and will replace a staggering 160 packs of disposable makeup wipes. If that doesn’t encourage you to switch up your skincare routine, we don’t know what will.
Anti-bacterial and fast-drying bamboo is blended with organic cotton to craft these durable rounds. They use a double-layer of fluffy terry cloth that’s soft but not too absorbent, so it won’t drink up all your toner or makeup remover. The Snow Fox brand was developed with sensitive skin at its core, so you can rest assured that these rounds will be gentle on your face.
Best for Heavy Makeup:
Face Halo Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
Heavy makeup can feel impossible to remove, even with makeup wipes soaked in chemicals. Minimise your environmental impact and cut out the harsh substances that can damage your health by opting for this oh-so-soft, reusable makeup remover pad from Face Halo.
Made using fiber strands that are 100 times finer than human hair, this plush, double-sided pad can be combined with water to penetrate your pores and clean away any makeup. This is the only option on this list not made from sustainable materials, however, the manufacturers do say that it replaces up to 500 single-use cotton pads or makeup wipes—making the environmental impact of this product impressive and a step towards going zero-waste in the bathroom.
Best for Toner:
The Detox Market Reusable Rounds
A 70 percent bamboo and 30 percent organic blend is to thank for the softness of these reusable rounds. Labelled with every day of the week, they’re the perfect addition to your daily routine. A clever pocket design allows you to put your fingers into the back of the pad, giving you extra control when using them to apply toner or even to remove makeup.
Fully machine washable, these should last you well into the future. An added bonus is that the brand, which is committed to cruelty-free products that are safe for your body, plants a tree for every sale of these rounds.
Our overall top pick for reusable cotton rounds are Marley’s Monsters 100% Organic Cotton Facial Rounds (available at Package Free Shop), for their sustainability and function. If you’re looking to add a little more luxury to your low-waste beauty routine, check out Jenny Patinkin’s set of organic reusable makeup rounds (available on Credo Beauty).
What is the environmental impact of disposable makeup wipes?
Single-use makeup wipes might feel like a bathroom essential, they really should be at the very top of your list of environmental no-nos. Packed with non-biodegradable plastic fibers, they’re a big source of ocean pollution. Even if they make it to landfill, they may sit for decades and never fully degrade back into organic material.
Their catastrophic environmental impact doesn’t end there. Every day in the UK 93 million wipes are flushed down toilets; not only does this lead to sewer blockages, but wipes are washing up on beaches in astonishing numbers. In 2017, Water UK found 27 face wipes for every 100 metres of beach along the British coastline.
Are cotton balls bad for the environment?
It’s not just makeup wipes that deserve being consigned to the skincare routine dumpster of history. Conventional cotton balls have a sizable negative environmental impact, too. Cotton is a thirsty crop, and heavy insecticide and synthetic fertilizer use in the conventional cotton manufacturing process is also an issue. These chemicals can leach into water systems, affecting the people and animals who rely upon these sources. That’s a big impact for a product that you’ll use once and then throw away.
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