Here’s a list of things that will wreak havoc on your skin: working out with makeup on, leaving sweat on your skin for hours after said workout, sleeping with makeup on, not washing your face often enough, washing your face too often…the list goes on. And who has time for that? Not you. What do you have time for? Face wipes.
At first, I didn’t really get the point. Why not just wash your face with, you know, water? Then, I was on a 14-hour flight with only a tiny airplane bathroom sink (and questionable water quality) to cleanse with. A few weeks later, my apartment building’s water was shut off for several days, and I found myself wondering whether it was acceptable to wash my face with Evian (it’s not). And all of the sudden, I got it. Face wipes.
I went to the corner drugstore, excited to arm myself with this newfound weapon in the war against breakouts, only to realize that there certainly is no shortage of options. But instead of being overwhelmed, be discerning. Are you looking to exfoliate, to sooth, or simply to clean? Pick your issue (or issues, if you want) and find the corresponding face wipe. Some options to get you started:
For the acne-prone: Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes Pink Grapefruit
Like Neutrogena’s classic cleanser (you know, in the orange bottle) that every teenager swore by, these wipes are going to leave your skin feeling squeaky clean. No oil left behind ever. They are particularly well-suited for your face post-workout because they leave no sweat behind and the grapefruit scent is a welcome respite to the smells in a sweaty locker room.
For sensitive skin: Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes With Cotton Extract
If you've got any inkling that something with fragrance, extra ingredients, or funky texture is going to throw the delicate battle that is your face out of whack, this is your pack. The fragrance-free, hypoallergenic cloths are ridiculously soft, and they have aloe so you can feel like you're doing yourself an extra favor while wiping.
For dry skin: Yes To Coconut Cleansing Wipes
They’re loaded up with coconut water and kukui nut extract, so they smell like a piña colada and give you that two-drink confidence without having to imbibe. Sometimes, I use one of these on a totally clean face, just to get a whiff of the tropical scent.
For the French pharmacy set: Simple Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes (in stores July 20)
Yes, we all know that Bioderma still reigns supreme in the realm of makeup remover. But if your stash is running low, these micellar wipes should give you similar results. Use them to remove extra-tough makeup while rejoicing in the fact that US pharmacies are finally starting to catch up.
For a good scrub: Pond’s Exfoliating Renewal Wet Cleansing Towelettes With Citrus and Cucumber
Mainly for when your Clarisonic is running low on batteries, if we're being honest. The beads give a good scrub and the fresh scent makes for an overall refreshing experience.
For a little glow: Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Wipes
When I had chickenpox as a kid, the only thing that helped me to stop scratching was Aveeno’s Soothing Bath Treatment. Ever since then, I’ve trusted the company to keep my skin feeling good, and they haven’t really let me down. These wipes have soy extract to moisturize and make your skin feel crazy smooth, so I’m on board.
For no reason in particular: Olay Fresh Effects Everything Off Deluxe Makeup Removal Wet Cloths
The great thing about these is that they don’t have any crazy ingredients nor promise magical results. They’re just solid wipes that get the job done (and smell good thanks to honeysuckle and white tea). These are good for every day in your purse or on your desk. You just want these around.
Photographed by Tom Newton. Next-level cleansing: Washcloths.