Welcome to The Beauty Algorithm , i-D’s fortnightly column in which beauty editor, Shannon Peter, answers the internet’s nichest beauty queries. Want to know how to smell like the cola-scented gel pens of your pre-teen pencil case? Or where to find an eye shadow the perfect shade of EU blue? No request is too specific! This week, the algorithm plans to wean you off that face wipe habit once and for all.
Wipes are bad news. Not only are they mostly non-biodegradable, meaning most end up in our gigantic landfill sites, but some people are still under the impression that it’s cool to flush them down our toilets. Did you know our fatbergs are 93% wipes? Worse still, some end up in the sea, where their often plastic-based fibres pose a risk to marine life.
Recently there’s been an increase in brands launching biodegradable wipes, which is definitely a step in the right direction, but the reality is, wipes aren’t really even that effective at the job of face-washing anyway. Many tend to just move the dirt around your face, rather than actually washing it off. More and more of us (like the Redditors in this feed) are on the hunt for a more eco alternative. Well, that is where The Beauty Algorithm can deliver. Here are my more virtuous suggestions:
Needless to say, the best option is to use cut out any form of wiping implement altogether. Try an oil-based cleanser, like Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, or Tata Harper’s dreamy Nourishing Cleansing Oil. These oils break down the make-up and all the general grime coating your skin without the need to wipe, and have the added bonus of not leaving your skin tight as hell, like so many other types of cleanser can.
If you can’t possibly make it through the evening without wiping your face with some kind of cloth, then make it a reusable one. Muslin cloths are washable, gentle on the skin, and these ones by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare are made from bamboo fibres. Alternatively, you can get reusable cotton pads on Etsy and Amazon. Better still, make your own.
For general cleansing, it’s worth trying a Konjac sponge -- Cult Beauty stocks a load of them. These little domes lift away dirt while exfoliating the skin, and last at least four weeks if you store them in a dry place. Once done, you can just throw the sponge in your food waste bin or compost.
Then comes Face Halo, which is completely wild. It’s this circular cloth that looks and feels a bit like a car shammy. All you have to do is dampen it, and somehow the fibres grip all the make-up on your face and peels it right off. No cleanser necessary. It's pretty miraculous but it definitely works, even if you’re wearing extra extra extra waterproof mascara. Just hold it over the eyes for like ten seconds, and it comes right off.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.