One of the biggest contributors to household waste are single-use items. In other words, items that cannot be reused. Facial cleansing wipes are among those. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good face wipe. They are convenient, quick and they don’t make a mess. I especially love them on those days when I am really tired and just want to get out of the bathroom quick so I can get to bed. Luckily, by using these reusable facial cleansing wipes I can now enjoy all these benefits without producing any waste.
Making changes is not always an easy thing. Especially if we are used to having or doing things a certain way. We are creatures of habit. It gives us stability and a feeling of control. This is why most people, myself included, who try to do a drastic lifestyle or diet overhaul fail. It is never too late to make a change, but every lasting change happens in small steps. Switching from single-use to reusable facial cleansing wipes is an easy step to start with. Especially since it saves you money and is just as convenient.
What can I say? I love these reusable facial cleansing wipes because they are super quick to make, it takes less than 10 min. And because they are so cheap, they cost a fraction of the price of store-bought wipes with zero of the waste. Everybody wins!
Keeping Homemade Products Clean
While I don’t like being bossy or inhibiting your creativity, there are a couple of things I’d like to point out to ensure that your homemade products stay clean and safe to use.
Because our home is hardly as sterile as a lab, we need to be extra careful to keep homemade products clean.
The reason why this recipe uses distilled water is to prevent bacteria growth. The process of distilling water removes all bacteria from the water. While tab water is safe to consume, it is not free of bacteria, thereby bacteria growth and contamination can occur if you use tab water.
In addition to using distilled water, I recommend that you sterilize the jar with boiling water before putting your facial cleansing wipes in it. You should also never put a used cloth back in the jar. Sometimes I leave them by the side of the sink and use them a second time the same day or the next morning after moistening them with a little tab water, but other than that I do not reuse them.
Because I chose to omit a preservative in this recipe, I use my batch up within a week and keep it in the fridge. You may include a preservative of your choice to make the mixture more shelf-stable. The reason why I keep it in the fridge and use it quickly is because when oil and water are mixed they can quickly allow bacteria and mold to grow. You can read more about safety in homemade skincare in my post on the topic.
If you ever see any mold or notice a bad smell, throw your wipes away and start a completely fresh batch. While these precautions may seem excessive to some, they allow you to enjoy homemade cosmetics for as long as possible and keep you safe from harmful bacteria.
What cloth to use
You can use any cloth you want for this recipe. Even cut up old t-shirts or towels. Just be aware of the abrasiveness of some fabrics as they may irritate your skin. For example, old cotton t-shirts work great if you have sensitive skin as they are less abrasive than microfiber or wash cloths. Plus, you can give old shirts a new life. Who doesn’t love that?
I personally used mircofiber cloths since that is what I had at home. While they are a synthetic cloth, it is better to use what you have than to buy something new. Plus, microfiber cloths can act slightly exfoliating because of their texture. A tip if you do use microfiber cloths: Do not put them in the dryer, it makes them hard. I usually put my used microfiber wipes into a pillowcase and throw them in the washing machine with my clothes, I then let them air dry. I would also recommend not using fabric softener on them.
If I had to buy something new, I would opt for small bamboo cotton or plain cotton washcloths or makeup removal pads. Here is some inspiration:
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Coconut oil is a great all-rounder to have around the house. Not only is it great for moisturizing your skin, it is also cleansing thanks to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. It removes even waterproof makeup. You can read more about coconut oil and its other uses here.
Aloe vera is well known for its healing properties. It provides moisture without being oily, reduces inflammations and fights aging. If you have an aloe vera plant at home you can simply cut off part of a leaf and scoop out the gel inside. Otherwise, you can also purchase aloe vera gel bottled. I got some aloe shoots from my friend and have been doing my best to help them grow into a big healthy aloe vera plant to be able to source my own aloe gel. Self-sufficiency is such a powerful feeling.
Grapefruit oil is antiseptic and an astringent. Thus, it can help with acne prone and oily skin. It also has a stimulating and uplifting effect like other citrus oils.
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is a popular ingredient for homemade skincare. It can help treat acne as it regulates the skins talc production and has healing properties. Moreover, it can remove blemishes and dark spots.
All the products in these reusable facial cleansing wipes can be used on sensitive as well as acne-prone skin as they are very gentle. I would, nonetheless, avoid getting them into your eyes, the essential oils and the coconut oil can sting. If you do get it in your eye, simply wash it out with clean water.
How to use the wipes
With clean hands, take a wipe out of the jar. Wipe your face clean. Wash out the cloth with some.warm water and use it to wipe the soap off you face. Let it dry and throw it in the wash.
Reusable Facial Cleansing Wipes
These reusable facial cleansing wipes gently exfoliate and clean your face, without creating the waste of single use wipes. They are made with coconut oil, essential oils and soothing aloe.
- 2 cups distilled water (300 ml)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp aloe vera gel
- 1/3 cup castille soap (100 ml)
- 5 drops tea tree oil
- 5 drops grapefruit oil
- 16 squares cloth
Melt the coconut oil in a waterbath.
Combine everything except the microfiber cloths in a sterilized quart mason jar.
Add the cloth or microfiber squares. Using a clean spoon, submerge and stir the cloth pieces around to ensure they evenly absorb the liquid mixture.
Seal the jar. To use the wipes, remove a cloth from the jar with clean hands and wipe your face clean avoiding the eyes. Wash the wipe out with warm water, then use it to rinse and soap residual off your face (if you used castille soap).
Put the cloth in the wash and save it for the next batch of cleansing wipes. Store the unused wipes in the fridge and use within one week or add a preservative of your choice to increase the shelf life.
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