best face wipes

What are the best face wipes for cleansing skin? The ones you don’t use. Just kidding! Sort of… I’m not a big fan of face wipes. For starters, they don’t cleanse skin as well as oil cleansers. If you’re wearing a full face of makeup, you’ll have to use 3 wipes, a lot of rubbing and a few pinches of elbow grease to get everything off. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to trade off irritation for convenience.

But, let’s face it, face wipes have their uses. When you’re coming home at 4am and you just want a quick cleanse before hitting the pillow, a good face wipe feels like a godsend. And I do like to have a pack in my bag when I’m out and about – you never know when they might come in handy. If you must use face wipes, you might as well use the best, right? Here are they are, the best face wipes I’ve come across so far:

What To Look For In Face Wipes?

When shopping for face wipes, pay attention to two things: ingredients and material. Opt for gentle, oil-based formulas enriched with hyaluronic acid and soothing agents that soften skin and keeping it hydrated as impurities and makeup get removed. Wiping off dirt and makeup c can cause friction and irritate skin, so you want to make sure you’re using the gentlest possible formula you can find. Next, the material should be soft. You don’t want to rub your skin with something that reminds you of sandpaper!


What can face wipes do?

Face wipes remove makeup, impurities and excess oil from your skin. They’re a quick way to cleanse on-the-go.

What can’t face wipes do?

Face wipes aren’t makeup removers. Yes, they can remove makeup, but it’s mostly the friction (not the solution they’re imbued in) that does the job. That’s not the best thing for skin. Vigorous rubbing or too much friction can irritate skin, especially if it’s sensitive or acne-prone. Use them in an emergency or on-the-go, not as your go-to. Also, face wipes don’t have anti-aging properties unless they don’t require rinsing. Those actives need to stay on the skin for hours to work.

Are face wipes bad for skin?

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that face wipes are bad for skin. But rubbing is, so do it gently and sparingly. Pick face wipes made with the softest material, too. Everything else.

How often can you use face wipes?

You could use them every day, if you wanted to. But, I don’t recommend it. They’re less effective and harsher than foaming, cream, or oil-based cleansers, so use them only on-the-go or in an emergency.

Should you use face wipes before washing your face?

Some face wipes don’t need rinsing. But, I do recommend you wash your face with a cleanser if you can afterwards – just to make sure you’ve removed every last trace of dirt and makeup.

Which is better: face wipes or micellar water?

Neither is that great at removing makeup, to be honest. But micellar waters are gentler and better for sensitive skin. I do recommend you use them only in case of an emergency or on-the-go too.

What Are The Best Facial Wipes?

Beekman 1802 Pure Goat Milk Facial Cleansing Wipes ($10.00)

These gentle cleansing wipes remove impurities from your skin without irritating skin (unless you rub too hard!). They make the top of my list because they’re infused with soothing agents, like oats and aloe vera, to calm down redness and irritations. Plus goat’s milk to hydrate skin. It’s true these goodies would need to stay on your skin long term to provide maximum benefits, but all in all, they make for a gentle on-the-go cleansing session. The only cons? They struggle with long-lasting and waterproof makeup.

Available at: Ulta

Active Ingredients: Decyl Glucoside, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Extract, Caprae Lac (Goat Milk).

Benefits: Cleanses impurities and hydrates skin.

Side effects: Doesn’t remove waterproof makeup.

Skin type: Sensitive skin.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Facial Cleansing Wipes ($10.49)

These hydrating cleansing wipes contain a few drops of moisture-binding hyaluronic acid to keep skin soft and supple during the cleansing process. They remove dirt and makeup without drying out skin or irritating it. Plus, they provide a fresh feeling on the skin that’s very pleasant on hot summer days. The material is soft and glides smoothly on the skin without dragging the tissue around.

Available at: Look Fantastic and Ulta

Active ingredients: Isohexadecane, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, and Hyaluronic Acid.

Benefits: Removes impurities and makeup without irritating skin.

Cons: Contains fragrance.

Skin type: All skin types, especially dry.

Fragrance-free: No.

