Welcome to the latest installment of Eco-Friendly Beauty! I’ve been trying my best to cut down on the amount of waste in my everyday life, so I’ve started with beauty products.
This year I’ve become quite the fan of toners and chemical exfoliators, which I normally apply with a cotton pad or cotton wool balls. However, these always end up in the bin and if I remember to use a toner daily then that’s two cotton pads per day, and fourteen a week, all going to landfill. Finding out that there was an alternative was a relief.
The alternative in question is Honour Your Flow’s Washable Make-Up Wipes. I bought the 12-pack, which comes in a wash bag. Not only does having a wash bag mean there’s no plastic packaging but it also ensures you have somewhere to store the pads, plus when you wash them in the machine you can keep them all together. (More on that later!)
About Honour Your Flow
Honour Your Flow are a British company who makes washable pantyliners, sanitary pads, menstrual cups, tampons, breast pads, wash bags, and make-up wipes.
They take as ethical an approach as possible, including when it comes to their staff. A small team of women work from home to sew all the products, allowing them to plan their working hours around their family commitments. HYF take a Fairtrade approach to the people who grow, harvest, and manufacture the fabric, which is always chosen because it causes as little harm to the planet as possible.
About the Washable Wipes
The wipes are made from scraps of fleece and velour, a material I haven’t had much to do with since I owned a black velour tracksuit with diamantes on the pockets at the age of eleven. (What can I say? I was very stylish back then.)
The fleece is soft, while the sensation of wiping velour over your skin takes a little getting used to — I imagine not everyone would like it. But if it doesn’t bother you, then it’s no different to using a cotton pad.
Using the Washable Wipes
The main way I use the wipes is in place of cotton pads when I apply a toner with no spray nozzle or a chemical exfoliant like Pixi Glow Tonic. Sometimes I sweep them gently over my eyes with some micellar water if I’ve worn particularly heavy eye make-up. They do a better job than cotton pads for three reasons: because they do just as good a job at removing residue, because they’re more gentle on sensitive areas like the eyes and patches of acne, and because I don’t have to throw them away afterwards.
I’ve also tried using the wipes when removing cleanser but I prefer a flannel for this because it covers more surface area. I find that the wipes, while great with products that have a fairly thin consistency, don’t work so well with balm cleansers like Lush’s Ultrabland and Lyonsleaf’s Beauty Balm.
Looking After Them
The wipes are easy to care for — you simply pop any used ones in the cloth bag provided and then when they’re all in there you stick them in the wash with your clothes. (Be sure not to use fabric softener.)
The leaflet that came with the wipes said they sometimes get loose threads because of the way they’re made; snip them instead of pulling them and all will be well. This hasn’t happened to me yet, though, and I’ve had them for over four months now.
Cost: £7.50 for 12 wipes and a wash bag to store them in.
Wash them: At up to 60 degrees. I wash them at 30 degrees and they’re good as new afterwards.
Next step for me: Honour Your Flow pads.
Have you ever used reusable make-up wipes before? Are they something you’d consider adding to your skincare routine? Let me know in the comments!
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about cruelty-free beauty, vegan & veggie food, and trying to lead a less wasteful life. I throw the odd think piece in there, too.