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Given how much waste you can generate by using cotton wool pads and face wipes daily, it's unsurprising that many people are looking for more sustainable, reusable and affordable options. However, is it time to ditch the double-cleanse and rely on a cloth alone to remove your makeup? I tried three products on the market at different price-points to find out...
- HOW DO MICROFIBRE CLOTHS WORK? -As the name suggests; these sorts of fibre cloths have a much larger surface area than your standard flannel, creating a density that causes friction, removing the makeup and trapping it in the cloth through absorption. It really is that simple! You just add water and you're good to go; the technology will do the rest for you.
- THE PROS -This is not only a more environmentally-friendly option, but a more purse-friendly one. If you use face wipes or micellar water with cotton wool pads, that's a continuous expense, however the cloth is a single initial investment that will keep going for a really long time. It's also quick and easy if you only wear quite natural makeup, meaning it's perfect if your routine is all about minimal fuss. It's also great for travelling, particularly with liquid restrictions or if you're going away for several weeks or months; you simply throw a cloth into your luggage, give it a wash every so often and that's it! I don't find them abrasive to use in and of themselves either, though they do give some light exfoliation.
- THE CONS -The only real con I have for this option is that it can be tricky to get off every last scrap of black and / or waterproof eye makeup so you may end up tugging and being a little rough on the delicate eye area, which isn't great and can cause fine lines. You also need to be sure that you wash them regularly and thoroughly; by their nature they trap makeup in their fibres and you're only going to cause yourself problems if you let that bacteria fester and then wipe it all over your face again. I also think it's important not to confuse this for cleansing your skin; your makeup will be off but your skin isn't necessarily clean underneath, so be sure to cleanse afterwards.
- THE PRODUCTS I TRIED -First up we have the most expensive product I tried: the Original Makeup Eraser | £16.99 for 1. This is a nicely large option that you can easily roll up for travel. I find their 'remove your makeup without chemicals' tagline a bit annoying; there's nothing wrong with using a cleanser with good ingredients that work for your skin, however - that aside - I did really like this product. It washes really well and claims to last for 3-5 years, so could be worth the slightly heavier investment.
Next I tried the Face Halo | £7.50 for 1 | which is a little different, in that it's a small, round pad. I do find this a little less practical, as you just get less space to work with when removing your makeup, however it still does the job really well and I find it one of the more effective options on eye makeup. Where the Makeup Eraser says it's 10-50 time finer than a human hair, the Face Halo claims to be 100 finer! It says it can be washed up to 200 times so that's 3-4 years worth of use you'll get out of one of these if you wash it once a week. In practice, though, I think getting a pack of 3 of these is the better option so that you always have one on-hand whilst the others are in the wash.
Finally, we have the Primark Makeup Cleansing Cloths | £2.50 for 3. Obviously, with this being a Primark product, you can't get this online and I actually had to fish the box out of the bin to find some product information on these - even then there wasn't a lot! (Other than the fact these are polyester, like the Makeup Eraser.) For me; this really worked and was comparable to the Makeup Eraser, so the only question is how long they'll last. It's so far, so good for me in terms of how they've washed, however I guess the super-affordable price makes me wonder how long they'll continue to be effective.