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gentle soft reusable face wipe for sensitive skin ariana whittingham using ASGFR luxuriously soft sustainable face cloth

5 Health Risks from using Make-Up Wipes. Yikes!

- Words by Ecocious Founder, Ariana Whittingham.

Cosmetic companies don’t want you to...  End your toxic relationship with makeup wipes! These popular "scam wipes" are known to cause:

  • premature ageing
  • pigmentation
  • breakouts, clogged pores
  • irritation, allergies & inflammation
  • environmental damage 

Imagine if something marketed to us was in fact super harmful to the very thing it is marketing itself being good for? Sounding familiar… Ha, you guessed it, we’re exposing the "dirtiest" products in the beauty industry – starting with one of the most popular perpetrators, makeup "removal" wipes. 

Granted, this is not breaking news and a simple google search for “health risks of makeup wipes” will show hundreds of articles, studies and outraged reviews from all over the world, yet these bad boys are still flying off the shelves. 

Just like with all of our partnered brands and products, we do the research so you don’t have to! So, we've scoured the net for the most informative sources, backed by *science* (whatever that even means these days anyway…) to give you a transparent report on this absolute joke of a product as well explaining the fairly serious, inevitable, long lasting health risks that this “convenience” will have on your precious skin long term.

toxic beauty girl using harmful make up wipe clean beauty alternative solution

Don’t stress too much if you are a current makeup wipe lover or user, we have a beautiful replacement product that you can easily swap to. 100x Softer on your skin than makeup wipes - ultra fluffy and gentle enough for the most sensitive skin types (yes, even if your using Roaccutane!).

Our super soft, extra-large microfibre face washers are reusable and throughly cleanses your skin, pores etc by just adding water. With a price point of $12 the ASGFR wash cloth is notably more affordable and just as "convenient" to use... the best part is, no premature ageing or skin related issues for you to worry about later!

Not quite convinced?

Read below to discover what you are actually doing to your skin after using these toxic SCAM wipes.

1. USING MAKE UP WIPES speeds up the ageing process and causes PREMATURE AGEING

Excuse me? What? How!!?

We know the area around our eyes is the most vulnerable of our skin, which is why you definitely do not want makeup wipes anywhere near them!

It isn’t (yet) well known that the action of using makeup wipes create micro-tears on your skin. These micro tears are caused by the very nature of the wipes being used to rub makeup off the skin, the action of scrubbing your face, eyes etc with a wipe also leaves you with red, angry skin. Regularly rubbing your face will cause low-grade inflammation that, over time leads to a higher risk of skin pigmentation and an earlier onset of wrinkling.

I know mascara can be a B* to remove, this being said we still strongly advise against using a makeup wipe to do so. The skin surrounding your eye area is ~fragile~ and is definitely not an area you want to be rubbing, exfoliating or creating regular micro-tears - unless you are desiring an express, fast track to premature ageing! Say hiiiiii to your sneaky makeup wipe induced fine lines and wrinkles!!

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2. Make up wipe solution (ingredients) disturbs the skins ACID MANTLE barrier - leaving your skin more susceptible to viruses, bacteria & germs.

Welcome to Biology 101: Your acid mantle is a very fine, slightly acidic film on the surface of your skin. This delicate layer of human skin works to lock in moisture as well as blocking grime and pollutants. The purpose of the acid mantle is to protect you from viruses, bacteria, and other germs… so you can understand why protecting it is essential!

The use of regular makeup wipes harms your acid mantle. Even makeup wipes that are marketed as "gentle" contain ingredients harsh enough to be considered as a “mechanical” exfoliant, with daily or regular use this promotes an over-exfoliation cycle to your skin. Regardless if most people use a physical or chemical exfoliant in their routine already, this additional exfoliation will severely harm your acid mantle.

Since the residue from a makeup wipe is rarely washed off, the chemical solution sits on the skin and disrupts the pH balance. This prevents the acid mantle from functioning properly and protecting you from everything that potentially will harm your skin eg:

  • bacteria
  • pollution
  • germs
  • cold wind
  • the sun
when functioning properly this protective barrier keeps moisture in and harmful bacteria and pollution out - think of it as your skins bodyguard against the outside world :)

 3. Make up wipes are (quoted by dermatologists) a known cause for a plethora of SKIN REACTIONS & ALLERGIES.

The formula that wipes use to remove makeup is known to cause many skin reactions, especially when you’re not using water afterwards or double cleansing! Wipes contain cleansing agents — but unlike face wash, you don’t rinse them off. This is extremely irritating to the skin!

