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How to Remove Makeup Without Wasteful Wipes

February 10, 2022 3 min read

How to Remove Makeup Without Wasteful Wipes

Oh, the convenience and simplicity of makeup remover wipes. You pull a square from the plastic container, gently swipe it across your face and toss it in the trash. That’s it. No fuss, no muss. Just a fresh, squeaky-clean face. 

Makeup remover wipes are undeniably appealing, we’ll admit. They’re particularly useful for times when you’re on the go or simply too tired to go through your nighttime skincare routine. But while using makeup remover wipes may seem like a harmless way to achieve a clean complexion, the truth is much, much dirtier.

Unfortunately, those makeup remover wipes you use are likely full of harmful ingredients. For example, diazolidinyl urea, a formaldehyde-releasing preservative, is found in many wipes.  Sulfates, added fragrances, alcohol and other well-known skin irritants are also ubiquitous in makeup remover wipes.

From an environmental standpoint, single-use makeup remover wipes are problematic as well. According to the FDA, cleansing wipes are made up of materials such as polyester, polypropylene, cotton, wood pulp and rayon fibers, which means they aren’t biodegradable. And then, of course, there’s the plastic packaging…

The good news? There are plenty of ways to remove your makeup without putting your skin or the planet in jeopardy. (One method we’re particularly fond of involves pairing jojoba oil with reusable cotton rounds.) Keep reading to learn how to remove makeup without wipes so you can get clean without all the guilt!

Shop Reusable Cotton Rounds

a stack of bamboo cotton rounds in a small clay container

How to Remove Makeup Without Wipes

Ready to wash the day away without using wasteful wipes? Follow these simple steps for a guilt-free clean.

Step 1: Find a Hardworking Cleanser 

First, you’ll want to use an oil-based cleanser, like organic sunflower oil or jojoba oil, to dissolve the makeup, surface debris and excess sebum (oil) on the skin. Using oil to combat oil might seem counterintuitive, but skincare is all about chemistry and in chemistry, “like dissolves like.” In other words, your oil-based cleanser will attract other oily substances and break them down.

Step 2: Massage the Oil into the Skin

Put one to two teaspoons of the oil into the palms of your hands and apply the oil to your dry face. Gently massage the oil into your skin for three to five minutes to allow the oil to penetrate the skin. This will help soften the skin and loosen your makeup so you don’t have to rub too hard.

Step 3: Gently Wipe Off the Remaining Residue 

Next, use a gentle cloth to wipe away the residue. Washcloths will do the trick, but they can be overly abrasive. That’s why we recommend using our reusable bamboo cotton rounds. Not only are they super-soft, but unlike single-use makeup wipes, these low-waste wonders can be reused hundreds of times before composting them at the end of their life.

a person holding a box of bamboo cotton rounds and another person holding a single cotton round

Related: How to Wash Reusable Cotton Rounds

Step 4: Wash Your Face with a Gentle Cleanser

After removing your makeup, wash your face with a gentle cleanser. (Hint: For a gentle clean, try one of our face soap bars. They’re plastic-free and bursting with botanical goodness to help re-energize dull skin.) 

Before you wash your face, make sure you wash your hands first! Otherwise, you’ll be rubbing bacteria and grime back into your skin.

Step 5: Gently Pat Your Face Dry 

To remove excess water, take a clean, dry cotton round and gently pat your skin dry. Do not rub.

If you prefer to use a towel for this step, make sure it’s clean. Resist the urge to use your dirty hand towel or shower towel.

Don’t forget to follow-up with a gentle antioxidant serum, Daily Antioxidant Serum.

How to Remove Makeup Without Wipes: Travel Edition

As much as you may love the idea of cutting plastic waste and getting away from nasty chemicals, it can be difficult to give up the convenience of makeup remover wipes — particularly if you’re on the road a lot. Lucky for you, we have a simple solution: DIY makeup remover pads you can take on the go. 

Here’s what you’ll need: 


  1. Mix the water, oil and micellar water/witch hazel in a bowl.
  2. Soak the bamboo cotton rounds in the mixture until they are completely saturated.
  3. Squeeze out excess liquid from the cotton rounds.
  4. Put the damp cotton rounds in a reusable silicone storage bag or a Mason jar with an air-tight top.

Shop Bamboo Cotton Rounds

And voila — you now have all-natural makeup remover wipes that are budget-friendly, travel-friendly and good for your skin! When you run out, simply pop them in the wash and repeat the process again! 

Have you tried making your own DIY makeup remover wipes? Let us know how it went in the comments.