Paula’s Choice Gentle Cleansing Cloths ($13.00)

I always feel guilty when I’m using face wipes. Every wipe ends up in the trash, creating a pile of waste that pollutes this beautiful earth. 🙁 Paula’s Choice Gentle Cleansing Cloths take the guilt out of face wipes cleansing – every wipe is biodegradable and won’t hang around on this planet long after you’re gone. Plus, they do a great job at removing dirt and makeup (yep, even long-lasting foundation). Did I mention they’re loaded with antioxidants to soothe skin and prevent premature aging, too? Paula has really thought of everything!

Available at: Paula’s Choice

Active ingredients: Isohexadecane and antioxidants.

Benefits: Removes impurities and makeup without irritating skin. Biodegradable.

Cons: Like all face wipes, they don’t cleanse as well as foaming or creamy cleansers.

Skin type: All skin types, especially dry.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

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Clinique Take The Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes for Face & Eyes Makeup Remover ($19.00)

A skincare classic, these oil-free face wipes do an amazing job at removing makeup – and without the need of using water! They’re gentle on the skin and don’t dry it out or irritate it (unless you’re rubbing too vigorously – but that’s not the wipes’ fault…). The only con? They tend to come out in clumps, which leads to wastage. So just be careful with that!

Available at: Blue Mercury, Clinique, Sephora, and Ulta

Active ingredients:  Isopropyl Palmitate and Peg-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate. 

Benefits: Removes impurities and makeup without irritating skin.

Cons: They come out in clumps.

Skin type: All skin types.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

CeraVe Makeup Removing Cleanser Cloths($8.99)

CeraVe Makeup Removing Cleansing Cloths are so moisturising, you can just wipe your face and go to bed without doing the rest of your skincare routine (I’m taking about once in a while, folks!). Mineral oil (no, it’s not toxic -stop spreading fake rumours on the internet!!) removes even the most stubborn of waterproof mascaras while the blend of ceramides, hyaluronic and niacinamide deeply hydrates skin and strengthens your protective barrier. What more can you ask for?

Available at: Target and Walmart

Active ingredients: Mineral oil, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid.

Benefits: Removes impurities and makeup without irritating skin. Very moisturising.

Cons: If you don’t like mineral oil, these aren’t for you.

Skin type: Dry.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

Related: Are Ceramides The Key To Healing Dry Skin?

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Wipes ($11.99)

If you’re a fan of Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water and always wished they’d come in an easy-to-carry around with you everywhere form, here’s your wish. These wipes are infused with the famous solution, a blend of cleansing agents and hydrating sugars that leave skin both clean and soft. I could do without the scent, but still a great option for anyone looking for a gentle on-the-go cleanse.

Available at: Dermstore and iHerb

Active ingredients: polysorbate 20, mannitol, xylitol, rhamnose, and fructooligosaccharides.

Benefits: Gently removes makeup and impurities while moisturising skin.

Cons: Contains fragrance.

Skin type: Dry.

Fragrance-free: No.

Burt’s Bees® Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes with Cotton Extract (£6.99)

These gentle cleansing wipes remove first, oil and makeup in one simple step. Enriched with cotton, aloe and rice, they also soften and soothe skin while cleansing it. The best part? You don’t need to rinse with water, making them ideal for cleansing on-the-go, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Plus, they’re fragrance-free, so even sensitive skin can use them. And did I mention they’re the softest wipes you’ll ever use?

Available at: Sephora

Active ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Gossypium Herbaceum (cotton) Flower Extract, and Oryza Sativa (rice) Extract.

Benefits: Cleanses, softens, and soothes.

Cons: Like all face wipes, they don’t cleanse skin as well as foaming or oil-based cleansers.

Skin type: All skin types, including sensitive.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

The Verdict

I’m not a big fan of face wipes. They don’t clean skin as well as foaming or milk cleansers and all that rubbing can irritate skin. But let’s face it, they’re super handy when you come home at 4 in the morning and can’t be bothered to do your skincare routine or are on-the-go. If that’s the case, you know now what the best face wipes are for your skin type and needs. Go ahead, pick your favourite.