Are Makeup Remover Wipes Doing More Harm Than Good To Your Skin?

Here's the verdict.

makeup wipes, skin, beauty, advice
Image: Instagram user @burtsbeesus

We’d be lying if we said that we didn’t love makeup wipes. Whether we’re traveling, wanting to refresh post-sweat sesh or are simply too exhausted to properly cleanse (blame it on happy hour), there’s nothing easier than reaching for a wipe.

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That being said, while wipes are easy, quick, and lazy-proof, are they doing more harm than good to our skin? We looked to two of our trusted skin experts to get the full scoop.

How Makeup Wipes Really Affect Your Skin

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While we know we shouldn’t sleep with makeup on, there are times where tiredness and laziness get the best of us. So, having something that makes the removal process easier can’t be a bad thing, right?

Not really. “Long term use, i.e. over three days, of makeup wipes, isn’t advisable as you are wiping all the ingredients that remove dirt, makeup, suncream and sweat on your skin (like solubilizers, surfactants, and emulsifiers, and alcohol in some cases) and not rinsing them off—this is where the trouble starts,” says dermal therapist Isabella Loneragan. “When left on the skin, these ingredients can cause sensitivity, dryness, photosensitivity and even reactions like a rash or dermatitis. It’s like washing your car and leaving all the suds on and letting them dry onto the paintwork. As you can imagine, not ideal.”

So, it seems makeup wipes aren’t actually doing the trick. “Some types of makeup wipes contain alcohol, preservatives, and heavy fragrances, all of which strip the skin of natural oils and can contribute to a number of reactions and skin woes,” adds Kaye Scott, Co-Director, The Clinic.

What’s the solution, then? Scott recommends investing in Aspect Micellar Water over wipes as they contain coconut oil to hydrate and chamomile to soothe the skin. And if you’re going to incorporate wipes into your routine, look for a super gentle, paraben-, fragrance- and preservative-free option, like Josie Maran Cosmetics’ Bear Naked Wipes and Ogee Daily Facial Cleansing Cloths. Just remember to rinse your face after with a cleanser and water every time to effectively cleanse your skin.