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Do you want to wash your face and remove your makeup — when you can’t actually wash? You can, with facial cleansing wipes or towelettes! My readers say that they are indispensable after the gym, if you need a quick cleansing between school and work, between work and a night out, if you want to clean your face before reapplying your makeup, or if you are so tired before you go to sleep that it’s the only way you’d get your makeup off — don’t say it’s never happened to you, Baby.
There are so many facial wipes available that it’s hard to choose one. Looking for ingredients that are good for you and your skin is a way to start. I highly recommend Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleansing Cloths ($15 for 30), another great Purity Made Simple cleanser in a wipe, Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes with White Tea — they also make a wipe for sensitive skin ($6 for 30) — a very gentle wipe, Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes ($12 for 30), is also very gentle. Finally, there is the makeup artists’ must-have MAC Wipes ($29 for a massive 100 sheet package) — MAC’s wipes will remove just about any cosmetics or dirt but are gentle and come in mini and maxi-sized packages.
For acne-prone skin, Dermalogica Medi-Bac wipes and Murad Clarifying Wipes are great. They are not made as a makeup remover; the wipes are more of a portable skin treatment vehicle, but I really like them both.
You can also find wipes from Sephora, Olay, Neutrogena, Aveeno, E.L.F., Almay… most brands make them, so find a scent, price and ingredient list that you like. Pay attention to ingredients and preservatives (see the bullet-points, below). Sometimes a cheaper price isn’t such a bargain.
Here’s a bit of information about some of the best wipes.
- Try and rinse your skin after using a wipe, if you can. The idea is that you are removing makeup, cleansing and toning in one step with the wipe, without the need to rinse. Once in a while, that’s fine. But try to rinse when you can, especially if you have sensitive skin, so that you remove all of the cleanser and any dirt left behind after cleansing.
- Look for good packaging if you are taking wipes with you, for on-the-go cleansing. Make sure that the re-closable opening actually shuts tightly or the package will slosh open in your bag or, in the best case scenario, leave your towelette dried out and unusable. A sealed dispenser prevents dirt from entering the package, too.
- Pay attention to the ingredients — some wipes are close to being re-packaged baby diaper wipes, much too harsh, sticky and fragranced for your tender face (or baby’s bottom – but that’s another story). See below for preservative information, too.
- Mark the package with the date you opened it. Philosophy shows a little “3 month then toss” icon and any skincare product that is opened and then re-closed repeatedly has a limited shelf life. I throw mine away if they are still unused after they’ve been open for 3 months, so buy what you’ll use in that period of time.
- Watch your eyes and your mouth. While makeup wipes/towelettes will remove all of your makeup, they are basically a soapy cloth and will sting if you get the liquid from the wipe in your eye. The skin around your eyes, nostrils and mouth is the most sensitive to irritation, as well.
- AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: Some wipes use formaldehyde-releasing chemicals as preservatives: some wipes contain 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-dill (this chemical releases very low levels of formaldehyde). Philosophy, Burt’s Bees, Josie Maran, Elemis and other brands use a preservative called phenoxyethanol instead of 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-dill; phenoxyethanol does not release formaldehyde. The lower-priced wipes I scanned at the drug store seemed more likely to have ingredients I wouldn’t want in a wipe, but price is not the best way to judge. For instance, MAC and Burt’s Bees were lower-priced than many brands per wipe and do not contain 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-dill.
Stay clean, Baby! Tell me about your favorite wipes!