When many of us purchase our makeup sponges, chances are we aren't thinking about the ingredients used to make them, much less what happens to them after we toss them out. But celebrity makeup artist and businesswoman Jenny Patinkin thinks it's time we all start being a little more conscious of what happens to our disposable makeup tools once were done with them.
That's why she created the Pure Luxury Au Naturel Green Tea Makeup Sponge, made from 70% organic green tea, and 30% untreated polyurethane foam.
"I chose organic green tea because it's a sustainable plant that can be cut from above the soil without having to worry about soil degradation or the need to replant very frequently," Patinkin tells InStyle. "Some tea plants can keep regenerating for up to 100 years."
When it comes to the look and feel of the sponge itself, you won't be able to tell the difference between the Pure Luxury Au Naturel variety and a traditionally-made product. However, you'll likely feel better making a truly sustainable choice.
Here, we spoke more with Patinkin to find out more about her latest launch.
Why did you decide to make a plant-based sponge?
I've been working on the technology for a plant-based sponge for a couple of years now but wanted to make sure that I could produce it sustainably from soup to nuts, throughout the whole sourcing and manufacturing process. And since my goal is to always find the intersection of eco-friendly and luxurious, it also had to be super soft and blend beautifully. That's what I've been able to accomplish by using organic green tea.
What materials are traditional makeup sponges on the market currently made out of?
Makeup sponges are typically made from hydrophilic polyurethane foam.
Is this material harmful to the environment in any way?
In and of itself, [they're] not bad for the environment and are frequently recycled or upcycled into other materials. The problem is that polyurethane foam is often treated with flame-retardants and other chemicals that can off-gas, and no one should be pressing that into their skin or inhaling any fumes. Plus, many blenders are dyed with artificial colors that can run into our waterways. Mine are dye-free, just the color of the green tea leaves.
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Are these materials used to make the sponge as well as the packaging 100% recyclable and/or compostable?
These materials are both recyclable and biodegradable. Our packaging is made from recyclable paper and a small recyclable plastic lid.
How long will the Pure Luxury Au Naturel Green Tea Makeup Sponge last?
If you use your sponge every day and wash it one to two times per week, your sponge will last around four months. But this sponge should be washed with a fragrance-free cleanser such as my Luxury Vegan Makeup Brush Soap. Fragrance can break down the sponge and cause it to pucker.
Shop Jenny Patinkin Products
Pure Luxury Au Naturel Green Tea Makeup Sponge
This makeup sponge is made with 70% organic green tea and 30% untreated polyurethane foam, and will last up to four months with proper care. Another plus? Everything (including the packaging) is recyclable or biodegradable.
Luxury Vegan Makeup Brush Soap
Ditch the dish soap and opt for a gentler formula instead. Use this vegan product up to one to two times per week to gently wash away bacteria and debris from your makeup tools.
From non-toxic makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space.
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