Everyone who wears makeup knows that the worst part about it is removing it at the end of the day. Makeup remover cloths make the task a little easier, and, bonus: These are eco-friendly.
For many women, the standard way to remove makeup, especially eye makeup, is to grab a little cotton pad, tissue, or a makeup remover wipe and start aggressively rubbing everything off. Regular towels don’t work as well at removing makeup and have the added downside of then needing to be thrown in the laundry. But all of those cotton pads, tissues, and wipes add up quickly, and become unnecessary waste that isn’t exactly great for the environment.
If you want to skip the single-use makeup remover options and the bath towels, you can instead opt for environmentally friendly makeup remover cloths that are washable and reusable. Even if you want to hang on to single-use options, though, there are more eco-friendly options out there that are better than your standard wipe. The below options are the best out there.
Best Overall: The Original MakeUp Eraser
Best Biodegradable Wipes: Almay Biodegradable Cleansing Towelettes
Best Rounds: Face Halo Original Makeup Remover Pads
Most Innovative: Artis Phantom Cleansing Silks
Best Compostable: Simple Compostable Cleansing Wipes
Best Shapes: Take My Face Off The Makeup Mitty
Best Budget Cloths: Erase Your Face Cloths
The Original MakeUp Eraser sounds too good to be true: It’s a sustainable cloth that gets rid of all of your makeup quickly and painlessly, is reusable and machine-washable, and doesn’t even require anything more than water to use. But I can personally report that it’s not too good to be true, and it really does work.
The cloth is made up of millions of tiny hair-like fibers that work together to create, basically, a “suction” for dirt, makeup, and oil in your pores. The cloth is helpful enough that you don’t need to pore makeup remover on it to remove makeup—even just water on it works. It’s incredibly soft, so no tugging and rubbing are necessary. It washes really easily, too: I generally use a small corner of mine, immediately rinse it off in the sink, then keep using small clean pieces of it until most of it has been used, and then I throw it in the laundry.
It’s large enough that you can use it for a while before it needs to be washed, and it’s double-sided: One side is a short fiber for erasing makeup, and the other has longer fibers (the side with the tag) to exfoliate. It lasts for up to three-five years and is really just super sustainable. I love how the bright pink color makes it immediately noticeable and you can see all the makeup you removed. This is easily the best cloth I’ve used.
Not willing or ready to give up the convenience of wipes? Then at least try these Almay Biodegradable Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. They’re made of 100% biodegradable fibers, so while they are single-use and still aren’t the most sustainable option out there, they’re certainly better than many others.
These are soft and use gentle micellar water to remove any trace of makeup, dirt, and oil. A few swipes of one of these wipes will not only remove your makeup but also leave your face feeling cleaner rather than oily with the remover. They’re hypoallergenic and great for sensitive skin.
It can’t be denied that there is something extra great about the round-shaped cotton pads often used to remove makeup. They fit the eye area perfectly and are just easy to use all over. If you love that shape but want something more eco-friendly, opt for Face Halo Original Makeup Remover Pads.
Made of super-soft HaloTech fibers, these pads remove makeup quickly and easily without excessive scrubbing and rubbing. They are easy to hold, and they’re small enough that they are super easy to travel with as well. They are reusable for up to 200 wash cycles, and they’re also recyclable. They effectively remove makeup with just water, so no need for other products here.
The Artis Phantom Cleansing Silks are definitely very interesting. Instead of being a cloth, these are actually little pads that remove makeup, cleanse skin, and then disappear before your eyes. This award-winning product is made of dissolving textiles that use breakthrough, patented nanofibre technology to merge oil cleansing, foam cleaning, and gentle exfoliation into one.
You gently place them on the skin, spritz with water, and rub around to remove makeup, dirt, and oils. When finished, they dissolve. They’re pricey and not exceptionally practical, but they are definitely very cool.
Another more sustainable single-use wipe option is these Simple Compostable Cleansing Wipes. Made of renewable plant fibers and sustainable wood pulp, these are compostable and break down within 42 days. Again, they are not as sustainable as a reusable cloth, but they’re definitely more environmentally friendly than plastic-fiber wipes.
They’re strong enough to use on even waterproof mascara, don’t require a lot of rubbing, and are nice and soft. Made with vitamins B5 and E, and triple-purified water, they’re also not bad for your skin.
Believe it or not, the shape of your makeup remover cloth makes a big difference. A smaller, handheld cloth like this one from Take My Face Off is sometimes more convenient than something larger.
I love the shape of this teardrop cloth for removing makeup, especially stubborn eye makeup. The the pointed tip gets into even the small areas of the eye and the pocket on the back makes it easy to hold and gently rub. These Makeup Mitty cloths are soft, easy to use and travel with, and reusable and washable. The brand also sells a lip-shaped cloth that is perfect for removing lipstick.
Looking for a cheaper cloth option? This four-pack of makeup-removing cloths from Erase Your Face comes in at about $10, making them the most cost-effective option of the bunch. They’re also very comparable to the more expensive brands: They’re super soft, you only need water to remove your makeup with them, and they’re reusable.
The large shape means you can strategically use them a bunch of times before washing them, and they can easily be thrown in the washing machine when they need to be cleaned. They do have to hang dry, but they’ll last a while, and having four means you’ll always have a backup.