WIPES: They Are Great. Great for travel, great for gym, great for saying "meh, I would prefer to bathe from the comfort of my couch while wearing this tracksuit," great for everything. Should we switch to a face wipes-based economy? Maybe start pegging our currency to sunscreen towelette futures? I'm no economist, but if my recent experiences are any indication, the answer is a resounding "Probably Not, But Still... Wipes Are Pretty Awesome."
Once upon a time in a kingdom exactly as far away as the airport, a girl snuck through security with a ton of beauty stuff in her carryon...and zero Zip Locs. Why? Because she had replaced literally all her products with wipes. That girl was me (Surprise; it's Lacey! Hello, friends!), and now I'm here to preach the good word.
The list below has the wipes I use when I travel, but when I get a rec from you I'm always super excited to try it. So if you have an amazing wipe I missed, please do add on in the comments!
Best Perfume Wipes
Tiny glass atomizers and roll-aboard bags do not mix, hence the genius of Pinrose's Petal Packs. They look like after-BBQ wet naps but smell like classy lady fragrances, and they've saved my backpack (and my Le Labo Jasmin 17) from disaster several times. I'm a big fan of Moonlight Gypsy, a lovely rose-infused incense that wears all day without being overwhelming, but I also hear rave reviews about Pillowtalk Poet. If you're going somewhere warm, it's also excellent for ladies (like, ahem, myself) who have renounced antiperspirant in favor of natural deo. If you're on the border of Funkytown, these things will steer you safely back to Smell Good-Landia.
Best Sunscreen Wipes
Sunscreen in a wipe is just such a good idea for vacations. You're going to need more than a couple measly ounces if you're slathering it on, right? So I usually just throw a pack of these broad spectrum, mineral, non-nano SPF 30 Babysafe Sunscreen Towelettes in my bag. They're really gentle, they don't leave that chalky cast on skin the way some physical sunblocks do, and having them with me really encourages me to be vigilant with reapplication. I do have concerns about the fact that I'm throwing away 20 wipes over the course of a trip. BUT having biodegradable wipes go into the trash isn't any more wasteful than tossing a huge plastic bottle into your hotel room's trash (hopefully you'll be able to recycle, but that's not universally available).
Best Face Wipes
When it comes to face wipes, I'm of two minds. The best (best!) ones I've ever used are Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Cloths. They solve one of my biggest issues with Cetaphil, which is that it doesn't quiiiite cleanse enough on its own. With the wipe there's a gentle physical exfoliation, so you truly do get completely bare skin with moisture barrier intact. You also use way, way less product, which is nice.
But Cetaphil isn't exactly paraben free, and it's chock full of SLS, too. So hard as it is, I'm trying to break the habit. During my last trip, I switched over to Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes, which are equally amazing and full of certified organic goodness. They smell like rose geranium and juniper, they feel a little astringent in a pleasant, non-drying way, and even the box they come in was created using wind power and post-consumer paper. The only downside is that they're individually wrapped, which puts a huge damper on any feel-good, "I'm saving the world one face washing at a time" stuff you might otherwise be experiencing.
Best Body Wipes
No longer are we limited to Boogie Wipes, Wet Ones, and the off-brand squishy cotton packages of yore. These days, you name it and somebody's soaked a piece of cloth in it and sealed it up in vacuum packets for resale. Which is why it's strange that great body wipes are still kinda hard to come by. After a lot of searching, I've decided on Heritage Store Castor Clean Towelettes. They're natural, simple (basically just witch hazel and baking soda), portable, gentle, and cheap. They don't smell like anything, they get sweat and gunk off you, and they don't have any harsh surfactants, which is nice for sensitive-skinned peeps.
Best Lotion Wipes
There are a couple brands that make lotion-infused wipes, but for my money I like either Pacifica or Lotion Lab. Pacifica's lotion wipes smell like a tropical vacation (Lemon Blossom scent FTW), while the Lotion Lab Shea and Cocoa wipes smell like absolutely nothing at all. Both, however, are nicely sans parabens!