I’ve been trying to reduce my single-use items such as with a reusable coffee cup and beeswax food wraps but I find one of the most difficult places to do this is in the bathroom and with beauty products. I finally got around to buying some reusable make up pads after a friend recommended them and I am so happy with the results!
I typically used to go for make up wipes and then switched to using micellar water with cotton pads. However you can only really use a cotton pad once and I found I was getting through a packet pretty quickly which I didn’t like. Cotton is often overlooked as a material that is overused, usually in beauty regimes. The demand for cotton is causing environmental harm, mainly in the large quantities of water needed to produce it. The amount of cotton needed to produce a t-shirt can require more than 20,000 litres of water. Furthermore, cotton plant farmers rely on insecticides, polluting the surface and groundwater of surrounding environments.
Make up wipes are notoriously bad for the environment too, made up of non-biodegradable fibres, clogging sewage pipes (not that I have ever flushed one but apparently lots of people do) and littering beaches. Earlier this year a “monster fatberg” had to be removed from underneath the town of Sidmouth, Devon (really close to where I grew up!), with a high proportion of it found to be wet wipes.
Organic cotton is a more environmentally friendly option but I wanted to cut out the single-use aspect of cotton pads. I ended up googling “reusable make up pads” and I was happy to find that there is such a massive selection to choose from!
I looked on Etsy, as I love that the majority of the products are hand made and unique, and found a seller called TabithaEveCo who are based in Cardiff. They have so many different items to help you reduce single use plastic use and your waste in general such as linen produce bags, unpaper towels and bamboo toothbrushes. It was hard not to buy the whole shop!
I decided to go for the organic cotton and bamboo makeup pads as opposed to the “rounds” as the pads are exactly the same just not perfectly round and cheaper with 5 for only £3.50! I also went for the reusable nail varnish remover pads as again I hate the amount of cotton wool you get through.
The reusable makeup pads are so good, with a soft cotton side and a rougher bamboo side, which is naturally antibacterial and exfoliates. They work just as well as normal cotton pads; I use them with micellar water and then rinse with warm water afterwards. They are also good to go in the washing machine and can be added to your compost if they ever need replacing. I’ve also found that my skin is so much more healthy and less prone to break-outs! The nail varnish removers work really well too, made from bamboo felt they provide a gentle abrasive surface that easily removes nail varnish.
It’s such an easy way to reduce your waste, which is often not so easy when it comes to makeup and bathroom products. I wish these options were more readily advertised as I’m sure many people, like me, have no idea that these alternatives exist! I also love to use shampoo bars from Lush which last for ages and leave your hair squeaky clean – my favourite one is Jason and the Argon Oil – and don’t come in any sort of plastic! If you can’t ditch the wet wipes, then there are sustainable alternatives that you can add to your compost, although they still come in plastic.