For years we’ve been told that one of the best things you can do for your skin is take off all of your makeup before bed. And the easier it is to remove said makeup, the more likely you are to actually do it, right?
That’s why face-wipes are a total LIFESAVER: they’re super quick and easy to use. Plus, they work like a gem when you’re travelling… or do they?
Short answer: No.
In mindblowingly-crap news it turns out that, rather than saving you from blemishes and premature aging, face wipes might actually be causing pimples and wrinkles.
In our totally justified rage, we went out to get the 411 on everything you need to know about face-wipes, and what you can use instead.
Why are Face-Wipes bad for your skin?
In a nutshell, the biggest problem with face-wipes is the chemicals they contain.
“Face-wipes are full of chemicals ingredients that work to remove stuff from your skin, but they’re only useful if you then remove the excess products the wipes are leaving on your skin, like a regular cleanser would,” Australian-based skin expert Isabella Loneragan explains.
“With a regular cleanser your cleanse your face, and then wash the product off. But with face wipes you’re wiping away the dirt from the day, and replacing it with all these chemicals, which are supposed to remove the product, but then they’re left on your skin as a film. This can lead to issues like sensitivity, dryness, photo-sensitivity and reactions like rashes, dermatitis or eczema.”
“Face-wipes can also cause breakouts because they only remove about 50% of your makeup. This means you’re then sleeping with the other 50% of your makeup still on, which clogs your pores. If you are using products or face wipes with alcohol in them (which a lot of them do), that causes photo-sensitivity, and that can cause free radical damage which will cause an onset of wrinkles later on down the line.”
Skin perils aside, face-wipes are also pretty shoddy for the environment, so there’s another reason to remove them from your regimen.
What should you be using instead?
It is important to take time out of your day for a skincare routine, however simple.
You can’t spend expect your skin to look perfect all the time if you aren’t prepared to spend some time on it… But if you really don’t have time to cleanse on the go, you could take a little bottle of micellar water and just use a few of those little eye pads to remove your makeup. Alternatively, the Makeup Eraser accomplishes the same idea as a face-wipe, but without leaving any icky chemicals behind on your skin.
It is EVER OK to use face-wipes?
“The only time I’d really recommend my clients use makeup-wipes is if you are camping, and you have no access to running water. Literally no access. If you have access to running water, then there is no excuse — you should be washing your face properly.”
Are there any tricks for minimizing the damage caused by face wipes?
If you find yourself in desperate times and really need to use a makeup-wipe, here’s a trick you can use to help protect your skin.
“If you’ve got makeup wipes and your bottle of water, then remove your makeup with the makeup-wipes first, and then rinse the makeup wipe off with the bottle of water and then remove again,” Loneragan explains. “That way, you’re rinsing the chemicals off your face.”
Are some face wipes better than others?
“None of them are that great”, Loneragan says. But if you’re in dire straits and need to buy some, make sure you look for brands that have the least amount of irritants like chemicals and alcohol.