I Tried the World’s First Truly Flushable and Biodegradable Makeup Wipes

Twipes just launched in the U.S., and its microbial properties make them safe for the whole body.

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If you’ve spent considerable time perusing TikTok’s #beautytok niche, you’re no stranger to the debate over makeup wipes (the #makeupwipes hashtag has been viewed 88 million times). From the argument that wipes don’t benefit the skin to the whole sustainability dispute, it’s safe to say the traditional makeup wipe isn’t thriving on the app.

But whatever your stance on the controversial topic, there’s no denying that said wipes continue serving a purpose. Whether they’re convenient for travel, rushing around, or a lazy skincare night, I don’t see makeup wipes becoming obsolete any time soon. So, what if you had the perks of their use without the environmental hangover? 

What Are Twipes?

Enter Twipes, i.e. gently microbial, alcohol-free, all-purpose wipes made of natural cellulose fibers from FSC-certified forests. The brand first launched in the UK in 2021 by bio-material scientist Ellenor McIntosh, following five years of research and development. The wipes just made it to the states in April 2023. Essentially made from the same material as toilet paper, they’re just as safe to flush. They can be purchased on the website twipes.us with free shipping as part of a direct-to-doorstep subscription service. One-time purchases are also available on the site. 


“They’re excellent for all-over body hygiene, makeup removal, messy kids, anywhere on the body,” says McIntosh, co-founder and COO of Twipes. “But they’re not antiviral, so they aren’t meant to be a surface wipe or replace your countertop sanitizing wipes. They do, however, come in handy when you need a non-toxic, quick clean-up—messy highchairs included.”

Aligning with the brand’s sustainable product mission, Twipes’ packaging is also environmentally conscious. The wrap is 100% recyclable plastic. 

“Unfortunately, there's no getting around the plastic issue in a health setting, such as wet wipes,” McIntosh says. “Due to hygiene and sanitary purposes, the only two options are either plastic materials or metals. Options such as wood and cardboard are porous materials, meaning that they are unfit for sanitary products. So, we can choose between making our plastic as recyclable and friendly as possible, or using metals, which add to shipping weight and carbon of transportation. We chose the best option for us.” 

What Makes Twipes Different From Other Eco-Friendly Wipes on the Market?

While there are certainly other environmentally savvy wipes for purchase, Twipes stands out by breaking down in water after three hours and biodegrading in landfills after only seven days. 

“This means Twipes break down 99% faster than the leading competitor wipes and are 80% less CO2 intensive,” McIntosh explains. “They’re made from natural cellulose fibers that break down faster than their cotton and bamboo counterparts. While the cotton and bamboo wet wipes were created with good intentions, they simply don’t break down fast enough to prevent fatbergs [British term for a large mass of solid waste in a sewage system, which contains personal hygiene products flushed down toilets].”

My Experience Using Twipes

I’ve been picking at my face lately, so my skin is very compromised, to say the least. That said, I was surprised at the accuracy of its “safe for sensitive skin” claim. The first thing I notice on the rare occasion I use traditional makeup wipes is a slight burn and instant stripping of the skin. The drying-out factor is the main reason I typically steer clear from makeup wipes. But my skin felt hydrated and refreshed after using Twipes, and it was even more refreshing knowing I could toss the wipe into the toilet with no guilt.

Not to mention my Twipe swept across my face smoothly, and I instantly saw my nude foundation soaked into the fibers. While it definitely removed a layer of makeup, I wouldn’t recommend this on nights when heavy-duty makeup is in full force. The Twipe’s gentle formula is perfect for just that—removing gentle makeup application. Following my Twipe swipe, I did follow up with gel cleanser (which I’d suggest doing anyway, regardless of your wipe’s intensity).

Ultimately, I’m a fan of multipurpose wipes in general (something I’ve always hated to admit because of the environmental repercussions). These will be an excellent accompaniment in the car where I’m always in need of a wipe or napkin. While these can’t be used to sanitize, I’m excited to wipe down all my skincare collecting dust in the cabinets. And the fact that it can also clean my ultra-sensitive face is an incredible bonus.

To buy: $9 for 1-pack subscription or $10 for 2-pack subscription; twipes.com.

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