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Washable make-up removal pads and other tips for more sustainability in the bathroom

The bathroom is all about cleanliness. Unfortunately, many conventional hygiene products come with a lot of waste and bulky plastic packaging. But does it always have to be disposable? If you were already wondering that when you looked in the bathroom waste bin, here are 9 tips for more sustainability in the bathroom.

9 tips for more sustainability in the bathroom | Five Skincare

Photo: Jon Tyson at Unsplash

Bathroom products for a clear conscience

Sustainability doesn't have to be uncomfortable or impractical. These 9 alternatives to disposable products and packaging waste actually make your life easier. And they ensure that you have even more of the good bathroom products.

Tip 1: Zero waste with washable make-up removal pads

Everything we use in our daily grooming routine adds up quite a bit over the year. If we just assume 2 cotton pads a day, then over 700 fluffy disposable pads just end up in the bin, never to be seen again.

Reusable cloth makeup remover pads are a great replacement for cotton pads and paper facial tissues. They clean just as well, because the fabric picks up even the tiniest particles of make-up. Even small make-up corrections are no problem. You can then throw pads made of organic cotton in the washing machine et voilá, like new!

By the way: Bamboo pads are often advertised as a super-natural solution because bamboo grows back so luxuriantly. However, the fibers are chemically processed in such complex processes that in the end a synthetic fiber results that has absolutely nothing to do with "nature". That's why I prefer to use cosmetic pads made from ecologically grown cotton . My favorite: the make-up removal pads from ImseVimse .

With washable make-up removal pads you avoid garbage in the bathroom | Five Skincare

Anna, founder of Five Skincare

Before founding FIVE, I had major problems with my skin and that's when I came across the Oil Cleansing Method. Oil make-up removal was a game changer for my skin. I had the first cold January in years, in which I was not annoyed by any totally dry skin on my face. Now you do the Oil Cleansing Method with a washcloth or a small towel. But sometimes it just has to go faster, and when my skin is totally fine and I just want to remove my eye make-up with FIVE Make-up Remover , I use washable make-up removal pads. 

I've tried quite a few washable makeup remover pads over the years. I like the ones that are quite thin but a bit larger than normal disposable pads. There are some with a diameter of 8 cm, so more such small, washable towels. The thinner ones simply have the advantage that they are a little more manageable and get really nice and clean every time. 

They don't have to be expensive. Especially the very simple ones have been in daily use for me for almost 4 years without having to buy more. Only one thing is a must for me: that they are made of 100% organic cotton.

Be sure to put them in a laundry net when washing – if I forget, they always stick to the washing machine door. And if necessary, wash briefly with bar soap after use.

Tip 2: The good old washcloth

What was still standard in grandma's bathroom is not only environmentally friendly, but also a great addition to washable fabric pads. They are rather small and fine with their soft surface, while a terry toweling glove is more for "rough things". But he does his job thoroughly.

Such a washcloth has two advantages: 1. You can wash and reuse it almost indefinitely and 2. You can also put it on your face as a warm, damp compress to open the pores during thorough cleaning.

Tip 3: Multi-use products

One bottle, many possibilities - this not only means fewer dust collectors, but is also great when travelling. Facial oils with squalane, for example, can also be applied to dry ends of hair to combat frizz . A waterless cream like FIVE Shea Cream makes umpteen jars for eye cream, lip care, body lotion, hand cream and ointment for cracks superfluous. For a lighter or richer result, simply dampen the skin more or less with water before application. So you have the texture completely in your own hands.

Many things can also be used twice when it comes to make-up. Some manufacturers are already selling multi-use products like creamy blushes that double as eye shadows, or tinted oils that add color to lips and cheeks. Even a well-assorted eyeshadow palette has hidden talents: rosé and brown nuances are part of the basic equipment for every color type. You can use it to conjure up a delicate glow on your cheeks as well as defined eyebrows. Depending on whether you prefer it powdery or creamy, you can set all the color accents that a natural-looking day make-up needs with two products.

Hard Facts: Shower Bars, Bar Shampoo and Bar Soap | Five Skincare

Tip 4: Tangible facts about shampooing, showering and soaping

Solid products definitely make sense: 1. you can buy them unpacked by the piece and avoid waste. 2. such a solid chunk can be used up completely. And 3. it is multifunctional. Shower bars and solid shampoos clean like their liquid counterparts with surfactants. Except that, depending on the recipe, they almost or completely do without water. That is why they do not contain any preservatives , are highly concentrated and very economical .

Only perfect with the right accessory: you can store solid shower gel practically and hygienically in soap bags . You just have to dry well after use so that germs don't stand a chance, so it's best to hang them up on a hook. Such bags are made of natural sisal, which has a great peeling effect when lathered , or made of organic cotton. You can always put them in the washing machine in between.

Tip 5: Say no to plastic in shower gel

Plastics such as PEG and silicone are commonplace in conventional cosmetics. They come either in the form of microplastics or - and unfortunately very often - water-soluble and liquid. Either way, they go straight into the water cycle. With a decision for natural cosmetics you don't go along with it, because plastic in the product is taboo.

☝️ You can find out more about why plastic has no place in cosmetics under So much plastic is in your cosmetics . 

Tip 6: Be cool - reduce your hot water consumption

Producing hot water greatly increases energy consumption. Not only because a lot of water usually has to run through before it comes out warm from the tap, but above all because heating requires a lot of energy. And hot water is not necessary to wash your hands thoroughly, because you use soap for that. Water that is too hot puts unnecessary strain on skin and hair . In fact, a nice, cold rinse works like a shine treatment for the mane, because it smoothes the dandruff.

All in all, a lot of precious water simply runs into nothing. Aerators on the faucet reduce the amount of liters that flow through per minute. The aerator ensures that the jet does not degenerate into a trickle, but still has a pleasant fullness. Many new faucets have aerators built in. Otherwise they can easily be retrofitted for a few euros.

☝️ Conclusion: If you want to save energy at home, the hot water consumption is the second most important adjustment screw after the heating - skin and hair will thank you for the mild temperatures.

Tip 7: Green cleaning

With many cleaning agents, a strong chemical smell hits your nose as soon as you spray them on. But it can also be done naturally, namely with ecological cleaning agents . I am a fan of Sonett products, especially Sonett Scouring Powder . This replaces a variety of other means and makes everything from the ceramic hob to the bathtub spotless. It cleans on the basis of purely plant-based surfactants and, according to the manufacturer, is 100% biodegradable - and that with only 7 ingredients... 

Tip 8: Shop consciously

For example towels made of organic cotton - of course only when your old ones are really worn out. Why organic? Cultivation is less invasive for the environment because no toxic chemicals and genetically modified seeds are used. The label Armedangels explained it nicely if you want to know more about it.

And how often do you let yourself be tempted by pretty, colorful packaging or influencers to buy another bright yellow nail polish because the belles of this world recently had it on their fingers on Instagram. And at home you realize that the color üüü doesn't suit you at all. So it is better to hesitate once more and only buy more when a product is running low. It's also a waste of money if it crumbles away in the closet.

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Tip 9: Every month again

Anyone who has tried it can't stop raving about it: the menstrual cup . In case you were already wondering which of the 7 dwarfs lost that weird silicone hat on the tampon shelf – that's the thing we're talking about here. The handling certainly takes some getting used to, but the fact is: this re-use product avoids a lot of disposable waste .

Back to basics

There are now (again) many options for a more sustainable bathroom. Some of these are actually just a step back towards products that can be reused instead of thrown away and to less plastic. The nice thing about it is that all of this can be done without sacrificing well-being or care . Did you find any inspiration? Then have fun trying it out!

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