They’ll get you hooked on that #wipelife.

By Hana Hong
October 16, 2020
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Makeup wipes are both a blessing and a curse. They’re the lazy girl’s best friend—the perfect go-to for nights where we simply can’t be bothered to engage in a full skincare routine. Frequent travelers on the go can also appreciate their simplicity in theory and application—they're great for both midday touch-ups and redos. But we can’t ignore the major downside: Much like plastic straws and shopping bags, these single-use wipes have become a hot topic of criticism for their sustainable drawback. (Just think of all the wipes you’ve ever used piled in a pit somewhere.) And while the wipe-and-toss mentality is admittedly useful, it’s hard to overlook such a major environmental impact for the sake of convenience alone.

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If you’re unwilling to give up the beloved skincare essential, fret not—as the beauty community is becoming increasingly eco-conscious, more brands are churning out eco-friendly versions fashioned from plant-based fibers and biodegradable materials. You can wipe easy knowing not only where your beauty products come from, but where they'll go when you're done with them. Below, five options that let you reap all the benefits of cleansing wipes without dirtying your conscience. 

1

$6, target.com

One of the most tried-and-true wipes on drugstore shelves, these truly simple cleansing towelettes deserve all the credit they get. The brand’s best launch yet is the compostable version of its best-selling cleansing wipes. They offer the same thickness, softness, and strength, but with the bonus of being made of natural, renewable fibers derived from wood pulp.

2

$4, amazon.com

Almay’s makeup wipes are saturated in micellar water that removes even the toughest of face paint, glitter, or red lip, yet degrades naturally in the compost once you toss them out. Despite its removing strength, it’s also hypoallergenic and uber-gentle on skin, so there’s no need to rinse afterwards.

3

$22 for 3, amazon.com

I know, I know—reusable makeup wipes? But hear me out—these washable fibers work with just water (the smooth side is for cleansing, while the fiber side doubles as an exfoliator) to cleanse without the need for harsh scrubbing or tugging. The plush microfiber material picks up dirt easily and whisks away even the most stubborn waterproof makeup. Even more impressive: Just one of these little guys replaces 500 single-use makeup wipes!

4

$20, beautycounter.com

Even the pickiest makeup wipe connoisseurs will be pleased with the buttery soft texture of this material (which has been proven to start degrading in the compost after just 12 weeks). It’s laced with aloe vera and cornflower water, which work in tandem to calm capricious skin and provide an elevated cleansing experience. 

5

$10, amazon.com

There is something comforting in knowing a bunch of dermatologists got together and came up with these wipes for sensitive skin. Every French girl’s favorite micellar water in wipe form, these biodegradable options are soothing on even the most fickle complexions.