The environmental impact of plastics on the environment is no joke. Single-use plastics in the form of disposable wet wipes are a significant contributor to plastic waste and in the future, could be banned in the UK as part of their 25-year Environment Plan. Wet wipes are not accepted into most recycling programs, so if plastic based, they end up in landfills or oceans, forever! Click here to see why the UK will ban disposable plastic based wipes.
Most commonly shopped drugstore brands of wet wipes are also animal tested or sold in China, which means by law, they are animal tested and therefore, not cruelty-free. There is good news though; it is easy to find both cruelty-free and environmentally friendly, biodegradable wet wipes once you know where to look. Often, the two categories go hand in hand so yes, I would say cruelty-free wipes, in general terms, are better for the environment.
What are we buying?
You know the disposable wet wipe products that we find in stores and see on TV? They are commonly bound together with plastic (latex) unless otherwise stipulated. These do not decompose or biodegrade, they sit in the landfills forever, like all the other plastics. The good news is consumer and environmental demands have fueled the development of disposable wet wipes made with bamboo or other plant-derived cellulose, which is biodegradable, and even compostable in some cases. Cellulose is extracted from vegetation and bound together in long strands using high pressure instead of using latex. Soft, plastic-free and biodegradable products are the result.
What wipe brands are tested on animals? Instead of going product by product all you need to know is who the parent company is and if testing is part of their product development protocol. Rabbitrecommended.com is another cruelty-free blogger who has done an excellent job of assembling a list of non-cruelty-free companies. The compiled list is reasonably up-to-date except for the Body shop which is no longer owned by L’Oreal and is now a leader in the cruelty-free movement. Here you’ll find Johnson and Johnson, Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, L’Oreal, Clorox and many others on the list that tests on animals or sells to China. Have a look; I’m sure you’d be surprised at how lengthy it is!
Is it hard to find cruelty-free and environmentally friendly together?
In purchasing wipes that are plastic-free and cruelty-free, there’s a lot to choose from which is fantastic! The downside is if you don’t like online shopping you may not have access to some of these in your local store. My favourite sources are Camomile Beauty with four brands to choose from, Fig and Flower with one, Gabriel Cosmetics with one and I’ve picked six popular choices from Amazon.
Easy makeup removal using Micelle molecules that catch and lift away impurities. No rinsing necessary. Vegan and Organic. Gluten Free. Biodegradable, compostable, Verified Non-GMO, Certified USDA Bio-preferred
Developed with baby’s thin skin in mind. Free of potential carcinogen chemicals, mutagens and endocrine disruptors. Biodegradable and compostable.
Safely clean your babies face and body with 100% unbleached bamboo cloth. Enriched with Certified Organic Bamboo extract and Vitamin E and ph balanced. No synthetic fragrance or colour. Vegan. Biodegradable.
My pick from Fig and Flower
These are at a higher price point but for a good reason. These are bamboo face wipes infused with Ursa Majors 4-in-1 Face Tonic Formula. The tonic gives the benefits of
1.gently removing makeup, oil and environmental grime without stripping moisture or upsetting the pH balance of your skin
2. exfoliates by dissolving away dead skin cells and clears clogged pores with 3% AHA/BPA complex
3.Accelerates healing and soothes irritation and inflammation
4. Hydrates and firms skin without leaving residue behind.
Gluten-free, vegan, Free of petrochemicals, sulfates, Parabens, synthetic fragrance and colour, glycols and silicones. Biodegradable.
My pick from Gabriel Cosmetics
Gently removes makeup and mascara or a post-gym sweat with hydrating and nourishing plant extracts. Suitable for women, men and kids. You won’t find any nasty ingredients in these wipes. Biodegradable.
My picks from Amazon
Josie Maran Bear Naked:
These wipes are free of fragrance, Parabens and petrochemicals. The cleaning solution is plant-based, and each wet wipe cleans, purifies and exfoliates your skin. Biodegradable.
Shea Moisture African Black Soap:
These wipes are also at a higher price point primarily due to the popularity of the African Black Soap and its benefits as well as the other high-quality ingredients put into each wipe. Biodegradable.
1. Antibacterial, clarifying wipes with added Tea Tree oil and Calendula
2. Soothing with a mix of Aloe and Oats to calm irritations and moisturize skin
3. Cleansing by African Black Soap and Shea Butter to restore moisture balance
4. Refreshes with Palm Ash and Tamarind
Yes To Facial Wipes:
Three different wipe formulations to suit every skin type. All of the formulations are clean skin on the go formulations. Makeup, sweat, environmental dirt and yuck. These are petroleum free, SLS, paraben and silicone free. Compostable.
1.Yes To Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Wipe
2. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Wipes
3. Yes To Coconut Cleansing Wipes
Derma-E Hydrating Facial Wipes:
These wipes quickly and easily remove makeup while hydrating and refreshing with infused Hyaluronic Acid. Also fortified with Grape See and Maqui Berry Superfruit Extracts for anti-oxidant benefits. 100% Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Mineral Oil-Free, Lanolin-Free, Gluten Free, GMO-Free. Wipes are compostable, and packaging is recyclable.
Probably the commercially best known of all these wipe products. They are suitable for every age as each biodegradable and hypoallergenic wipe is 99% water. Is it worth it if it’s 99% water? It’s a personal choice because other than convenience there isn’t much to these wipes in the way of ingredients to help clean.
Vitamin E infused to keep skin feeling soft and supple and hydrated while being able to remove the heaviest waterproof makeup. Love the convenient TSA-approved pouches…no spills or leaks, a bonus in my books. These wipes also come in large packet sized. Paraben, sulfate, triclosan and dye free. Biodegradable.
You see? So many options for cruelty-free and non-plastic, biodegradable disposable wet wipes! Until I started researching the potential environmental impact of plastic wipes I had no idea that there were so many biodegradable options that stay in my passion for always cruelty-free. Now we can save animals in two ways; not testing on them and keeping their environment, especially sea life environment cleaner one purchase at a time!
Are you like me and surprised by this? Drop me a comment and let me know.