98% of face wipes are formulated predominantly with alcohol, this increases the skins exposure to photo-sensitivity resulting in free radical damage that finally transpires as an onset of wrinkles (not too much) later down the line.

As with many beauty products, added fragrance can cause even more problems and reactions… and last but not least, since makeup wipes are pre-wet. A bunch of extra chemicals are also added in order to ensure they don’t mould. These types of chemical "preservatives" are frequently known to cause serious, skin allergic reactions.

4. Makeup wipes are the culprit for clogged pores, breakouts & pimples a.k.a Dirty skin (they LITERALLY don’t work)

First things first: makeup wipes don't actually clean your skin. Mostly, they smear around whatever makeup, dirt, and dead skin is hanging out on your face, leaving a trail of irritated skin in their wake.

According to Dr Joshua Zeichner, makeup wipes can cause irritation due to preservatives that prevent micro-organisms from contaminating the wipes (aka the preservatives). In many, that includes formaldehyde-releasing chemicals, solubilizers, surfactants, and emulsifiers. The "bad stuff" tucked away inside of makeup wipes is housed in the cleansing ingredient so unless you follow your wipe down with a cleanser, you increase your risk of developing inflammation on your skin.

Face-wipes cause congestion and breakouts because they only "remove" about 50% of your makeup. Meaning you’re sleeping with the remainder of the concoction on, clogging your pores.

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 5. "Future" health risks due to staggering waste being sent to landfill - inevitable impact on our environment.

Make-up wipes create 3.4 BILLION kgs of waste every year and each single wipe will take over 100 years just to visibly break down. (Unfortunately most wipes never, really break down... not even the "biodegradable" ones, instead they will become microplastics - but we won't get into that today.)

According to the FDA, wipes are made from a mixture of non-biodegradable materials, including:

  • polyester
  • polypropylene
  • cotton
  • wood pulp
  • man-made fibres

After we discard a single-use wipe it is trashed or flushed, destined to clog landfills, sewer systems, oceans, and eventually our beaches.

“We need to guard the earth and reduce waste, and single use products like [wipes] are not ideal. Climate change affects all of us– our skin, the rest of our health, and our future.”
Dr. Hayley S. Goldbach (Dermatologist)
makeup wipe vs sustainable face wasaher our alternative soft asgfr guide me wash cloth

Author of the bestselling book, "Skin Care" & Aesthetician Caroline Hirons, has also been a vocal advocate for ditching the wipes. Hirons is quite adamant that their only use is for “fannies, festivals and flights,” and have no business being on our faces as part of a skincare routine!

Hirons stated it’s a misconception that they somehow work faster, pointing out that they do not work any faster than any other product. And they simply don’t work at all – period.

Plus, they are detrimental for the environment.

“To give you a sense of scale, if an average wet wipe is roughly a 6-inch (15cm) square, then one year’s worth of wet wipes, from just that one company, would stretch to the moon and back more than 24 times.”

For an ineffective product (that is also damaging your skin long term) this is far too much of an environmental impact to warrant using.

If you've read this far, welcome to the anti makeup wipe club. 

Use code: "IAMAMAZING" for 10% off your next Ecocious order<3



You seem curious, enjoy discovering more FASHION x SUSTAINABILITY tips and hacks in my free EBOOK: Click here!

Skin experts featured in this article: 

  1. Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital.
  2. Dr. Hayley S. Goldbach, MD is a Dermatologist in Los Angeles, CAStanford-NBC News Fellow in Global Health and Media at NBC News.
  3. Caroline Hirons, Sunday Times No.1 Bestseller 'Skincare'. British Book Awards Winner. Founder of Skin Rocks App and the Beauty Backed Trust.
  4. Isabella Loneragan, Owner of the dermal Diary, Cosmeceutical/Mediclinic and Dermatology, Sydney-based skin expert. 
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