What is a microfiber cloth? Many people use them to clean around the house. My mom first turned me onto them when she heard that they were great for dusting. (One of my most-reviled chores as a kid.) But do they scrub your face clean? I bought a pack of Polyte Premium Microfiber Facial Cleansing Cloths a few months ago, and after testing them out fairly regularly, I’m confident that the answer is yes.
I’ve used oil cleansers. I’ve tried using foaming face washes. But disappointingly, I’d sometimes realize that my face still had some traces of the physical sunscreen even after I thought I had thoroughly washed it. I had high hopes when I tried some Maske Halo Makeup Remover Pads, but they were just a bit too rough on my face. Plus, their thick, stiff shape made them challenging to clean. So I decided to try out some Polyte Premium Microfiber Facial Cleansing Cloths, based on the excellent Amazon reviews.
These cloths come in a pack of six: three white and three gray. They’re square-shaped and slightly smaller than your standard washcloth. They also include a loop on the side for hanging on a hook (if you have one). I’ve been using it in the shower at night and hand washing it with Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar after I finish using it. Because it’s made out of very soft and flexible fabric, it’s really easy to clean. And it cleans my face without forcing me to scrub too aggressively. I just soak it in warm water while I’m in the shower, run it across my face a few times, and it removes all of the sunscreen without any issues. Easy as that. I also use it to pat my face dry after washing it in the morning.
These Polyte Premium Microfiber Facial Cleansing Cloths (or any other microfiber cleansing cloth that look similar to you) are great at removing the sunscreen I use (Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Sunscreen), which happens to have a pretty waxy that actually feels like it gets even waxier when it comes into contact with water (probably because it’s designed to be water resistant).
If you’re using a sunscreen like that, or any other waterproof makeup, microfiber cloths could be the answer to your face washing problems. Best of all, you don’t have to use them with anything other than warm water. No need to use any micellar water, harsh foaming cleansers, or makeup remover, each of which can be harsh on sensitive skin (not to mention expensive). Microfiber cloths can actually save you quite a bit of money if you’re currently buying any of those things. It can also cut down on single-use packaging waste.
Now for the bad news. While writing this article, I realized that these microfiber cloths may not be quite as eco-friendly as I first assumed, since they’re made out of synthetic fabric. It seems that polyester (including fleece), nylon, and other synthetic fabrics (pretty much all activewear is made out of this) pollutes the environment when it goes into the washing machine. This study found that microfiber fleece releases microplastics into the water supply when it is washed. Read more about this problem in this article.
Natural fabrics like cotton and wool release fibers that are biodegradable, in contrast with synthetic fabrics, which often release microplastics that pollute our waterways—and harm the creatures living in those environments. As such, I definitely plan to try out some alternatives to these microfiber cloths—perhaps cotton muslin cloths like this. Or maybe some reusable cotton rounds like these. If anyone has suggestions for eco-friendly, effective ways to remove makeup and physical sunscreen, I’m all ears!