Do Face Wipes Work as Well as Washing Your Face?

The answer is that it completely depends on the towelettes—and on the face wash you're used to as well. Cleansing wipes are just as varied as traditional cleansers, so you should think about what makes a cleanser worthwhile or effective for you, then find a portable cloth version of that. If acne control and oiliness are issues for you, something like The Body Shop Tea Tree Cleansing Wipes would probably be a good match. On the other hand, if brightening or exfoliating cleansers are your favorites, a product along the lines of Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths might deliver better results. And if you're a simple Cetaphil and water fan, try a gentle version like Pond's Original Fresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes.

Have another favorite? Do tell.

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  • starryhye

    I use makeup wipes strictly as a precursor to washing my face. So in my case, it really doesn't seem to matter what type I use. I really like Burt's Bees sensitive skin facial cleansing towelettes.

  • softy

    i don't have a favorite, but i really detest the neutrogena ones. they make my face feel oily and i have to cleanse afterwards to get that feeling off my face. once i make my way through my current stash, i hope to never have one in contact with my face again!

    • bunnygrrrl3000

      Eww I hated the Neutrogena grapefruit wipes. Felt dirtier after I used them!

    • Addison Cain

      Neutrogena wipes in the blue package broke me out :(

  • Sam

    Acure argan face wipes! THE BEST. I bought them on a whim pre moving abroad in one last whole foods body care aisle spree. I have never liked face wipes that much but figured they would be handy on the plane. But they are so amazing I kept using them and used a whole pack (never happens). They don't dry out when you store them with the pull off strip face down, and they do NOT irritate at all, so soft. No red face after you use them and they take eye makeup off like a dream. I wear contacts and have slightly sensitive eyes and these have never made me red-eyed either. Super hydrating as well. I use them if either I've worn a lot of makeup before I wash my face, or on lazy nights i just use these and if I just use these i don't need to use a moisturizer or oil after my nighttime acne stuff, but they also don't leave a gross film either?! I don't know, magic. Also they don't cost any more than the neutrogena ones, and are definitely cheaper than the fancy ones carried by sephora

    I have tried a bunch of the big ones (neutrogena,
    say yes to cucumbers, costco brand, etc etc) and have never found ones that don't irritate my slightly sensitive/acne prone skin. Personally, Ifound the say yes to cucumbers extremely irritating. Too much fragrance in most!

    These ones are AMAZING. so amazing that, because I live abroad, I had a friend bring back two more packs back from the US and next time I go home I will probably bring back at least 3-4 packs with me. Also if you live anywhere where water is not reliable, these will save your skin and life when you are feeling too hot and sweaty to leave your room. Also I like the fact that I can recognize all of the ingredients.

    • V

      Have to agree! These are fantastic!! My favorite as well :))

    • Ophelia Otten

      Even though it is an unscented product, it, unfortunately, caused an allergy. If we are speaking about this:

  • Norwegian Girl

    I find it strange to use facial towelettes on a daily basis, as I imagine it would be a source of waste or garbage. I'll make exceptions on occasions such as a cabin trip, but otherwise I'll say no to facial towelettes. Am I the only one feeling this way towards facial towelettes?

    • ArtsDuMal

      Agreed- why do you need them if you have a sink, water, and regular face wash? I recently decided to kick my shameful cotton round habit- I felt guilty about creating so much extra waste. I just bought three yards of organic cotton muslin for $4 on Amazon and use that to take my eye makeup/ nail polish off. Works just as well and feels a little more environmentally friendly.

    • Eliza

      Samsies--I assume this article is geared toward which ones people like in general, to maybe help people pick ones for travel/etc.? Cause I can't fathom using one in my house when I have my good ol' sink right there haha--but to each their own!

    • bunnygrrrl3000

      Understandable...... but that wasn't really the question. I think many people use them at the gym or while traveling. When I was a cake decorator I used them on my breaks to get the thin layer of icing off my face haha

      They aren't the best option, but they have their place in the beauty world.

  • Violet Hour

    I love the Epielle wipes you find at Big Lots. They're made in Korea (if you're like me and following a Korean skincare regimen), they cost $2 for 60, and they're sufficiently soaked in product to do a good job. They come in a few different types but I like green tea. I go to Big Lots maybe twice a year and stock up.

