How to Be Sure Your Makeup Remover Wipes Aren’t Harming Your Skin

makeup remover wipes work

Makeup remover wipes seem like the perfect solution to those times when you’re too tired to take off your makeup before collapsing into bed. We’ve all been there, especially if you have kids, or have maybe had one glass of wine too many!

We all know that sleeping with your makeup on is a high speed train to breakouts, dull skin and worse. Having face wipes handy nearby is a lifesaver! Or is it?

What’s in makeup remover wipes?

Makeup remover wipes basically contain everything you use to wash your face, except in wipe form:

  • Surfactants are the soap part that help remove dirt, oil and makeup
  • Emulsifiers and solubilizers help to mix all the oil based and water based ingredients together
  • Emollients help your skin retain moisture by creating a protective film that stops water loss
  • Preservatives are necessary in face wipes, as most makeup remover wipes are water based and without them, you don’t get a long shelf life.

Some makeup remover wipes use more natural ingredients in their formulas. Liquids such as aloe vera extract and orange flower water act as wetting agents. Oils such as sweet almond, argan and jojoba help dissolve makeup, and essential oils are used for their cleansing and antimicrobial properties.

Other makeup remover wipes use harsh surfactants and preservatives and synthetic fragrances.

Are face wipes good for your skin?

No matter how pure and natural the ingredients in your makeup remover wipes, simply wiping a moistened towelette across your face is not going to remove all the dirt and makeup. The surface of the wipe will pick up some of it, but certainly not all of it. When you just use a makeup wipe, you leave behind a slurry of dirt, oil, sebum, makeup, and chemicals.

Face wipes are also harsher on your skin than using a cleanser. Boston dermatologist Dr Ranella Hirsch says:

“You really want to stay away from anything that’s going to be very textured and exfoliating. You want to go gentle, gentle, gentle – because the act of using the wipe is already more physical than just washing your face.”

When you use a makeup remover wipe, make sure to rinse your skin off thoroughly afterwards. And make sure to use a gentle wipe, without harsh ingredients.

Better still, save the makeup wipes for travel, lazy days or the gym and do a full face cleanse at all other times.

Do makeup remover wipes cause acne?

As long as you remember to rinse your skin thoroughly afterwards, your face wipes should not cause acne.

Some makeup remover wipes contain acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, lactic acid or glycolic acid. You can find face wipes specifically for broken-out skin that treat acne without drying. Choose a good, natural facial wipe, then experiment and see what works for you. Face wipes do tend to be a little harsher on the skin than other cleansing methods, so you might think about saving them for emergency use only and using your face wash for everyday.

Are makeup remover wipes safe during pregnancy?

Absolutely – as long as you avoid certain ingredients, such as retinol, beta hydroxy acids, diethanolamine (DEA), parabens and phthalates. Choose gentle face wipes with only the purest ingredients during this special time.

How do you find the best makeup remover wipes?

Hello Charlie stocks a wide selection of natural makeup remover wipes for all types of skin. As always, we hand pick every single product, and research all the ingredients before we stock them. You can be sure that if you’re buying at Hello Charlie, you’re getting the best non toxic, cruelty free products available.

We also investigate what else is available, through our exclusive Cheat Sheets. Be sure to check out our upcoming Best Makeup Remover Wipes Cheat Sheet, available on 1 June.

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