The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Cleansing with Face Wipes – What’s Good, What’s Not?

| 20 December , 2012 | Reply

We all have our lazy moments from time to time, particularly that classic moment when it comes down to clearing our faces of the day’s makeup, sweat and dirt just before hitting the pillow.  We all know how important it is to clean our face and remove all eye makeup before hitting the sack in order to avoid allergic reactions, aging, irritation and conjunctivitis.  And the plethora of face wipes on the market shows that we need these bedside necessities in order to leave skin feeling clean and refreshed before hitting the hay for the girl on the go.

While we don’t recommend replacing the vital daily routine of cleanser, exfoliator, toner and moisturizer with simple face wipes, it can be a quick one-cleansing approach to clearing the face after a long day or a big night out.

They’re also totally convenient to keep refreshed when travelling or just to keep close by in your handbag for those make up accidents.

We tried a number of the top facial wipes on the market, and found that their quality and effectiveness varied greatly across the board. Not all wipes are created equal and you have to choose wisely when searching for a new brand. We ranked and rated the wipes based on their effectiveness, as well as the ingredients they contained – we’ve started to put ingredients first, so that is a key factor for us in how we choose our products.

Brand Alcohol Parabens Perfume Rating RRP Prices
Almay N Y N 3/5 $9.95 for 80 wipes
Beauty Cycle Y Y Y 3.5/5 $18 for 50 wipes
Bodyography N Y N 2.5/5 $19.95 for 50 wipes
The Body Shop Tea Tree N Y Y 2/5 $11.95 for 25 wipes
The Body Shop Vitamin E Y Y Y 2/5 $12.95 for 25 wipes
Burt’s Bees N Y Y 2.5/5 $9.95 for 30 wipes
Dermalogica N Y N 3.5/5 $28.50 for 20 wipes
Face of Australia N Y Y 2.5/5 $4.95 for 25 wipes
Garnier Y Y Y 2.5/5 $7.95 for 25 wipes
Garnier Sensitive N Y N 3/5 $10.75 for 25 wipes
Johnson’s N Y Y 2.5/5 $6.99 for 25 wipes
Keep Me Clean N Y Y 3/5 $7.99 for 25 wipes
L’Oreal Age Perfect Y Y Y 3.5/5 $7.95 for 25 wipes
L’Oreal Revitalift Y Y Y 3.5/5 $7.95 for 25 wipes
Napoleon Perdis N Y Y 3/5 $19 for 25 wipes
Natio Y Y N 2.5/5 $10.95 for 24 wipes
Neutrogena N Y Y 3/5 $7.99 for 25 wipes
Neutrogena Night Calming N Y Y 3/5 $7.99 for 25 wipes
Nivea N Y Y 3/5 $7.50 for 20 wipes
Olay N N N 3/5 $6.99 for 30 wipes
Proactiv N Y N 3.5/5 $19.95 for 45 wipes
Simple N Y N 2.5/5 $6.99 for 25 wipes


N Y N 3.5/5 $5.99 for 25 wipes


N N N 4/5 $10.95 for travel case (20 wipes + mirror)$7.95 for soft pack (25 wipes)

Yes To Blueberries

Y Y Y 4/5 $9.95 for 30 wipes

Yes To Cucumbers

N Y Y 2.5/5 $7.95 for 30 wipes

We had TOP FOUR favourites and they included the Wot Not wipes, Yes to Blueberries, Olay as well as the Almay eye pads.  The Wot Nots are number one because the towelettes are both biodegradable, compostable and paraben free, and contain certified organic ingredients although they aren’t certified organic.

We particularly liked the Almay pads (RRP $9.95), specifically made to remove eye makeup. These were the only wipes we were comfortable using on our eyes as they not only contained no alcohol or perfume, they effectively removed eye makeup without dragging or pulling on the sensitive skin. An impressive 80 wipes come in this handy little case and they had no qualms tackling everything from waterproof mascara to stubborn liquid eyeliner.

Olay’s towelettes contained no alcohol, parabens, phenoxyethanol or perfumes, so they also checked all the boxes. We were already fans of this product as the wipes were gentle to use on the skin and not at all irritating and cleaned our skin as good as towelettes can clean so to be free of the nasties was a bonus.

We’re not normally fans of perfumes in facial wipes, as they can be notorious skin irritants. With many of the wipes on the market packed with perfumes and other chemicals and although Yes to Blueberries wipes contained 100% natural fragrance, and 99% natural ingredients, we didn’t find them irritating and they cleansed our skin well.

A lot of facial wipes we tried also contained parabens, which have recently received a lot of controversy in the media. Scientific studies have linked parabens to the spike in breast cancer rates. While the FDA still deem parabens safe for humans, many people are choosing to err on the side of caution and eliminate them from their lives.

Another ingredient that may be of concern to some is phenoxyethanol, which has been banned in Japan and the European Union. This ingredient has been used in place of parabens, but the jury is still out on its overall safety.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what you put on your skin. Wipes are a convenient option, but keep in in mind that we don’t recommend using facial wipes as an everyday solution, cream, foam or oil cleansers will remove much more than a towelette can in our humble opinion, so keep the wipes as last resort option for a girl on the go!

Maddi & Clare

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