If you wear makeup then you most likely will use a makeup remover to take it off at the end of the day – hopefully! Makeup remover is one of those boring things like toothpaste that you only need to pick up once you run out of it but you always need to repurchase and usually always buy the same one.
However, a lot of the skincare brands are not environmentally friendly and often not cruelty-free. Brands such as Garnier and Simple, for example, are so easily accessible that we tend to reach for their products without thinking. If we stopped and thought about what we were purchasing we could make more informed and ethical decisions. Switching our makeup removers to a conscious alternative is a small step but an important one if you want to become more eco-friendly.
Another benefit to conscious makeup removers is that they tend to be better for our skin because of their natural ingredients. If you haven’t run out of your old makeup remover don’t throw it out! Either use it up or give it to a friend to prevent unnecessary waste. Once you’re in the market for a new makeup remover, have a read of our list to help you decide which conscious option will work best for you.
#1: Micellar Water
Micellar water has become the most popular way to remove our makeup in recent years due to the original blogger favourite of Bioderma Sensibio H20. Bioderma’s concept of a makeup removing ‘water’ has been adopted by every skincare brand you can think of. The Yes To Cucumber micellar water is an affordable conscious alternative to the less eco friendly options out there. The Yes To range as a whole is great because it is cruelty-free and many of the products are vegan. The range boasts several micellar waters that target different skin types.
I tested the Yes To Cucumber micellar water for sensitive skin, but I’m sure the others work just as well! I really like this micellar water because it smells so refreshing and removes my makeup effortlessly. The cucumber extract feels cooling on the skin and leaves it glowing and hydrated.
It comes with a pump dispenser, which I really like because it means less product gets wasted (plus it’s fun to use!) Yes To as a brand is 95% natural, leaping bunny certified, cruelty-free and vegan – meaning it’s an amazing conscious option for those on a budget. Yes To is also easy to find as both Boots and Superdrug stock it online and in stores.
#2: Makeup Wipes
Sometimes we just want our makeup to be off our face as quickly as possible and when that time comes only a makeup wipe will do. It’s best to avoid makeup wipes in general as the wipes are one use and then are thrown away – not great for landfill! – but there are some instances where they’re almost unavoidable, like if you’re travelling or at a festival. However, makeup wipes are not great for our skin and more often than not harmful for the environment too. With a little bit of research, you will find that there are some conscious options out there such as B.PURE Micellar wipes from Superdrug. B.PURE is Superdrug’s own brand of skincare and makeup essentials meaning it is very affordable but the best thing about it is that ALL its products are vegan and cruelty-free! So you can shop with complete certainty that your purchase will not harm any animals or your pocket. The B.PURE Micellar wipes are formulated for sensitive skin and are fragrance-free.
The wipes remove stubborn waterproof makeup while gently cleansing at the same time. Like the rest of the B.PURE range, these Micellar wipes are leaping bunny certified, cruelty-free and vegan so you can’t go wrong! Another thing to note is that the B.PURE range is manufactured in the UK, meaning that their working conditions are more likely to be ethical and comply with the legal standard to avoid exploitation. One downside to the B.PURE Micellar wipes is that the packaging is not recyclable but if you simply need a one-off pack of wipes for traveling etc. it is a better choice than its non-conscious competitors.
#3: Cleansing Balms
Cleansing balms are a relatively new concept and at first were contained to the more luxury brands. However, as they became more mainstream many brands started to produce their own affordable versions. A cleansing balm is a rich, solid cleanser that has a double duty: removing dirt and impurities while protecting the skin’s moisture balance at the same time. The best cleansing balms will clear congested pores, remove deep impurities and nourish dull skin without drying it out. These balms are super effective because of the natural oils in their formulas, which latch onto dirt and grime and break down makeup particles, making it easy to lift all of the impurities off your face. The oils in the balm grab excess sebum on the skin, taking away extra oil that can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
It is more of an indulgent makeup removing method as it requires a little more time than a wipe or micellar water, but the good thing is it works all by itself and doesn’t require any wipes that’ll get thrown away. You essentially massage the makeup off your face as the oil from the balm breaks down the product on your skin. My favourite is the Magic Organic Apothecary Green Balm, which is a 100% natural, multi-purpose healing/beauty balm, made in the U.K. It is made from Magic Organic Apothecary’s hero ingredient yarrow that has been used for centuries to heal and repair a number of the skin’s ailments.
The brand is inspired by old herbal folklore and uses natural ingredients. It’s available online from Magic Organic Apothecary’s website, either alone or with a bamboo muslin cloth to help remove any excess oil after use. The brand is passionate about natural beauty and conscious living. All of the products are cruelty-free and vegan and they try to source all of their ingredients from the UK. If that’s not enough goodness for you, they also package their products in glass rather than plastic and use recycled board and vegetarian ink. You only need the tiniest amount of balm to break down a full face of stubborn makeup so it will last you a long time and save you a lot of money in the long run.
Another option, of course, is to make your own makeup remover as this way it is cheaper and you know exactly what is going onto your face. To remove makeup you simply need an oil to break the product down, so a good place to start is to buy a jar of coconut oil. Coconut oil removes makeup effectively on its own but if you want to make it a little fancier you can always add some essential oils with great skincare properties and make your own bespoke balm!
Another DIY option is raw Shea butter, which will remove even the most stubborn of waterproof mascara while deeply moisturising your skin too. Coconut oil and shea butter are both quite heavy oils and are quite firm at room temperature, so if you don’t like the feeling of using them, there are plenty of liquid oils you can use instead. Apricot kernel oil is a great one as it’s a pretty light, thin oil, and is one of the cheaper ones!
What should you use with your eco-friendly makeup remover?
Of course using a conscious makeup remover is great, but you also need to be mindful of what you’re using it with. Cotton rounds are awful for the planet and are often wrapped in a lot of packaging. Try to swap to organic cotton versions if you really like using them, or an even better option would be to use a muslin cloth. Get a couple and wash them regularly, then they can be used over and over which really cuts down on waste from cotton pads! They’re great to use with micellar waters, and you can use them with balms and oils too, although they’re not always necessary.
So there you have it! It really is easy to swap your standard makeup remover for a more conscious alternative – it just requires a little research! Remember, google is your best friend!
What are your favourite conscious makeup removers? Let us know by tweeting us as revival_collect