A Complete Guide to Eco-Friendly Makeup Removers

With the zero waste beauty movement taking hold, now is the time to discover sustainable swaps for your daily routine.

A Complete Guide to Eco-Friendly Makeup Removers


Sick of single-use wipes and pads?

Enter the lovely land of eco-friendly makeup removers, where sustainable and effective options abound.

When doing better for our environment also means a more budget-friendly and natural alternative: we’re here for it!

Why Make The Swap To Eco-Friendly Makeup Removers?

The more eco-friendly alternatives to traditional cosmetics and skincare that crop up, the more enamoured with them we have become. So, what’s to love?

1. Better for Our Environment

Did you know that billions of single use makeup remover products are thrown away daily? With wipes, pads and plastic piling up in landfills, the convenience of single use products just isn’t worth it for us anymore. And just like that, this guide to sustainable makeup remover options was born.

If you are struggling to figure out whether the products you currently use for makeup removal are eco-friendly, consider the old adage: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Eco-friendly makeup removers should hit all three of the classic “Big Rs” of environmental sustainability.

Reduce by cutting out single use products. Reuse by investing in washable and multipurpose products. Recycle by choosing brands which commit to recyclable or zero waste packaging.

2. Better for Your Skin

If it’s not better, why bother? We totally get the concern that going eco-friendly means sacrificing quality skincare. However, we have discovered that the exact opposite seems to be true.

The harsh nature of traditional makeup wipes can cause over-exfoliation, irritation, dryness and micro-tears in the skin. Scrubbing this harsh exfoliant over the delicate skin of the eye area may also contribute to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. So, not what we’re going for, especially when there are gentler, eco-friendly alternatives!

When it comes to sustainable cleansers, we feel that there is no greater joy than an ingredients list that is relatively short and full of recognisable ingredients. We have found that when a brand carefully considers its packaging, they also carefully consider the utility and purity of the product itself. Happily, sustainable cleansers are often vegan and cruelty free too!

3. Better for Your Budget

Committing to sustainable swaps in your routine often comes at an initial investment but leads to ultimate savings. The sheer reusability and longevity of many of the products in this guide is an indication of their value for money.

For example, we estimate that $30 can get you 6 months of worth of single use drugstore makeup wipes, seems reasonable. But what if we told you that the same $30 could buy you multiple high end washable makeup remover pads which last for over a year of daily usage?

There is more reason now than ever to go for broke on these thrifty, sustainable swaps.

Eco-Friendly Makeup Remover Alternatives

Washable and reusable makeup wipes and pads are all the rage nowadays, and for good reason. They are effective, gentle on the skin and are a direct swap for single use makeup wipes and cotton pads. Here are some tried and tested, well loved alternatives to use once and throw away wipes.

Best Eco Friendly Makeup Remover Pads

Reusable Makeup Remover Pads


Face Halo is the reusable makeup pad. Get ready to shed a full face of makeup in mere seconds with this plush, fibrous pad. The thing we love about Face Halo’s pads is how deeply they cleanse the pores with just the addition of water!

Reusable Cotton Pads


Greenzla’s multipacks of makeup remover pads are most comparable to single use cotton rounds. Made for all skin types, these rounds are gentle on skin and even safe for use on babies. This zero waste product also has fully recyclable packaging and is crafted from organic, washable cotton.

Best Eco Friendly Makeup Remover Cloths

Makeup Remover Cloth


The Makeup Eraser is another OG tried and true eco-friendly makeup remover. It’s large size and patented polyester fibres make it unique. The Makeup Eraser is machine washable and can last from 3 to 5 years! That means that a single Makeup Eraser is awesomely sustainable and can replace over 3000 single use makeup wipes.

Reusable Bamboo Face Cloths


These super accessible and affordable face cloths are made of pure, sustainably sourced bamboo terry. They are gentle on skin, ideal for facial cleansing and ready for you to wash and reuse. Green + Kind is committed to creating products which are great for you and our environment.

Best Eco Friendly Makeup Remover Wipes

Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes


Not ready to let go of single use makeup wipes just yet? There’s a more eco-friendly swap for that! We totally get that nothing beats the convenience of a handy, portable pack of wipes. Nutrogena delivers home compostable plant fiber makeup wipes.

Biodegradable Gently Off Wipes + Micellar Water


Made with gentle ingredients, these wipes instantly moisturize and balance the skin while removing makeup, dirt and oil from the day. Added Micellar water helps to cleanse and calm the skin. The result? Clean, beautiful skin that’s ready for bed.

