When makeup remover wipes first burst onto the beauty scene, people flocked to them in droves. Instead of having to wash your face, all you had to do was pull out a wipe and rub it all over — right? But it turns out, face wipes may be doing more harm than good.
Considering the importance of using a high-quality facial cleanser and warm water to fully remove excess debris from the day, simply using a wipe likely isn’t enough to give your skin what it needs. Removing your makeup involves more than a quick swipe, as inconvenient as that may seem. As Dr. Alexis Granite, the consulting dermatologist at Kiehl’s in the United Kingdom, explains to Glamour, “Face wipes do not clean as thoroughly as a dedicated facial cleanser and water, often leaving behind grime and oil which may over time lead to clogged pores, breakouts and even irritation from residual product on the skin.”
That quick clean you feel, then, is likely just a placebo effect, since wipes don’t have the capacity to “effectively break down” your makeup and tend to just swirl “the day’s grime” to different parts of your face, as Time Bomb’s skincare expert Emma Brown noted to the outlet. Plus, all that pulling may result in long-term damage to your skin.
Makeup remover wipes are hard on your skin — and the planet
Loaded with preservatives and alcohol as anti-molding agents, makeup remover wipes come dampened to leave a clean feeling on your skin. However, preservatives and alcohol may be harmful to various types of skin, especially sensitive skin, as noted by Healthline. If you notice that your skin is flushed or reddened after use, your skin is likely begging for fewer chemicals.
“Face wipes are harsh on the skin because they contain strong, drying chemicals that strip the skin of its natural oils, altering the delicate pH of your acid mantle, which can cause inflammation and irritation,” beauty expert Jane Scrivner reveals to Glamour. After being continuously stripped of oils, your skin can become more susceptible to early signs of aging like wrinkles, sagging, and dullness, as she explains to the outlet.
And if all of these reasons aren’t enough, 9.3 million wipes are flushed down the toilet each day, while wet wipes are responsible for 93 percent of sewer blockages in the United Kingdom (via Glamour). According to Healthline, most makeup remover wipes consist of cotton, polyester, rayon, and polypropylene — none of which biodegrade quickly. To save your skin and save the planet, you may want to consider ditching your makeup remover wipes!
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