Why It's Time To Put Down The Disposable Makeup Wipes

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When it comes to skincare, we often reach for the most convenient and simple options on the shelves. After a long day of work, a big night out, or when traveling, many people turn to disposable makeup wipes for a quick way to remove makeup in seconds. And we totally get it — sometimes, we don't have the energy to do a whole skincare routine, and we just want something easy to do the trick. Sure, disposable makeup wipes can certainly help when you're in a pinch. But experts via The Everygirl agree that these wipes do more harm than good. 

It doesn't hurt to use these wipes once in a while, but including them in your daily routine can actually take a toll on your skin and the environment because of the materials the wipes are made of. Instead, there are more beneficial and sustainable ways to remove makeup, so you can go ahead and ditch harsh wipes

Makeup wipes may irritate the skin

Though using a wipe may be better than not washing your face at all, disposable makeup wipes shouldn't be your first choice for makeup removal. Your face might look and feel clean on the surface, but deep down, makeup wipes aren't fully cleaning the skin. "Makeup wipes don't remove makeup completely and can leave residue on your face. Additionally, because they contain a high concentration of surfactants, they can be irritating and drying," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marie Hayag explains to The Everygirl. Plus, with all the leftover makeup and harsh chemicals on your face, you may be leaving your skin more vulnerable to breakouts. 

Surfactants are the chemicals in wipes and face washes that help remove oil and bacteria from the skin, but when these chemicals are left on the skin after using a wipe, they can leave the skin more irritated than before, especially if you already have sensitive skin. "If you have rosacea or eczema or you've got very sensitive skin, just using the wipe to rub off your makeup can, in and of itself, cause redness and irritation," Dr. Shari Marchbein, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, tells Today.

Disposable wipes are wasteful

Like any single-use product, makeup wipes contribute to pollution and landfill waste. According to the FDA, many makeup wipes are made from non-biodegradable materials, like polyester, polypropylene, and rayon fibers. While some brands do make compostable wipes, these can only break down in the right conditions, according to sustainability expert and author Ashlee Piper via InStyle. "If somebody doesn't have compost at home or city service, so they're putting a biodegradable wipe in the trash, it's not going to biodegrade," Piper tells InStyle.

Luckily, there are alternatives to disposable makeup wipes that can help you make more sustainable choices for the environment and your wallet too. Rather than having to keep purchasing bags of wipes, you can use a cloth, rag, or reusable cotton pads to remove makeup with a liquid makeup remover or facial cleanser. This way, you can simply throw the cloth in the wash along with your clothes to reuse later. If you're traveling and aren't able to carry a liquid makeup remover, you can soak cotton pads in your product of choice and seal them in either a Ziploc bag or a reusable storage bag to keep them moist. These options may not be as convenient as a wipe, but your skin and the environment will thank you for it.