Why It's Time to Ditch Your Disposable Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths

Why It's Time to Ditch Your Disposable Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths

Posted by Courtney Henslee on Jun 2nd 2019

I want to let you in on something.

Those “convenient” disposable makeup remover pads aren’t doing you (or the environment) any good.

I get it.

They’re convenient.

And the ingredients can’t be that bad, right?


Not only do disposable makeup remover cloths straight WRECK people’s faces all the time, but they’re packed with a bunch of ingredients that have no business soaking into your precious skin.

Let’s take a deeper look.

The Real Truth About Disposable Makeup Remover and Cleansing Cloths

Did you know that convenient disposable makeup remover cloth isn’t really cleaning your skin?

Instead these wipes simply smear around whatever dirt, dead skin, and makeup is on your face. What’s left is irritated facial skin instead of the glowing, radiant skin you desire.

I’m not going to mention any names, but I’ve had three of my clients have an adverse reaction to a big-name “natural” brand of cleansing cloths, where something happened at the factory where too much of some chemical preservative wasn’t properly distributed.

Skin irritation from cleansing cloths is a reaction to the preservatives that are put in them to prevent them from growing mold. In some wipes, you’ll find formaldehyde-releasing chemicals, emulsifiers, glycerin, surfactants, and solubilizers.

According to the FDA, cleansing wipes are made from “materials such as polyester, polypropylene, cotton, wood pulp, or rayon fibers formed into sheets. They may be packaged individually, or in small or bulk packaging. They are moistened with water and other ingredients, such as cleansing and moisturizing agents that help them work. They may contain other ingredients, such as preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria and molds.”

Don’t follow up your makeup wipe with a cleanser and all these nasty ingredients stay in the skin and lead to irritation.

That’s not all, though.

The rubbing involved with these convenient cloths can also irritate your skin.

According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, “Rubbing can cause low-grade inflammation that, over time, can promote skin pigmentation or even early wrinkling.”

The irritation and inflammation associated with these wipes can also result in acne. If you already struggle with acne-prone skin, using disposable makeup cloths could make acne worse.

Then there’s the environmental impact of disposable makeup remover/cleansing cloths. They end up in our landfills…and take YEARS to decompose.

Okay, so you’ll just flush them down the toilet to keep them out of the landfills.

Not so much.

When you flush disposable makeup remover cloths down the toilet, waste management workers have to remove them from the waste and dispose of them properly. They still end up in the landfill. It’s just a longer process for them to get there. FYI, same thing goes for plastic tampon applicators.

There is Another Way…

It’s always seemed so strange to me the reaction I get from women and girls when I tell them that they’ve got to ditch the disposable wipes. It’s like pure shock. Like they literally don’t have a clue that there are other ways to removed dirt and makeup. Ways that actually work.

Ladies, it’s not as if we’ve had disposable makeup remover wipes since we’ve had makeup. Remember the old-fashioned method of actually washing your face?

My absolute favorite for removing both dirt and makeup is Chally HA! Oil Cleanser.


Because it’s specially formulated to help remove makeup while gently cleansing the skin. And while it doesn’t come in the convenient option of a wipe, it’s freaking amazing and doing its job.

While I typically recommend oil cleansing be done at least once a week aside from your regular facial cleanser, Chally HA! also acts as a daily makeup remover. And thanks to the presence of chaulmoogra oil in Chally HA!, it’s awesome for clearing up acne (disposable makeup wipe-related or otherwise). Chaulmoogra oil has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and is well-known for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

Any of Brazen Bee’s moisturizers are great for removing makeup, as well. Personally, the older I get, I only want to use extremely nourishing, beneficial things around my eyes. My go-to’s for getting those last bits of makeup off are Stiletto Moisturizer and Enlighten Oil.

Here’s something else.

If you’re looking for a cheap, natural alternative that’s both safe and fabulous, check out plain old grapeseed oil at your local grocery store. It gets the job done and doesn’t cost but a few bucks.

Never olive oil. Never coconut oil.

Do yourself (and the environment) a favor. Ditch those disposable makeup remover cloths. Your face and Mother Earth will thank you for it.