Both your face and the planet will thank you...
Like most things built for convenience, face wipes are problematic. Sure, they're generally an effective cleanser, save time and easy to use but when you're country declares a climate emergency, it's time to start thinking about we can do to help. Spoiler: wet wipes aren't it.
Besides, the overwhelming guilt you feel at the very sight of a bathroom bin filled with wipes, more than 500 sewage blockages are caused by wet wipes each month in Ireland. What's more, fatbergs (a congealed mass in a sewer system formed by the combination of non-biodegradable solid matter) which are being found more and more in our sewers are 93 per cent wipes.
In the past few weeks, stores such as Holland and Barrett and The Body Shop have decided that drastic times call for drastic measures, and announced that they will be banning the sale of wet wipes altogether. Holland and Barret are set to remove the 34 products in its wet wipe range in its 800 stores across the UK and Ireland. While The Body Shop has taken the huge decision to discontinue all wipes throughout their business which will come into effect around October in the UK and early 2020 in the rest of the world.
Recently there's been an increase in brands launching biodegradable wipes, which is definitely a step in the right direction, but the reality is that wipes (no matter what they're made of) really aren't that effective at the job of face-washing anyway. Many tend to just move the dirt around your face, rather than actually washing it off.
Needless to say, the best option is to cut out any form of wiping implement altogether. Not just for our planet's sake but for your skin's too. So without further ado, here is everything you need to know on how to cleanse, sustainably - but effectively too.
Often associated with cleansers? Cotton pads. Just like face wipes, cotton pads are anything but sustainable. Cotton is a thirsty fabric to produce. According to WWF, the amount of water needed to produce one kilogram of cotton, which is one of our basic white T-Shirts, is the same amount of water one person would drink over three years. Bearing that in mind, we at least keep our trusted t-shirts for longer than a day, so imagine the amount of water we waste on a single-use cotton pad. Scrap the face wipes, leave the single-use cotton pads at home, and embrace a more sustainable addition to your everyday beauty routine with these sustainable alternatives.
Cleanse Off Mit, €5.95, The Skin Nerd
Cleansing Pad, €10.50, Little Green Shop
I would go out on a limb and say that finding (and using) the best cleanser for your complexion is the most important skincare step. Washing away the day’s grime and removing make-up are both essential for healthy skin, and any products that follow need to be applied to a truly clean face. It's time to put down the makeup wipes once and for all - thanks to these sustainable cleansers.
Sumptuous Cleansing Butter, €11.30, The Body Shop
Regenerating Cleanser, €43, Tata Harper @ Arnotts
THE HOW TO:
Now you have the tools, it's time to focus on the technique. For most people, their main cleanse of the day takes place in the evening. During the day, the facial skin comes into contact with a variety of different environmental factors such as pollutants. Along with makeup, this can cause a build-up on the skin.
Make sure to wash your face with lukewarm water and a cream cleanser. Warm water helps lift the dirt out of your skin, but hot water can dry out the skin. Cream cleansers are more hydrating, but if you wear a lot of makeup, you might want to consider using an oil-based cleanser instead.
After washing, dab your face with a fresh, clean towel - don’t rub. This will only stretch your skin and lead to wrinkles.
Main image by @happyskincare on Instagram