    I mostly use them to remove my eye makeup and long wear lipstick, since I double cleanse. They're also great for spot cleaning makeup brushes and touching up liner and mascara boo boos.

    • Layla Corcoran

      Wow. Can't beat that price. Going to check them out. Any other makeup brand surprises at Big Lots? Thank you!

      • Violet Hour

        Big Lots is a crap shoot but it's great for stuff like emery boards and makeup sponges etc. The last time I was there they had a huge collection of Sephora nail polishes, plus a lot of Cover Girl mascaras. Turns out that blue Cover Girl Professional mascara is good stuff, and it cost me like $2.

        Sometimes you'll go and there will be a ton of awesome stuff, and sometimes it's all strange, off brand body lotion. Crap shoot.

        Also, Epielle makes sheet masks, four for $2. Not quite as good as the My Beauty Diary masks I order off Amazon, but at this price point they're brilliant. I like the collagen mask and the vitamin C mask.

  • Guest

    I love the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. I get the giant box from Costco for $14. It's a great deal!

    They get ALL of my eye makeup off, which is important because I am addicted to the super-smoky, lots of liner, Chrissie Hynde look. They also remove even the darkest lipstick . But I double clean, so after I've used these to wipe all of my makeup off, its glycolic wash and Clarisonic time. Every. Single. Night. I don't believe that face wipes alone can do the trick.

  • Katie

    Even though I'm pretty religious about my skincare, I do occasionally use facial wipes, and I haven't found any I love more than the Yes to Cucumbers ones. They're gentle, super cleansing, and smell nice!

    • Cali

      I came here to say just that! Seconded to Yes to Cucumbers face wipes, they're cleansing and soothing! I prefer them to the Yes to Blueberries face wipes as well.

    • Vanessa Reyes-Weber

      When I use facial wipes Yes to Cucumbers was my go to. Everything you just mentioned is why I loved them too.

      • booklady

        Try the Yes to Carrots too. I love them

  • ModernGrace

    Sometimes I just want a refreshing face wipe, and then I go for Dickinson's Witch Hazel wipes or Pacifica Purify Coconut Water. I used to use the makeup removing type and found they break me out or leave a residue.

    • Circe07

      Dickinson's makes wipes???? I must find these!!!!

      • ModernGrace

        Yes, they're in a box instead of a packet.

      • Addison Cain

        They're only at Walgreens I believe...

  • aclaired33

    I love MAC Wipes. They get absolutely everything off and leave the least residue by far of any wipe I've tried - almost nothing. I tried Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes and like many other commenters didn't like them - awful oily residue.

  • mfergie889

    Burt's Bees Cucumber Wipes - they have bad reviews on Ulta, but I personally think they smell great and work really well!

  • accordingtoame

    I only use them when I am showering in the morning vs my usual nighttime situation or when on a single overnight travelling kind of thing. I like Tarte's Fresheyes for makeup removal, followed by OcuSoft Lid Scrub towelettes on my waterline and around my eyes to clear away any last bits of makeup and residue from the Tarte oils, and then I go over all my face with the Josie Maran wipes. I desperately wanted to try the ACURE ones because I love their products but they have castor in them and I can't have that anywhere near me.

  • Alyssa Gapske

    I only use them if I'm camping or on a trip, but Yes to Cucumber wipes are amazing. They're so refreshing if you're feeling gross or out of energy. If I need to remove makeup, I go for the Neutrogena Makeup Remover wipes.

  • Ms. Minnow

    Simple. They are the best. Accept no imitations.

  • Hannah M.

    The "cleanest" feeling ones I've ever tried (meaning the ones that leave the least residue behind) are Simple brand. They're also super gentle, effective, and fragrance free. :) I just wish they were cheaper.

  • Shannah

    I like the Kirkland (Costco brand) ones. I buy a big box of them and use them to take off all my makeup before cleansing, and they're soaked in enough product to get everything off. Cheap!

  • Bess

    I love using these anti-age makeup remover cloths by Rodan and Fields (by the doctors who created proactiv) they not only remove my makeup but have peptides and wrinkle fighting properties. They are especially great for eye area. I only use them when wearing make up, 3x a week max but then toss them in my recycling!

