Is the Makeup Mitty the Answer to “Green” Cleansing?
Main Image – Take My Face Off
We all know them, those washcloths that feel like you’ve removed the top layer of your skin after using them (and not in a good way, especially for those with sensitive skin). They end up hanging up in the bathroom looking ugly, stained with makeup after one use, and hard and crinkled after drying.
And not only do they look unsightly, they’re not great for the planet, either. Created from resource-intensive materials like cotton and synthetic blends, these cloths contribute to environmental degradation through water usage, chemical treatments, and excessive waste generation.
But is it *really* that difficult to find a face cloth that’s less coarse, less clumsy, less ugly and less harmful to the environment than the traditional ones out there?
Enter Take My Face Off and their next-generation washcloths – The Mitty. They’re ultra-soft, really effective, adorable, and last for years.
This eco-friendly mitt is more than just a replacement for traditional facecloths; it represents a significant leap towards a greener, more responsible skincare routine.
After testing hundreds of fabrics, many hours on the sewing machine, lots of legal mumbo jumbo, and several trade shows, Amanda McIntosh created The Mitty. As she learned more about pollution caused by the beauty industry, her project became a mission – to offer products so beautiful, convenient, and effective that it would be super simple for consumers to ditch their disposables.
We spoke with Amanda to find out exactly what inspired her to create Take My Face Off, how small brands are shaping sustainability in the beauty sector, her thoughts on fast beauty and fast fashion, and the future of the industry.
Who are Take My Face Off?
We asked Amanda what inspired her to create Take My Face Off and The Mitty, “I started an oil cleansing routine, and terrycloth washcloths were irritating my face,” she says.
“I started looking for alternatives, and I was amazed at the lack of sophistication and function in face cloth options. At the time, people were using wipes like there was no tomorrow, and I realized that if I could create something better, I would do both skincare and the planet a favor.”
But *how* exactly was The Mitty created?
“It started with a lot of trial and error at home with my product design. I taught myself to sew, I tried hundreds of fabrics, and I asked friends to try zillions of samples.
“Once I had a design and fabric I loved, I applied for a patent. I hoped to license the idea – I felt like I had no business starting a brand (I wasn’t cool enough!)”
“I thought I was on the right track when Sephora licensed my eye makeup remover. However, after that the buyer left the company and things went off the rails. I was in love with my product, but I didn’t know how to move forward.
“I eventually just launched the brand (with no clue what I was doing) because I refused to let the idea die. I learned the hard way that you don’t just get your item in a store and make a lot of money – retail launches usually cost more than they earn.
“However, I have this amazing, loyal group of customers who keep telling their friends about us and buying Mittys as gifts. Slowly but surely, the word spreads and the brand continues to grow.”
Learning to sew is definitely dedication to the brand!
The Mitty uses long-lasting Korean plush which blows everything else out of the water (and ironically, it saves huge amounts of water as well). And not only this, but it also helps to protect the skin’s elastin and barrier function.
And it’s won some pretty amazing awards. Amanda tells us that Take My Face Off has “a lot of lovely supporters in the press. It happens a lot that people show me Mittys they’ve been using for five or six years.
“I get emotional in these conversations for two reasons – the product really lasts that long, and because those people often say something like ‘I bring this with me everywhere – I use it every morning and night.’ I’ve put a lot of myself into this brand, so that means a lot to me.”
Sustainability in the beauty industry
On sustainability in the beauty industry, I wanted to find out Amanda’s thoughts on how she thinks smaller brands are shaping the future of green, eco-friendly products and tools. “So often, the small brands come up with the revolutionary ideas and bring them to market first,” she explains.
“Often, the larger brands take notice and then apply their brainpower and budget to the same issues. It’s a bit of a game of leapfrog, and it does move things forward. It’s not fair that the small brands are bearing a lot of the risk, but that’s how it is. The small brands are courageous.”
Fast fashion and fast beauty “has grown rapidly because overseas manufacturers are getting more and more sophisticated. The whole topic is depressing – it’s a race to the bottom of the market,” says Amanda.
“Overseas factories aren’t subject to the same safety regulations as factories in the US. As a small brand, it would be almost impossible to ensure an overseas factory was upholding ethical standards for the workers and the product.
“In the beginning, I got a lot of pressure to manufacture in Asia. Instead, I spent my effort redesigning my manufacturing processes to be faster, cheaper, and safer. It took me a lot of work, but I sleep better for having done it.”
What changes can brands make to become more “green” and what will we see in the future?
The future of sustainability in the beauty sector is a responsibility for both brands and us as consumers, “We all need to quit associating luxury with excessive, heavy packaging,” says Amanda.
“Brands who claim to be environmentally focused will package half an ounce of product in thick glass, with a plastic label, a non-recyclable pump, and both an inner carton and an outer carton (necessary to protect the heavy glass). Think about the shipping volume of all that material, and the fuel, not to mention the actual trash. And then the store will wrap that up in nice paper, seal it with a sticker, and place it in a heavy, non-recyclable bag.
“It will take courage, but we need more brands to switch their packages from big and heavy to light and small. We also need brands to quit offering tiny, non-recyclable, plastic sample containers. Those are just evil,” she adds.
And we agree, particularly after discovering that, according to the British Beauty Council, up to 95 per cent of beauty packaging is thrown away. Most of this is single-use plastic which can take up to 450 years to naturally decompose in a landfill.
So, where is sustainability in the beauty sector headed with regards to packaging, pumps, refillable and more?
“I like the idea of refills, but today’s consumer loves variety, so I think low-volume/compostable packaging is a better idea,” explains Amanda.
“I love things like lipstick in compostable cardboard tubes. I REALLY love waterless formulae, like shampoo bars and powdered cleansers – some of those products are fantastic, and they reduce shipping fuel use, plastic bottles, and storage volume all in one fell swoop.”
It’s pretty clear that brands and consumers alike need to consider the environment and the planet a lot more when it comes to beauty – and Take My Face Off is dedicated to the movement, proving it’s possible to be green AND effective.
The ultimate mission is to make it easy for consumers to improve the planet and their skin at the same time. All Take My Face Off products have quantifiable environmental benefits, and they also collaborate with and donate to organisations such as the Ocean Conservancy, Heal the Bay, the Pollinator Partnership, and the Trevor Project.
Take My Face Off products first hit stores as part of the Sephora Collection. Now, The Mitty can be found in prestige and speciality retail stores across the country, as well as online.