BRONZE

Bio-wipes

My project was creating a biodegradable solution to disposable makeup wipes
Sofia Johannesson
Grade 8

Problem

          Studies have shown that one of the leading causes of pollution in our sewers. Over 9.3 million facial wipes are flushed down toilets every day. My reasoning behind trying to create a better solution is the harsh chemicals, fibers, and other things going into the environment and our faces. Facial wipes are not a suitable way of living, and since people often use disposable wipes, it is causing damage to our environment. If I find a way to make reusable and biodegradable facial wipes, it can save the earth a lot of damage. The facial wipes will be able to be used just like regular cotton pads, but under different circumstances will be able to be reused and biodegradable. I am also creating a makeup remover that is free of chemicals and other harmful ingredients. These two products will be able to be used together and in a way so that we will be also live a healthier and clean life.  Environmental pollution is an ongoing crisis is that has been affecting our planet for centuries. By doing small things, such as using reusable makeup wipes, we can reduce the waste going into our earth. All of these small actions will add up to have a positive impact on our planet.

Method

Testing Procedure

  • To start my experimentation, I gathered all of my materials together and found a large workspace. 
  • Next, I got out all of the makeup products that I will be using. These include lipstick, eyeliner pencil, and waterproof mascara.
  • After that, you want to get out your wipes (cotton and bamboo) and your disposable wipes. The wipes I used were the cotton ones that I made. 
  • Then I took the before photo to compare it to later.
  • The next step I took was to get one of the makeup products and make a swipe with them on my arm and let it dry for 30 seconds to one minute. I made three swipes side by side with a 6 cm gap in between each of them.
  • Next, I got out my makeup remover and put five pumps on my cotton wipe and five pumps on my bamboo wipes.
  • Then I used the wipes (both cotton and bamboo), swiping them across the makeup four times, applying a slight amount of pressure.
  • After that, I took the after photos. 
  • Then I took the disposable makeup wipe, and I did the same things by swiping it across the makeup four times, being careful to apply the right amount of pressure.
  • After all of that, I took side-by-side photos comparing the cotton wipe, bamboo wipe, and disposable wipe to each other.
  • Then I took off the rest of the makeup remaining on my arm and repeated the process for all of the other makeup products.

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Creating procedure

  • Firstly gather all of your materials together (buy them if needed) 
  • Place all of the materials on your workspace and lay them out in sections so that you know where everything is.   
  •  Now it is time for you to get out all of your sewing cans. You will use this to be able to stitch the fabric together more efficiently than hand sewing and will stay more durable during use.
  • You will want to no grab your organic cotton thread and place a bobbin in the sewing machine( pre spun with the cotton thread) and thread the rest of the Machine. Make sure while doing this that the sewing machine is turned off to help prevent the danger of hurting yourself.   
  • Now, lay out your 100% organic cotton is woven fabric onto the work surface and cut out the shape that you desire. Make sure that the measurements are exact so that there are straight lines as possible. 
  • Now you will cut out your sheet of fabric and do the same to the rest of the fabric five more times until you have six sheets of the woven cotton. 
  • Now grab your 100% organic cotton fabric. You will want to cut out the same shape but make the sides 2 cm wider so that you will have room to sew.  
  • Once you have cut out the shapes you should have 12 of the squares or circles that have a pattern.
  • Now you will want to grab two of the organic cotton fabric and place them so that the pattern is facing each other.  
  • Now you choose the setting of what type of stitch you want to sew up your fabric. I chose a Criss cross-stitch, this will ensure that the fabric is help durably together.   
  • Next, you will want to finish off the sewing stitch across the perimeter of the fabric and tie the ends of the thread, so it does not break the stitch. 
  • Flip the fabric inside out and put the organic woven cotton into the pouch, and sew it closed.  
  • Once the fabric is closed you will want to go back around the perimeter of the fabric to fully secure the woven cotton is secure inside the pouch. 
  • Now repeat this process and make as many as you like. You can make many different shapes and styles of cotton wipes. 
  • This procedure will have to be repeated with the same process for the organic bamboo and organic woven bamboo, woven and regular hemp and silk.   
  • You will also want to switch out the thread in the machine and replace it with organic bamboo thread.
  • Now you will want to grab 2 of the organic cotton fabric and place them so that the pattern is facing each other.  
  • Now you are going to choose the setting of what type of stitch you want to sew up your fabric. I chose a Criss cross-stitch so that the fabric is help durably together.   
  • Next, you will want to finish off the sewing stitch across the perimeter of the fabric and tie the ends of the thread, so it does not break the stitch.   
  •  Flip the fabric inside out, and now put the organic woven cotton into the pouch and sew it closed.  
  • Once the fabric is closed you will want to go back around the perimeter of the fabric to fully secure the woven cotton is secure inside the pouch. 
  • Now repeat this process and make as many as you like. You can make many different shapes and styles of cotton wipes. 
  • This procedure will have to be repeated with the same process for organic bamboo and organic woven bamboo.
  • You will also want to switch out the thread in the machine and replace it with organic bamboo thread.