  • travelisthenewblack

    I've never loved using wipes with product pre applied, it just seems more unnatural somehow. If I'm absolutely stuck I'll stretch to the Mustella wipes - French skincare delicate enough for a baby's skin.


    Olay Wet Cleansing Towelettes for Sensitive Skin

  • rachel42486

    LA Fresh Eco-Beauty Waterproof Makeup Remover are my favorites. Like most everyone else, I've tried so many of them and these are quite oily and moisturizing and smell really lovely. My second favorite are the Yes to Coconut b/c they've got some coconut oil in them, but they've got that artificial coconut smell which turns me off so much I'll never purchase again.

  • alicecaramel

    Wow so chic

  • alicecaramel

    My favorite is Loreal!

  • Giana

    If I am too lazy (drunk, not at home, etc.) to use face wash at the sink I definitely go for Bioderma crealine. But, it's about $30 on Amazon and it doesn't last that long. I also really like the Korres Milk Proteins cleansing wipes that go along with the face wash -- which is AMAZING at taking off makeup -- but I don't see them on Sephora's website at the moment, they might not make them anymore!

    • bunnygrrrl3000

      You could try the Avene micellar water. Its a little cheaper and each bottle lasts about 1-2 months.

  • kelly

    no....creates so much waste. cloths/towelettes/wipes take ages to biodegrade.

  • bunnygrrrl3000

    I usually find the cloth in pre-moistened wipes to be harsh and irritating. I DO enjoy not getting my entire forearms wet just to wash my face, so I use Avene micellar water on cotton pads. The fluffy cotton is so much more delicate on my skin.

  • booklady

    Yes to Carrots facial wipes are the busy woman's best friend. They're inexpensive, gentle, and don't have the gross perfumey film that other brands I've tried leave behind. I don't use them everyday because I just can't justify creating that much waste but they're nice on nights when I'm so tired that I can't function.

  • Ivy

    Out of all the different brands I have tried, I always go back to the Up & Up (Target brand) cleansing towelettes. I specifically like the exfoliating cucumber version. I use them to take off my makeup or after a workout as a precursor to washing my face. One side has an exfoliating texture (face makeup) and the other side is smooth (eye makeup) and it takes everything off. They don't leave a residue, my cleanser works better, and they are less expensive then the other brands!

  • Dee

    Mustella Baby Wipes from Target. I have tried so many wipes and these don't burn, irritate, cause me to break out and remove makeup ( I don't use water proof.) awesome and inexpensive- good enough for a babies bum.

  • Manish Dwivedi

    Wow. Can't beat that price. I will check and try them. when there is a lot of makeup to take off, I like going with the Neutrogena Make-up removing wipes.

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  • Manish Dwivedi

    Wow. Can't beat that price. I will check and try them. when there is a lot of makeup to take off, I like going with the Neutrogena Make-up removing wipes.

    • Circe07

      I can't use those, sadly. They irritate my skin. Too harsh, I think.

  • heather

    Agree! One bottle lasts far, far longer than a packet of wipes!

  • Esmee

    The MAC ones are also amazing. They get the job done and they're by far the best smelling ones out there!

  • Rosanna Viveen

    I never use wipes. Once a make-up artist told me not to. Instead I use ''Bioderma'' and'' Nuxe'' foam wash under the shower the're amazing products. Also really nice is Dr. Hauschka the smell is AMAZING and its all organic.

  • LA

    Cetaphil wipes for the win! So gentle, and really effective.

  • Ophelia Otten

    Face Wipes are perfect for travelling, sometimes when I`m lazy, I wash off make-up with wipes. I think that baby wipes are really good BabyGanics, Face, Hand & Baby Wipes, Fragrance Free Everything that is made for babies are healthier in my opinion. And it would have been impolite not to mention MAC Wipes Lingettes Demaquillantes though.

  • emmerjayne Naty Baby wiopes are the best! Good for you and the environment and no residue afterwards!

  • Air+Light

    I just use Pamper's sensitive baby wipes, then rinse with warm water. Then moisturize.