Why You Should Think Twice Before Using Makeup Wipes

There are times, as we all know, that dragging yourself to the sink to go through your facial cleansing routine before bed is just not an option. You're too exhausted, or not in a place emotionally where skincare is a priority. We get it. If it's only the occasional evening that you're reaching for makeup wipes to do the job, then fine. But if makeup wipes are your go-to solution for cleansing at the end of the day, it's time to make some changes. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but they're not doing your skin any favors.

The first problem with wipes is that they do a terrible job of actually cleaning your skin (via HuffPost). True, they have the word "cleansing" right in the name. But while they do get some of the makeup off, they don't remove all of it. Instead, they just push residual makeup — along with skin oils, dead skin cells, and the day's grime — around your face.

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Craig Kraffert explains to HuffPost, "A wipe's limitation is that it requires the skin to be exposed to higher concentrations of cleansing ingredients, without the benefit of being able to rinse them away with water." Think of cleansing wipes sort of like hand sanitizer for your face. Since you're not rinsing with water (which is the part that actually removes most of the particles), much of what you're trying to clean off is still there.

Using water to rinse your face is a must

Another problem with makeup wipes is that they often contain preservatives that can be potentially irritating for skin, including formaldehyde-releasing chemicals (via Glamour). Since the wipes leave a residue on the skin, these chemicals linger and can cause dryness, breakouts, and even premature aging. And to add insult to injury, the act of vigorously rubbing your face with wipes can also irritate and inflame the skin, ultimately leading to premature aging. As Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, tells Glamour, "Rubbing can cause low-grade inflammation that, over time, can promote skin pigmentation or even early wrinkling." Ugh.

Granted, cleansing wipes can absolutely come in handy when you don't have access to running water — like on a camping trip, or in the car. But, really, how often does that happen? Do yourself a favor and ditch the wipes. Danuta Mieloch, esthetician and founder of Rescue Spa, told Daily Mail, "It makes you feel like you're doing the right thing, but they're actually horrible for your skin."