Why you shouldn’t use facial wipes in your skincare routine (or ever)

Facial wipes can not only cause harm to your skin, but also the environment.

We have all dabbled in using facial wipes in our beauty routine at some point in our lives. These cloths soaked with a facial cleanser or makeup remover that don’t make as much mess as cleansing oils and balms, and are extremely convenient to use especially when travelling. However, there’s a huge problem – facial wipes are actually really bad not just for your skin, but also the environment. Read on to find out why you should start banning these wipes from your skincare routine – and only save them for emergencies.

They don’t do much actual cleansing

Sure, they may remove some traces of makeup from the day, but facial wipes definitely cannot replace your dedicated cleansers. In terms of cleansing power, they simply do not measure up and often leave behind grime and oil – which over time will lead to clogged pores, breakouts and irritation. The most facial wipes can do is remove the top part of your makeup or surface dust, but it certainly isn’t able to effectively breakdown the day’s accumulated makeup, sunscreen, sebum, and dirt. Instead, you just end up smearing all that grime all over your face. Sure it cuts down time especially with the plethora of serums, essences, toners, and oils laid out in front of us, but if you’re going to be lazy about properly cleansing your skin – the rest of your skincare routine would end up to be a complete waste of time, energy, and money. 

It traumatises your skin

We all know it’s important to exfoliate the skin – but only a few times a week to prevent irritation and dryness. If you’re using facial wipes to remove your makeup everyday, you’re still using physical exfoliation more than your skin actually needs. When you over-exfoliate your skin, you’re actually slowly irritating your skin and its protective moisture barrier, especially since you’ll probably need to use more than one wipe to remove your makeup. In the long term, this could lead to sensitising of the skin, dryness, breakouts, and even redness.

Aside from prolonged daily exfoliation, most facial wipes don’t contain skin-friendly chemicals. They’re usually soaked in very strong and drying chemicals that strip the skin of its natural sebum, while altering the pH of your acid mantle. Unless you’re only using them in tight situations such as travelling where you might not have access to water or soap, or using facial wipes with a gentle formula, exposing your skin to these chemicals for too long can lead to accelerated dehydration. Using facial wipes could also lead to premature ageing in the long run, as you’re constantly rubbing and pulling at your skin – contributing to fine lines and wrinkles. Not getting a proper cleanse can also cause spots, hyperpigmentation and inflammation – and eventually you’ll be left with a slack and dull complexion.

They’re detrimental to the environment

Simply put, facial wipes are single-use cloths that are not biodegradable, which means they will eventually end up in a landfill in the middle of nowhere for years and years. Though there will be brands championing eco-friendly skincare and producing facial wipes that are biodegradable, the price simply just doesn’t justify it when you put it up against proper cleansing – and face it, you won’t look into how long it will take to degrade anyway.

It also goes without mentioning that biodegradable wipes are able to fall apart more easily than their indestructible counterparts. It’s simply a part of consumerism, where buyers want a product that is stable, sturdy, strong, and long-lasting. The worst part of it all, is that usually to remove a lot of the makeup or impurities on your skin, you’ll tend to use more than one wipe – which leads to you finishing the product quicker than say, an effective cleansing oil or micellar water. When you’re through with them, you throw out the packaging – and the packaging is usually made from plastic. If one just had to compare, you would still be much better off using a product that could last longer in a plastic packaging versus a product that would get used up faster and contributing to even more waste. 

The bottom line

Facial wipes aren’t necessarily the devil – they do shine in inconvenient moments when you need them in a pinch. However when it comes to your daily skincare routine, it’s definitely much better for your skin to invest in a good cleanser to effectively rid your skin of the day’s impurities, dust, makeup, sunscreen and excess sebum.

Photos: Stocksy. 

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