Blame it on clocking in 12 hours at the office or the fact that you're just exhausted, but sometimes taking off your makeup before your face hits that pillow is a tall order. But just as you're about to be whisked away for a night (well, a couple of hours) of sleep, there's a voice in your head — for some it's a dermatologist, for others it's your mother — and it's totally guilt-tripping you.
Being the skin devotee that you are, it's at that precise moment that you reach for your trusty shortcut a.k.a. that packet that never leaves your nightstand: makeup remover wipes. There's no fussing with different bottles, no water splashing, and above all, they get the job done on even the most stubborn of mascaras.
The way we look at it, makeup wipes are the beauty equivalent of ordering takeout — easy, quick, and lazy-proof, but probably not the the healthiest choice. That said, we'll never knock 'em as they've helped salvage our mugs on countless occasions. So, instead of making a hard-and-fast decision about whether or not they're good for us, we looked to one of our trusted skin experts, Rachel Nazarian, M.D. at , to help us weigh the advantages and disadvantages of our favorite go-to.
Derms are always preaching how detrimental sleeping with your makeup can be: products clog pores, collect dirt, and can inflame skin. So, having something that makes the removal process easier (and something you'll actually do on the regular) can't be a bad thing — right? But the fact is, there is a downside.
"It's just a matter of remembering that makeup wipes replace the old 'cotton-ball with bottled-liquid-remover process our moms were using," explains Nazarian. "It's not a substitute for washing your face, and your skin will need to be rinsed afterwards."
We repeat: makeup wipes are not a substitute for old-fashioned facial washing. As far as composition goes, most wipes are saturated with chemicals that allow for easy removal of makeup. The catch? They can leave chemical residue on the skin and if used incorrectly, they can smear makeup on the skin instead of removing the particles completely. Plus, if they contain alcohol, they can be irritating and drying to sensitive skin.
"These wipes need to have a shelf-life allowing them to remain in your bathroom cabinet without growing bacteria and fungi," warns Nazarian. "They contain preservatives making them safe from the infectious standpoint, but these same preservatives are not necessarily safe enough to leave on your skin."
If you're going to use makeup remover wipes, you must remember to rinse your face with a gentle cleanser and water afterwards every time.
For some, this might defeat the purpose. (Not going to lie, we thought the same thing.) But think about it like this: Even if you only remove your makeup with the wipes and don't make it to the sink, it's better than going to bed with a face full of grime.
If you're going to incorporate wipes into your routine, look to a super gentle, alcohol-free option, says Nazarian.
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