 

 

Analysis

Project results

          During the testing that I did, I concluded that the best wipe was the cotton. During the experiment, I tested the effectiveness of both the cotton and bamboo wipes that I created and also tested them alongside disposable wipes. I tested each wipe on three different types of makeup. These included mascara, lipstick, and an eyeliner pencil. I found that out of the three tests that I conducted that the cotton was proven to be the most effective of taking off makeup two out of the three times. The other time when I tested the eyeliner pencil I found that the bamboo wipe was the most effective at getting that one-off. In the end, I could also analyze the disposable wipe. During one of the tests testing the effectiveness of the lipstick, I found that both the bamboo and the disposable tied. They both took off the same amount of makeup and left the same amount of makeup on my skin. There was no way of saying one was better than the other. Taking everything into consideration, the best makeup wipe is cotton. 

                                            

 


Product details

          To figure out how long the wipes last, I had to put together all of the processes that will be happening during use including, the making, washing, and just sitting around. After I added up all of the math and did some more research I concluded that the wipes will last depending on how many you use and how many you have. The average time that just one of the wipes will last is about six months. With this, I also had to calculate how long it would take the wipes to biodegrade. When calculating this, you have to think about how much time the product will be able to last. I had to include many factors. These included how long it would take to make, how long and many times it would be used, how long or many times it would be used, and the time it spends biodegrading. We have to start with how long it will take to make. This process usually does not affect how long the product lasts unless the fabric has been handled a lot or if it has been even stretched or ripped. All of that usually does not affect the biodegradation process at all. The next step to put into place is how many times you will use this product. The average woman uses makeup up to six times a week that gives this an average of 6 uses a week. This will individually help soften up the fibers and loosen them up to help the product biodegrade faster. The next step is how many times you will wash the product. If you would only have one it would be likely for you to wash it every day or else it wouldn't be sanitary, but on the other hand, if you have 3 then you will wash all of them almost three times a week. If we average that out between up to 6 wipes that may be in possession down to one, the average amount of washes a week would be about four times. Washing the wipes either in the washing machine or just by hand in the sink will also help loosen up the fibers and make the biodegradation process a lot easier. All of this usually comes down to how many clothes you own and how often you use them. The average amount of time you should use a wipe before letting it biodegrade is between 6 months. 


Cost comparison 

          The average price for a pack of 24 disposable makeup wipes cost around 12 dollars a pack. Most people go through two makeup wipes a day 6 times a week. That ends up costing an average of 6 dollars for a week's worth of makeup wipes. Each makeup wipe, on average costs around 50 cents and is thrown away immediately. If one pack of 24 makeup wipes lasts about two weeks on average, then you are spending about 24 dollars a month on makeup wipes alone. In total, that leaves you spending around 288 dollars a year on makeup wipes alone and throwing away 576 makeup wipes a year. With my product, you will only spend 6 dollars on one cost that will last you on average up to 8 months. That leaves you spending around 12 dollars a year on my reusable makeup wipes a year alone when spending that much on disposable makeup wipes would only last you a week. 

