Monday, January 25, 2016

Zero Waste Alternatives: Makeup Remover

This must be one of the easiest zero waste solutions that I have come across. It's super easy and there is no preparation needed, which makes it a keeper in my books. Plus, my face smells like coconuts which is a nice bonus!

I don’t wear makeup every day but a few times a week I will use a mascara and a blusher. From time to time, some of my foundation comes out of hibernation as well.  I have not bought any make up wipes in a while and so I got into the habit of just washing my face or leaving it on which I am sure is not that healthy.

This is a great example to show that if you are trying to reduce your waste, you need alternative zero waste solutions otherwise you will revert to buying something disposable when you suddenly need it.

Washing with water works up to a point but mascara and foundation seem to be leaving residue. There are quite a few natural makeup remover recipes but why complicate things when this works just as well?

All you need is two things, coconut oil and cotton pads. I bought reusable organic cotton pads from this lovely shop on Etsy a while ago. They are made out of organic flannel cotton which is really soft and pleasant on your skin. 

Coconut oil usually comes in a jar and so all you need to do is dab a little bit of the oil onto the cotton pad and wipe your makeup off. As easy as that. I have also used olive oil when I had no coconut oil at home and that worked for me just as well. Try and not get any of the actual oil into your eyes as it will blur your vision a little bit (found out the hard way) and instead just use it around the eyes. You can press your lashes against the skin under your eyes and just sort of dab it with the cotton pad.

Instead of throwing the pads away, you can wash them in the washing machine when you are done. Mine came with a little cotton bag which I use for storage and for washing.If you are using a lot of makeup, I would suggest soaking them in some warm water with a bit of washing powder and giving them a bit of a hand wash beforehand. 

Make up wipes are widely used because they are so quick and easy. Using coconut oil is just as quick and without the use of artificial fragrances and chemicals, so I am definitely hooked. No more overnight make up for me!



  1. Hi Dom, I've just got a question about how you keep your cotton pads clean. I made some myself a few weeks ago, popped them in the washing machine after I had taken my makeup off, and they're super stained! I'm not really worried, as I know they're clean and happy to keep using them as is. But just wondered if you have found the same issue and any tips on how to keep them looking like new.

    Thanks, and great blog! I love reading about people's zero waste journey - very motivating! :)

  2. Hi, Dom! I make a polyester reusable pad that is softer than cotton while having the same or better carbon footprint. When washed with warm/hot water and soap, all mascara, lipstick, etc., washes out! Take a look at

  3. Do you rinse your face after cleaning your face with coconut oil?

  4. The production of polyester uses harmful chemicals, including carcinogens, and if emitted to water and air untreated, can cause significant environmental damage. It is also not biodegradable. What research have you conducted to give you the idea that polyester is eco friendly?