Best Eco Friendly Makeup Remover Mitt

Magic Mitt


Made from a new generation of micro-fibres, the makeup remover mitt breaks the surface tension of the oils that bond makeup to your skin. The combination of warm water and micro-fibres turns the makeup into an emulsion that is easily swept away by the mitt, leaving your skin clean and refreshed.

Face Halo X


Face Halo X has all the reusable, deeply cleansing goodness of the original, but with greater precision. This cute, little two-fingered mit is designed for removing makeup from the delicate eye area easily and accurately. Face Halo products have amazing longevity and can take over 200 machine washes.

Best Eco Friendly Makeup Remover Tools

Konjac Sponge


Here’s a unique one. Made with Japanese Konjac Potato Fibre, this sponge gently exfoliates while removing makeup build up. This sponge is even purported to stimulate blood flow and reduce the appearance of fine lines. This product is also fully vegan, biodegradable and plastic free.

LastSwab Beauty


We love using a q-tip to clean up a cute cat eye, but we hate that they’re ‘use once and throw away’. The tip of these swabs are pointed and made of medical grade silicon, delicate enough for sensitive eye areas. Simply wash with soap and water or makeup remover to clean and reuse. Awesomely, the LastSwab replaces over 1000 single use cotton buds. It really can be your last ever q-tip.

What Makes A Good Eco-Friendly Cleanser?

Facial cleansers are another great option for removing makeup, dirt, oils and other build up. So, what makes a cleanser eco friendly? We’re looking for a product with simple, ethically sourced ingredients which produces little to no landfill waste. A great cleanser can be used in conjunction with one of the eco-friendly sponges or pads we suggested above or on their own.

We love bar-form cleansers as they leave behind zero waste, especially when paired with recyclable or reusable packaging. We have curated a list of some of our favourites for all price points.

Best Eco Friendly Cleansers For A Deep Clean

SuperStar!™ Solid Face Cleanser & Makeup Remover


Another fantastic breakout fighter is this affordable cleansing bar from Clinique. The key knockout ingredient in this cleanser is salicylic acid. SA clears out pores and gently exfoliates without irritating the skin. The bar is also fragrance free, so there are no potential allergens to worry about.

Deep Green™
Solid Face Cleanser


Ethique is the gold standard of sustainable bar-form basics. This solid cleanser incorporates a beautiful blend of French clay, sea salt, castor oil and orange oil. Ethique’s 100% recyclable packaging has prevented the production of over 9 million plastic bottles (woohoo!).

Best Eco Friendly Cleansers For Acne Prone Skin

Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Bar


Acne prone? We feel you. Repeated use of this unique blend of detoxifying charcoal and tea tree oil has been known to clear stubborn skin. While this product is not completely zero waste due to Carbon Theory’s packaging, it is 100% vegan and cruelty free, unlike others on this list.

Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Bar for Face and Body


Another fantastic breakout fighter is this affordable cleansing bar from Clinique. The key knockout ingredient in this cleanser is salicylic acid. SA clears out pores and gently exfoliates without irritating the skin. The bar is also fragrance free, so there are no potential allergens to worry about.

Best Hydrating Eco Friendly Cleansers

Hydrating Cleanser Bar


This cleanser bar brings you back to basics. With the amazing hydrating powers of hyaluronic acid, this cleanser won’t leave your skin tight and dry. This cleanser actually contains 5% CeraVe moisturising cream. We also love that this cleanser bar offers a sustainable option (with recyclable packaging), at drugstore prices.

Fresh Buttermilk Cleansing Bar


Looking for a soap that won’t dry out your skin? Look no further than MooGoo Fresh Buttermilk Cleansing Bar! Made with traditional ingredients like cocoa seed butter and olive oil, this bar will leave your skin feeling hydrated and refreshed.

Best Gentle Eco Friendly Cleansers For Sensitive Skin

Pekee Bar™ Gentle Clarifying Face Cleanser


This gorgeously gentle cleansing bar is mild enough to use on the daily. With blueberry extract , honey and super absorbable virgin marula oil, the cleanser simultaneously cleans and nourishes your skin. Remember that all the bar-form cleansers in this guide are perfect for travel. Never spill again!

Gentle Cleansing Bar


Looking for a soap that won’t strip or dry out your skin? This dermatologist tested bar is specially formulated with 5 nourishing ingredients to gently cleanse the face and body without over drying or irritating the skin.

There it is: your guide to removing a full face, fully sustainably! We hope you have discovered some eco-friendly alternatives to slip right into your daily routine.

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