November 14, 2013

How To Determine If Cleansing Wipes Are Right For You

There always seems to be a new beauty product that caters to the woman-on-the-go who has such a busy life with managing work, socializing, and personal or family time that setting aside a few moments to wash her face at the beginning or end of the day is a terribly daunting task. 

And even if there are a few precious moments, it's just way too easy getting caught up being lazy or tired!

This is where the facial cleansing wipe comes in. I'm often asked about cleansing wipes and how they might be a substitute for washing your face with cleanser from a bottle.

 "Sometimes the thought of washing my face before bed seems like too much to tackle, so instead I use a cleansing wipe to remove makeup. Does the wipe give my skin the same benefits as regular cleanser?"
Before I answer this question, there's a very important rule of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to makeup removal...

Makeup removers are designed to remove synthetic materials, 
while cleansers are designed to remove non-synthetic materials.  
Therefore, a makeup remover should be used to remove all makeup before cleansing.

Mascara should always be removed by a mascara remover. If you use soap to take off your mascara, you will inevitably wipe off the residual makeup with a towel, which often results in breakouts of either acne or milia. Plus, the constant scratchy rubbing leads to faster aging of the delicate eye area.

Whether or not you use a wipe to take off your makeup, the effectiveness of cleansing your face with a wipe depends on both your skin type and the wipe. 

Here's the breakdown by skin type:

If you have dry skin, or skin with no issues :
Since you don't have an overabundance of oil and dead skin cells trying to make their way through a barrier of makeup, your pores don't get terribly clogged and impacted. This would be true even if the quality of your makeup was not the highest.

Foundation and powder are meant to sit on top of the skin and not penetrate, so they can act as a sort of barrier. I'm not suggesting that this is a good thing, but it does leave a bit of wiggle room when it comes to going to bed without cleansing.
The only possible danger with using a cleansing wipe is that you could possibly create some dehydration in your skin if there are detergents or alcohols in the wipe. 

Many wipes have conditioners in addition to cleaning agents, which can result in a film being left on the skin. It's better to perform a good skin care routine every morning and night because of the benefits a good routine can bring. Just remember, if your skin feels in any way tight after using the cleansing cloth and you feel like you have to rinse, this will explain any ongoing dehydration that you might be suffering from.

If you have oily or acneic skin :

The type of cleanser typically needed for oily and acne skin types usually does not remove makeup.  

If you use a wipe by your bedside rather than washing your face entirely, you may not be removing excess oils and cellular debris, which is very necessary to keep breakouts at bay.  

Cleansing wipes typically leave a film of conditioners and softeners that are designed to counter the drying affects of the detergent ingredients. The detergents are often pore-clogging anyway, and the absence of the conditioning film will very likely dry the skin out.

Dehydration is very much a factor in breakouts, as it makes the skin stiff and tight resulting in oils, waxes, and dead skin cells becoming stuck inside pores.  This congestion is the cause of acne. 

If you really cannot find a way to go through a skin care routine before bed, at least use pure mineral makeup concealer or foundation so that it's not a big deal if you go to bed without cleansing. However, you may soon come to regret this. Oily and acne skin needs diligence and patience. There simply is no way to skip a regular routine at night.  As an Acne Specialist, one of the biggest barriers to getting my clients' skin clear is non-compliance. I would not recommend using wipes instead of a proper routine, regardless of the brand of cleansing wipe.


Ultimate Skin Tip? Who says a nighttime routine has to be before bed??  A great time to perform a skin care routine is right when you get home from work and change out of your clothes.  Then you don't have anything else to worry about right before you go to sleep.

For a complete analysis of what's happening with your age 30+ skin and why it might be giving you trouble, please fill out the Eval by Email Online Skin Care Consultation Form.

Know someone who might be relying exclusively on wipes for cleansing ?  Please share this post!