Cleansing Wipes: Are They Good to Use On Your Skin?

cleansing wipes in front of a sink

Updated 5/24/17. In the past few years, cleansing wipes have become popular with people as a way to quickly and easily wipe makeup off their skin without having to deal with water or washcloths. You simply wipe and go.

While they are convenient to use, are they good to use on your face? No. I believe they are not the best choice for healthy skin. Why? Cleansing wipes don’t effectively clean the skin. Instead they just smear dirt, bacteria, oil and makeup across it. A cleanser without the addition of any water will break down and dissolve the dirt in the oily portion of the soap (surfactant) molecule only and remove it onto the wipe. However, it’s the actual rinsing action from water that removes it and cleans the skin. Essentially it is like applying cleanser to your face with soap and then not washing it off.

Instead, I recommend using a gentle, sulfate-free, low-foaming cleansing gel or a lightweight cleansing lotion to wash the face. See my cleanser recommendations. Then follow it by wiping the skin with a baby washcloth or facial sponge.

Clean skin is healthy skin. Be very meticulous about cleaning a day’s worth of makeup, dirt, and bacteria from your skin so you’ll get the best results from serums and moisturizers applied afterwards. If you really must use a wipe, limit their use to rare occasions since no wipe will ever be as effective as a proper cleanse.

Note: For removing eye makeup, like eye shadow and mascara, wipes are okay to use. Since you should wash your face with a gel, lotion of foaming cleanser, using water to rinse it off will wash way away any residue it might leave around the eye area. And remember, as with any eye makeup remover, leave it on the eyes for 20 seconds to dissolve the makeup. This avoids any unnecessary rubbing and tugging that can irritate they eyes and put wear and tear on the skin’s elasticity.

Read: Four Skin Care Ingredients Your Facial Cleanser Should Never Contain
Read: Is Washing Your Face in the Morning Really Necessary?

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Disclaimer: Content found on and, including text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or blog.


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  1. Hi! First of all, nice blog.

    I wanna ask, I use compact powder daily (no foundie). Do we need cleanser for compact powder?

    Then, if we use make base + powder (no foundie). Do we need cleanser?

    Thank u in advance 🙂

    Posted By: Vivi  | 

    • Thank you! Yes, you should cleanse your skin every night, even if you don’t wear makeup. There are still a lot of pollutants in the air and it’s important to get them off before you go to bed so that the skin can properly repair itself while you sleep. Hope this helps!

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 


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