Guilty of still using face wipes? This is everything experts want you to know about what they're really doing to your skin

We all know that we shouldn’t be using face wipes. But, with that being said, wet wipes are behind 93% of sewer blockages and 9.3million of them are flushed down toilets every day. Besides the fact they’re filling up the oceans, lining beaches, clogging up our sewers and generally causing environmental destruction, they’re also really bad news for your skin. So why are they still selling like hotcakes? By 2021, global sales of wet wipes (of all types) are forecast to hit $20billion.

The trouble is, face wipes are insanely convenient. With the ability to remove makeup and ‘cleanse’ a face in seconds, it’s really no wonder they’re such tough little guys to give up. With that being said, we think if people really knew the truth about the horrors that face wipes are causing to their skin, they might think again before they pick up another pack.

Because it seems like the environmental damage isn’t enough to stop people, we thought it was about time someone delved into what face wipes are really capable of when it comes to your complexion. And frankly, what we discovered shocked us a little.

Thought an innocent swipe of a wipe was nothing too serious? You better think again.

They don’t actually clean your face

If you’ve spent your life thinking a face wipe is all you need to remove your makeup, here’s your wake up call. “Face wipes do not clean as thoroughly as a dedicated facial cleanser and water, often leaving behind grime and oil which may over time lead to clogged pores, breakouts and even irritation from residual product on the skin,” warns Dr Alexis Granite, Consulting Dermatologist at Kiehl’s. Yep, that’s right, they’re barely cleaning your face at all.

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Time Bomb Skincare Expert and Celebrity Facialist Emma Brown says: “Face wipes will do nothing for your skin. They’re not able to actually clean your skin. They will remove part of your makeup or surface bacteria but they’re not able to effectively breakdown the makeup, oil and dirt you just end up smearing the day’s grime around your face.” Gross.

They’re causing daily skin trauma

You should never exfoliate every day, so why would you happily scrub your face with a wipe morning and night? Dr Granite reveals: “Despite leading to increased breakouts as well as sensitivity and irritation from residual grime, sebum and cleansing product on the skin, those with sensitive skin and rosacea may also experience irritation from the rubbing action of facial wipes with prolonged use.” So it turns out that lasting redness isn’t just annoying, it’s seriously bad news.

Expect inflammation and irritation

Speaking of redness, have you ever noticed that your skin starts flushing immediately after you’ve used a wipe? It’s not just from rubbing. The chemicals used in wipes aren’t particularly friendly. Beauty Expert Jane Scrivner explains: “Face wipes are harsh on the skin because they contain strong, drying chemicals that strip the skin of its natural oils, altering the delicate pH of your acid mantle, which can cause inflammation and irritation.”

They’ll make your skin age A LOT quicker

If your skin looks great and gives you no reason to look for an alternative cleansing method, don’t be so quick to think that you’re an exception to the ‘face wipe’ rule. Jane reveals: “Prolonged face wipe usage can lead to accelerated dehydration, stripping the skin’s natural oil content and challenging the pH of the skin’s acid mantle – this is actually one of the main reasons people think they have sensitive skin! In the short term skin will become irritated, red, inflamed and spotty with prolonged use of face wipes. However, without having an effective cleansing routine in place, over time, skin will become more lined, wrinkled, slack and dull.”

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If this brand new information has been enough to finally convince you that face wipes aren’t the way forward, here’s a round up of the best cleanser alternatives (they’ll remove your makeup AND do your skin some good)…


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