Let’s be really honest. They’re convenient, quick to use, travel-friendly and easy to dispose of. Cleansing wipes are either a ‘must have’ addition to your makeup bag, or most hated product in your skincare kit. Love them or not, cleansing wipes are becoming more and more popular with many top cosmetics companies retailing them as essential skincare fundamentals.
Two questions come to mind for clients about this. Should you replace your facial cleanser with cleansing wipes? Are cleansing wipes good for your skin?
As a skincare professional and licensed aesthetician, my professional opinion is a resounding NO. There is a time and place to substitute your face wash with disposable wipes, but I don’t recommend the use of cleansing wipes as part of your day-to-day skincare routine for a number of reasons. Here’s why.
Cleansing Wipes Aren’t Always As Effective As You May Think
Removing your makeup with wipes when you are at the gym, after sport practice, or on vacation may be more convenient than taking your entire skincare kit with you, but I don’t recommend using facial wipes on a regular basis.
While some of the ingredients may be similar to those found in your favorite cleansers, disposable wipes have been designed to dissolve your makeup quickly and remove excess oil without the need to rinse your face with water. The problem with this is that when you leave out the important step of thoroughly rinsing your skin there will be some oil and makeup residue left behind that can clog your pores. Because you are leaving a cleansing product on your skin, most of the time the actual ingredients themselves, (which may include alcohol and preservatives including formaldehyde-releasing chemicals to prolong product shelf life), can lead to clogged pores, irritation, increased sensitivity and, in some cases, topical dermatitis.
It’s also important to take into consideration that cleansing wipes require more effort to remove makeup from delicate areas such as the eyes, which can result in you having to drag them back and forth across the skin multiple times to be truly effective. This can lead to premature aging, wrinkles and unwanted damage. Instead of using wipes, use a gentle creamy makeup remover such as PRIIA acne safe make up remover and make sure to thoroughly rinse your skin with a gentle facial wash. (sensitive skin wash)
Acne Prone Skin Requires Gentle Cleansing
If you have acne prone skin or suffer from conditions such as Eczema and Rosacea, you should be following a gentle and hydrating skincare routine, which does not include cleansing wipes. Not only can towelettes potentially spread bacteria when being moved across the face, they can also be too abrasive and rough in comparison to other topical products, which have been specifically designed to help effectively manage your acne.
Our water based PoreInfusion Mandelic Face Wash, for example, contains the anti-inflammatory ingredients of pomegranate and green tea extracts as well as hops to balance oil production, while our Sensitive Skin Wash is infused with hydrating aloe vera and white oak bark extract which help to control bacteria.
If there is a specific occasion when you really need to use cleansing wipes, I’d advise you to select a pack that is water based, to help prevent your pores from getting clogged. I like the brand called Water Wipes,) because it’s gentle on the skin and doesn’t contain any oils or fragrance.
How Cost Effective Are Cleansing Wipes
There’s no denying that facial wipes are by far the most cost effective of cleansing products. If you’re on a budget, cleansing wipes could be your ‘go to’ skincare monthly purchase. But are they really as economically priced as you initially thought? Don’t forget that the concentration and overall amount of ingredients contained in a pack of cleansing wipes will be considerably milder as compared to similar bottled products. While stand-alone cleansers may come with a higher price tag, they contain higher percentages of ingredients and less preservatives, making them a more appealing option.
It’s also worth noting that, when cleaning your face with wipes, the recommendations are to use one wipe for each eye, another wipe for your lip area and a third wipe for your face. This means that you’re required to use up to 4 wipes per cleanse morning and evening. If you also purchase micellular water to rinse off any residue left on your face after the use of cleansing wipes, then you could spend as much for both products combined than what it would have cost to invest in a good cleanser in the first place.
Cleansing Wipes Can Harm the Environment
If you’re cleansing wipes aren’t biodegradable, then you could be inadvertently contributing to clogging up the sewer system and causing harm to our oceans. Those made of plastic are not environmentally friendly alternatives like bio-cellulose fabrics or bamboo fibers and can take years to break down.