The cotton industry has long been demonized for its drain on the planet’s resources.
The most popular fabric on the planet, it is the world’s largest non-food crop and is grown in about 80 countries.
Cotton farming comes at a high environmental cost, requiring widespread use of harmful pesticides and insecticides, often in developing countries where poor communities have no protection against contamination.
In addition, it is a highly water-intensive crop, requiring massive amounts of water. A single t-shirt takes 2,700 litres of water to produce!
The next time you pick up a box of cotton makeup remover pads, you might want to explore some of the more eco-friendly alternatives available.
Here are some of our favorite substitutes for single-use cotton makeup remover pads!
Last Round Makeup Remover
LastRound will be the last makeup remover pads you’ll have to buy! These reusable cotton rounds made of 100% compostable raw materials are an excellent alternative to single-use cotton pads. Each pack comes with seven rounds that can be used 1,750 times.
Simply use and wash in a laundry bag at 60°C. Rigid when dry, these pads soften when wet, making them gentle on your skin for applying creams or removing makeup. They come in a recycled plastic container saved from the oceans and cost NZ$21 for a pack of 7.
The MakeUp Eraser Makeup Remover Cloth
Made from polyester, this 2-in-1 makeup eraser and exfoliator has a short fiber side which, when used in a gentle circular motion, removes all the makeup with only water.
The remover cloth contains tiny hair-like fibers that act as suction and pull off all dust particles, oil, and makeup from the skin.
The makeup eraser was designed with a mission to create the most sustainable option for makeup-removing products.
In addition, it is also dermatologically recommended and perfect for sensitive skin. This makeup eraser goes for NZ$28.
Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil
Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil contains ingredients such as papaya, sunflower oil, and pumpkin, known for their cleansing action to provide a silky finish.
It also contains other skin-friendly ingredients such as papaya enzymes and papain.
This cleansing oil removes makeup efficiently and helps maintain the pH of the skin. This bottle of multitasking formula with multiple benefits goes for NZ$59.
Pai The Aileron Organic Muslin Cloths
Made of 100% organic cotton from India without the use of any kind of synthetic pesticides, these organic muslin cloths are perfect for smoothening, cleansing, and decongesting. It's a double-layered cloth that removes the dead skin cells, bringing forth fresh, healthy skin.
These muslin cloths from Pai Skincare act as the perfect scrubbers and are an excellent alternative to single-use makeup remover pads. They are easily washed with gentle soap and water and go at an affordable price of NZ$25.
Face Halo Makeup Removers
These reusable makeup remover pads from Face Halo remove makeup by deeply cleansing the pores. The soft satin edges and chic black fibres are excellent at removing heavy makeup, mascara, eye shadow, foundation, and lipstick.
Each makeup remover is about 3.6 inches in diameter and can be used about 500 times. Made of non-toxic microfibres, these pads are PETA-approved.
A set of 3 pads go at NZ$30. Face Halo was founded by Lizzy Pike, an expert in fibre technology that was inspired to create makeup removal solutions that were environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and non-toxic.
Artis Phantom Cleansing Silks
With patented nanofiber technology, the phantom cleansing silks from Artis comprise oval-shaped silks made from dissolving textiles. These silks can efficiently perform three functions - oil and foam cleansing along with gentle exfoliation.
These silks are made from grapeseed oil and jojoba oil and provide an effective cleansing for any makeup. These eco-friendly cleansing silks have been voted one of TIME Magazine's 100 Best Inventions 2019 and go at NZ$77.
MY Konjac Sponge Activated Charcoal Facial Sponge
These sponges contain natural konjac powder and activated bamboo charcoal extract. They gently remove makeup and oil, cleansing the pores and reducing blackheads, acne, and other skin problems.
Super soft, it takes seconds to plump up and soften when soaked in water. It gently exfoliates for silky-smooth skin while the activated charcoal draws out oil and cleanses pores.
Reusable and washable, these sponges are certified vegan, Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free, and Halal, costing NZ$14 for a pack of one.
Mitty Makeup remover
These soft, gentle, and reusable makeup-removing mitts come in a pack of three. An effective makeup remover without tugging or scratching the skin, the pointy Mitty Detailer is ideal for eye makeup removal and spot treatments.
Luxuriously made with 100% polyester plush, it is gentle yet durable, holding up after many machine washes. It works perfectly with a toner or astringent and can be used with products containing peroxide.
The material is easy to wash and suitable for oily, sensitive, and dry skin. You can get a pack containing three mitts with dimensions 0.25 x 3.25 x 5 inches for NZ$20.
Sarah Chapman Professional Cleansing Mitts
These professional cleansing mitts contain one layer of sponge held between dual layers of cotton fabric. Both exterior layers serve different functions; you can use the textured layer of the material for exfoliation and the softer, finely-weaved layer for makeup removal.
Just soak these mitts in warm water and use them gently on your skin. In addition, these cleansing mitts are reusable and easily washed in a machine at 30°C. These mitts go for NZ$31.60 for a pack of four.