Without a doubt, caring for the environment is a hot topic right now. Overhauling your life to be more environmentally-friendly is a really difficult task. But one of the most effective ways to make long-lasting change is to prioritize making small changes over time. That way, you’re able to think critically about your decisions while building new habits.
Take your makeup routine, for example. For most of us, it’s all too easy to buy makeup remover wipes or disposable cotton pads. In 2017, a huge lump was discovered as the main cause of London’s sewer system blockage. What was first thought to be a huge rock actually turned out to be a huge pile of garbage, weighing in at 130 tons. It was overwhelmingly made up of makeup wipes. By absentmindedly throwing these single-use items away, it released chemicals into waterways and caused a large bill for the city. London isn’t the only place reporting problems: cities all over the world are urging people to stop tossing their cotton pads and wipes into the trash. Luckily, there is a solution. Reusable makeup pads are the environmentally-friendly alternative that are also easy to care for.
Use a cotton laundry bag
Materials like polyester and nylon release nearly-invisible plastic particles into the air and water every time they go through the wash. Cotton laundry bags are long-lasting, durable, and overall better for the environment. To clean your reusable makeup pads in a laundry machine, be sure to put them in a mesh cotton laundry bag. If you don’t own one already, don’t worry. UppWell’s reusable makeup remover kit includes one (and it’s pretty great if we say so ourselves).
Wash in cold water
Reusable makeup remover pads are supposed to be easily cleaned. After all, that’s what makes them reusable. The UppWell makeup remover beauty kit includes more than just reusable pads – there’s face towels and exploiting gloves as well. All should be washed in cool or cold water for the best durability. Running your laundry machine with cold water has been proven time and time again to be an effective way to clean your clothes. Washing with cold water is also better for the environment. Doing a load of laundry with cold water uses less electricity. According to the Sierra Club Foundation, every household that switches to cold water washing eliminates around 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide every year. It’s great for the environment and even better for your reusable makeup pads.
Forget the fabric softener and bleach
To keep your reusable makeup remover pads long-lasting, check the ingredients in your cleaning agents. You’ll want to avoid anything with harsh chemicals, fabric softeners, and especially bleach. Your soft pads are a cotton/bamboo blend, meant for softness and absorbency. The problem with fabric softeners is that they are often petroleum-based. This causes issues in more ways than one. Primarily, fabric softeners are nearly impossible to biodegrade, meaning every rinse cycle releases pollutants into lakes and rivers. Because of its thick, oily consistency, fabric softener will cling to your reusable makeup remover pads and cause a horrible waxy build-up. This build-up will cause your products to lose absorbency fast, and risks breaking down the fabric.
Bleach should also stay far away from your reusable makeup remover pads, no matter how tempting it may be. Bleach fumes are incredibly harmful if inhaled. It is highly corrosive to your lungs, eyes, and skin. When mixed with other cleaning agents, bleach can release toxic fumes around your home. Using chlorine bleach on fabrics can cause the material to weaken, deteriorate, create yellow stains, or lose elasticity. This also applies to reusable makeup remover pads and other items in the UppWell beauty kit.
Natural stain removers are great
If you’re regularly using your reusable makeup remover pads for taking off heavy, dark makeup, that’s great! If you ever begin to notice that the makeup stains aren’t coming out as easily as you’d like, don’t worry. Because the pads are a cotton/bamboo blend, using a natural stain remover will do just the trick. And making one yourself is as easy as walking into the kitchen. Lemon juice, soap, white vinegar, and baking soda are all perfect components for removing stains. Another tried and true stain remover is sunlight. If you love the way your hair looks from being out in the sunshine, you’ll love the way it lightens stains.
Try for gentle, natural cleansers
Using a gentle, all-natural detergent to clean your reusable makeup remover pads is an easy way to ensure the product’s durability. Not sure exactly what that means? Don’t worry. If the ingredients on your laundry detergent are hard to read, make note of that. If your cleanser is free from phthalates, chlorine, formaldehyde, or artificial colours or fragrances, it’s most likely very gentle. The skin on your face is very sensitive: if you’re washing your makeup remover pads in harsh chemicals, there’s a risk those chemicals will get on your face. If you prefer to hand-wash your products, that’s great too! Any gentle soap that you use for your hands can be used to clean your reusable makeup remover pads. And remember: bamboo should never be boiled. It will cause the material to break down.
Hand washing is very effective
You’ve likely seen a clothing label that said “hand wash only.” This is fairly common with delicate fabrics or clothes with complex patterns. Maybe you hand wash your favourite shirts to avoid the risk of them getting damaged in the washer. Hand washing can be a very effective way to clean your reusable makeup remover pads without risking damage from a machine. If you choose to wash your products by hand, make sure you’re using a clean container first. Once you’ve filled the mesh cotton laundry bag into your sink/basin, fill it with lukewarm/cool water. Using just a few drops of a mild detergent or hand soap, you’ll want to swirl the baggie around until its nice and soapy. Gently rubbing or kneading the bag against itself is an easy way to make sure the soap gets everywhere. Once it’s all clean, rinse and squeeze the excess water out.
Air dry only
As with all delicate items, leaving your reusable makeup remover pads out to air dry is your best bet. It’s definitely faster to stick everything in the dryer, but anything that you’d like to last for a long time should be treated with the utmost care. This includes leaving your eco-friendly beauty kit to air dry. Air drying is good or the environment and saves you money. It’s also important to remember that many different types of textiles (such as cotton, for example) will shrink or change shape in the dryer. Leaving your products to air dry outside also adds that great natural sun bleaching that we mentioned earlier. Air drying keeps your items safe from the rough movement of a dryer.
As a whole, caring for your reusable makeup remover kit is easy. A big part of sustainable living means avoiding single-use products when possible. Keeping your eco-friendly beauty kit in good condition means it will last for years to come. This saves you money and of course, decreases the amount of overall pollution, which is the whole point of reusable products!