How to save the planet while removing your eyeliner

A lot of us wear make-up. And at some point, even though it’s a chore, we have to take it off – and properly too if we want to keep up our sparkling skincare routine.

Remove make-up, cleanse, tone, moisturise. Simple steps, heaps of effort.

If you add up the cost of the cosmetics that we buy… scrap that, let’s not think about it! We do not need or want to know. We use a large amount of products and therefore need tools to apply and remove them. We use wipes or make-up remover and a trusty flannel to take off most of our face but when it comes to eye make-up, especially for those of us that wear waterproof mascara, cotton pads and double strength eye make-up remover is what we need.

Say you use on average 2-4 cotton pads per day for eyes and toner. This could mean that you use up to 1,460 cotton pads in one year that just get thrown straight into the bin.

Yes, you can buy organic cotton pads that are compostable (and more expensive), but how many of us 1) actually buy those? And 2) add them to our compostable waste? We buy cheap cotton pads at Primark or Boots for £1 and throw them in the bin without a second thought. But this a habit that we need to get out of, these pads contain chemicals that pollute rivers and impact our ecosystems.

 Non-organic cotton farming uses excess amount of water, the agricultural production accounts for 24% of global insecticide and 11% of pesticide sales (WWF), therefore polluting our air, water and soil (creating harm for animals) and alongside all of this, destroys natural habitats.

Most beauty bloggers that you could instantly list off the top of your head have made an extremely simple, yet highly sustainable and cost-effective, switch to reusable pads. Made from bamboo fibre, you can use the rounds as you would normally but you can then chuck them in the washing machine in their own little laundry bag to make them brand-spanking-new again. They’re natural, therefore suitable for sensitive skin and are kind to your face. Retailing at around £10 for 16 reusable make-up pads, you’re saving money long term and doing a little favour for our planet whilst you’re doing it.

Remove make-up, wash, remove make-up, wash… the cycle is never ending, helping with our circular economy. Anything that we as consumers buy that is reusable, is ultimately better for the environment (less emissions during manufacture and recycling [if it can even be recycled]) and our pockets.

I work for a company that focuses highly on sustainability and I am surrounded by a constant buzz and talk of new products and materials that are eco-friendly, meaning that conversions about new alternatives like these pads happen daily. So, naturally, I decided to purchase my own set and I am currently recommending every make-up-wearer I know to do the same.

 They’re soft, gentle and large enough that you can replace a couple of your usual cotton pads with one of these. They seem like they will last, and although I haven’t washed them yet, I feel like the outcome would be no different to washing your existing flannels and towels; they will be fine.

This is such a simple, sustainable switch that will help you save your pennies and aid your part in helping our planet. They’re the next ‘Chillys’ bottles; soon everyone will have them, as, luckily for the environment, it’s fashionable to be eco-conscious.

A range of reusable remover pads are available on Amazon.

By Georgia Cook

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