When it comes to cleansing, take it from Caroline Hirons, wipes are only good for the three F's: fannies, festivals and flights
We all know that wipes are rubbish. They don't really clean your skin. They're bad for your skin, dehydrating it with the drying ingredients required to keep the wipes wet, stripping the skin's barrier and causing irritation, not to mention that they leave dirt, sebum and pollution on the skin and prevent any skincare used afterwards to penetrate.
Of course, we know they're also terrible for the environment. They should never be flushed. They're bad for marine life. According to The Journal, in the first nine months of 2018, Irish Water estimates that it removed almost 4,700 blockages caused by wipes and sanitary products from the sewer network, a problem that causes €7 million per year to address. The only pro of using wipes is convenience. Yet, like knowing that we should recycle, or wear sunscreen every day, without the instant gratification of seeing the results, we continue to ignore the importance and still use wipes because they are convenient.
A study carried out by researchers from Earth and Ocean Sciences and the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway has examined how wet wipes and sanitary towels are contributing to the amount of plastic in Irish oceans. It found that 50% of brands labelled 'flushable' actually contain microplastics, and 91% of the microplastic fibres at the study's location Mutton Island were “likely derived” from wet wipes and sanitary towels.
Related: Read an extract from skincare guru Caroline Hirons new book on the diet tweaks that will improve your skin
Dr Liam Morrison, the head of the study, said the public needed to be more aware of microplastic pollution in the environment. “Covid-19 may have brought its own challenges for the oceans including the increased use of disinfectant wipes during the pandemic which potentially may end up as microplastic fibres in the sea,” he said.“It is widely known that microplastics can act as vectors for contaminants including bacteria and viruses and are potentially harmful for public health and marine life.”
If you need absolute convenience to commit to ditching the wipes for good, these three reusable erasers, mitts and pads don't even require a cleanser to remove all make-up and dirt easily, though you should always follow up with one, but as we know, what you know you should do and what you actually do aren't the same. Ban the wipes for good with these affordable reusable cleansing cloths.
Remove all your make-up – including mascara – just as easily as wipes with just water and The Make-Up Eraser, the most famous of easy alternatives to make-up wipes. It gets rid of all types of make–up, including stage and theatrical make-up. Each cloth will last a thousand washes, and you only need to add water to easily remove make-up, plus it's super soft.
Skincare guru Jennifer Rock's blue microfibre mitt was also created to convince you that there is never a need to use wipes. You'll get years out of this thin cleansing mitt that'll shift your make-up without cleanser, but if you use it regularly, it's recommended you switch to a new one every three months.
These small double-sided organic cotton cleansing ovals are great for concentrated cleansing as a zero-waste alternative to cotton wool pads. They'll shift all dirt and make-up, exfoliate the skin and each one can be used 200 times. They also come in recyclable packaging made from recycled material.
Photography by Jason Lloyd Evans.
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