Your Game Plan For Weaning Off Makeup Wipes, Because Your Skin (And The Environment) Deserve It

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As much as we love wearing makeup, we cannot deny how good it feels to wash it all away at the end of the day. Feeling a fresh face after hours of wear is both satisfying and essential for your skin; when you sleep in makeup, you run the risk of inhibiting your skin from its natural healing process, potentially causing preventable issues for your skin. Taking off your makeup is ironically one of the best ways to keep your skin healthy while wearing makeup everyday. And, as such, it is critical to be done properly. 

For years, using makeup remover wipes might have been your go-to product when it came to makeup removal. Convenient, relatively cheap, and somewhat satisfying to see all that residue come off on a clean cloth, makeup remover wipes are understandably a popular product. Except for one caveat: they are not popular with the environment. Have you ever considered what makeup remover wipes are actually made of? The FDA says that most cleansing wipes are contrived of synthetic materials such as polyester, polypropylene, and rayon fibers, as well as organic materials such as cotton, processed and pressed into sheets. Such synthetic materials are not biodegradable, and as they break down, they emit toxic chemicals to the environment in the meantime. But even aside from the environmental toll of makeup remover wipes, many of them are simply not as effective at cleaning your skin as other products. Perhaps the time to make a change has arrived. 

Alternatives to makeup remover wipes

One of the most popular makeup removing products are liquid makeup removing oils, which can be poured right onto your washed hands and worked into your skin — no need to use a cotton pad. Dr. Joshua Zeichner tells Allure, "Since oil dissolves oil, they are ideally suited to be used as cleansers." This means that, rather than pulling at your skin to coax the makeup off, liquid makeup remover oils break down the makeup on your face, making it easier to lift and giving you a more thorough cleanse. Even the most stubborn, waterproof, stay-all-day products are no match. 

Makeup removing creams and balms are also an option for those looking to make the switch. Both products tend to work much like a liquid cleanser oil, but with a thicker texture and emphasis on emollient (or moisturizing) properties. Some people may prefer cleansing balms or creams simply because they might be less messy than a liquid cleansing oil, and to be slightly lighter on the skin. 

Cleansing gels can also be added to your makeup removal repertoire. These products tend to have properties of both a makeup remover and cleanser for super thorough skin treatment. And of course, makeup removing micellar waters are another option that tend to be gentle. Particles known as micelles attach to the makeup on your face, removing it from the surface. Be mindful, however, that micellar water can leave a residue, so follow up with a cleanser.

Choosing the right product for your skin

When choosing the right makeup removing product, first determine whether your skin would prefer a water-based or oil-based solvent. While both are designed to clean makeup off of your skin, depending on your needs, you may find some just work better for you than others. 

The benefits of using an oil-based makeup remover, for example, is that it can both break apart makeup on your face, and moisturize your skin. For those who wear long-lasting makeup or ample makeup products, an oil-based makeup remover might be best suited. But should your skin be acne prone or on the oilier side, renowned skin brand Paula's Choice suggests to choose an oil-based product that has a surfactant and emulsifier so the product can wash away with water everything that it's picked up, ensuring that oil does not stay on the skin. Water-based makeup removers can work with all skin types, but especially those whose skin might be more sensitive. Such products can also be applied with just your hands, or you could opt for a microfiber cloth to gently dab away the makeup on your skin. 

No matter what solvent base is right for you, another factor that sets these makeup removers apart from standard makeup remover wipes are their capacity to incorporate additional, skin-loving ingredients that can nourish your skin. Saving the planet while saving your skin? We are all about it.