 

 

Conclusion

          During this experiment, I hypothesized that I would be capable of creating a biodegradable solution to makeup wipes. The reason I decided to do this innovation project was to be able to help educate people about the harm that one-use products are doing to the environment and the impact that they have. I also wanted to find a better solution to disposable makeup wipes, considering disposable wipes contain toxic and harmful chemicals. These chemicals can irritate and even cause breakouts or even an allergic reaction to your skin. During the experimenting and testing part of this project, I concluded that the best wipe that I created was cotton. The cotton was the most effective at taking off makeup from your skin and worked better than a regular disposable wipe. The bamboo wipes, on the other hand felt the best on my skin, and still worked better than the disposable wipes. The disposable wipes were the least effective out of all three, and they felt the worst on my skin. My next steps to this project would be to test the wipes I created on different skin types other than my own to see if that would affect the way they work. I would also experiment with making them with different biodegradable materials such as silk and hemp fabric to see if that would make a difference in the effectiveness. After considering all of the details about my project, I can conclude that I did prove my hypothesis correct. I was able to create a way to make biodegradable and reusable facial wipes. 
 

 

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Citations

“Can I Compost Face Pads/Facial Wipes?” Can I Compost This?, www.compostthis.co.uk/face-padsfacial-wipes. 

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Disposable Wipes.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-products/disposable-wipes.

Department, Published by Statista Research, and Nov 13. “U.S.: Usage Frequency of Pre-Moist Wipes and Cloths 2020.” Statista, 13 Nov. 2020, www.statista.com/statistics/276845/us-households-usage-frequency-of-pre-moist-wipes-and-cloths/.

E, Admin. “Reusable Alternatives to Makeup Wipes and Disposable Makeup Remover Pads.” BeEco, BeEco, 1 June 2020, www.beeco.com.au/blogs/news/types-and-benefits-of-reusable-makeup-remover-pads.

Heath, Mike, et al. “24 Plants That Keep Your Skin Looking Young.” Essential Home and Garden, 9 Oct. 2020, www.essentialhomeandgarden.com/24-plants-keep-skin-young/.

Jennifer Benjamin Updated June 26, Jennifer, and Jennifer Benjamin. “Why You Should Stop Using Makeup Remover Wipes ASAP.” Real Simple, www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/green-living/makeup-remover-wipes-alternatives.

Lawlor, Shannon. “Guilty of Still Using Face Wipes? This Is Everything Experts Want You to Know about What They're Really Doing to Your Skin.” Glamour UK, Glamour UK, 28 Aug. 2019, www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/gallery/why-face-wipes-are-bad-for-your-skin.

“Skin Cleansing 101: Why Washing Your Face Is Important.” Westlake Dermatology®, 26 Aug. 2019, www.westlakedermatology.com/blog/skin-cleansing-101-why-washing-your-face-is-important/.

“Using Aloe Vera Has Multiple Benefits.” Baylor College of Medicine, www.bcm.edu/news/benefits-using-aloe-vera#:~:text=%E2%80%9CIt%20contains%20antioxidants%2C%20enzymes%2C,then%20cystic%20or%20deeper%20acne. 

“New Biofabricated Clothing Made from Algae Goes through Photosynthesis Just like Plants.” Inhabitat Green Design Innovation Architecture Green Building, inhabitat.com/new-biofabricated-clothing-made-from-algae-goes-through-photosynthesis-just-like-plants/#:~:text=The%20biofabricated%20textiles%20are%20made,linen%20that%20photosynthesizes%20like%20plants.

Acknowledgement

          First off, I would like to acknowledge the people that helped and supported me during my project. The first person I would like to thank both of my parents for supporting me during my research, experimenting, and making of the products. They have been supporting me through this journey since the beginning. I would like to thank them for helping me when I thought I couldn't do it and had almost given up, they were there telling me I could and believing in me. I would also like to thank my teacher Karen Burkell for always helping me when I was stuck or did not know what to do. She has been an influence on me, and I am very grateful that she has been along my side helping support me through my project. I would also like to thank my sister. She was always there when I need help or a little push to try better. She has helped inspired me to try my very best and do my very best when I work. I would also like to give thanks to all of the other teachers that have helped me by giving me extra support and work time to finish my project.