Reusable Makeup Remover Wipes

I would undoubtedly be a much more eco-friendly human if I didn’t add cosmetics to my regular consumption of products, but it’s one thing I haven’t yet been able to give up.  I have done a lot of research on which makeup products are the healthiest for my body and which companies have sustainable sourcing and production practices. But the makeup removal part of the equation is just as relevant in my quest to reduce my consumption of manufactured products. After all, how many are made in the form of disposable wipes that get one use and then are dumped into the trash can?  And also of concern, how many makeup remover products include chemicals that are irritants or hormone disruptors? A lot of them! I should know, I feel like I tried them all of the years.

For the past few years, I have used something for removing eye makeup that I’ve discovered to be as effective as the complexly formulated products sold in stores.  Coconut oil. A swipe of it over my eyes removes the makeup and, bonus, moisturizes my under eye area. I already had a container of organic coconut oil in my kitchen for baking recipes, making granola, greasing baking pans, etc.  Now, I also keep a container in my bathroom for removing mascara at the end of the day.

Although the product itself could not be more simple or natural, using cotton balls to apply the coconut oil (and witch hazel for astringent that I use daily) felt wasteful.  1-2 cotton balls per day doesn’t seem like much. But I pictured every cotton ball I’ve used in my life piled up in a landfill, and decided there had to be a better way. So one day, as I was retiring some bath towels that had become faded and thin, I decided to sub them in for cotton balls.  I cut the towels up into little squares, about 3” x 3” and quickly settled into a new routine. Each night I use a mini towel square to apply the coconut oil to my eyes. Because the oil is solid at room temperature, I rub the towelette onto the oil rather than dip it. One gentle swipe on each eye and my makeup is gone and my eye is moisturized! Then I fold over the towelette and use the other side to apply witch hazel to my whole face.  I throw the little towelette in with the rest of my laundry and, voila! Reusable makeup remover wipes.

Do you have any DIY hacks to cut down on consumption? I’d love to hear about them!

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Friday Favorite: Environmental Working Group

My favorite resource for researching the ingredients in my make-up and shower products is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.  The website (there’s also a free app!) allows you to search tens of thousands of products from mascara to toothpaste to sunscreen to see how they are rated in terms of toxicity.  For example Neutrogena Skin Clearing Oil-Free makeup scored an 8 and Dove Cream Oil Shea Butter Body Lotion scored a 6 (0 being low in toxicity and 10 being extremely high).  Before I started really looking at ingredients, those are both products I would have bought and used without a second thought.  Now, before I buy any new product I research it on the database first to see what the toxins in it are linked to (endocrine disruption! reproductive concerns! cancer!).  Given the choice between a face wash that has parabens or SLS in it versus one that is made with only nature-produced ingredients, I’ll take the latter.  I now try to stick to products that score a 0-3 on the Skin Deep database.  I encourage you to try out the user-friendly database — put in your favorite deodorant, perfume, blush, or face cream.  You might be surprised at the results!