Asking For A Friend

Can Face Wipes Ever Replace Cleanser?

If you’re using them right, then yes!

By: Laurel Pantin

Many, many, many nights of my many years on earth, I’ve come home bone-exhausted and could not deal with washing my face. I’d say raise your hand if you’ve been there, but really, I know that if you denied doing this, you’d be lying—or are just incredibly well put together, in which case, I bow down.

For just such occasions, I keep a little packet of cleansing wipes by my bed (my favorites are by Simple), and every so often, I forgo my million-step routine in favor of sloppily rubbing my face with a moist cloth and then passing the fuck out. I used to drag the cloth sort of helter-skelter across my mug, vigorously rubbing my eyeballs until all my mascara (and at least seven eyelashes) came off. But surprise, surprise, I was doing it all wrong—and you probably are too.

“It’s important to wipe your face starting from the forehead down to the jaw,” says Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Dr. Debra Luftman. “Start on one side of your face, then flip the wipe over and repeat on the other side, using medium pressure and a long downward motion. Always end on the nose, as that is one of the oiliest parts of the face and you don’t want to redistribute oil all over your T-zone.” Good to know!

And just to be clear on the hows and whens of this ultimate lazy-girl solution, I had a few more questions for her.

Is it truly okay to substitute a face wipe for cleanser at the end of the day?

“YES! [Ed note: Hallelujah.] After a long day either at work or going out, sometimes it’s difficult to get to the sink to wash your face. A cleansing wipe is an easy, convenient, and effective way to remove your makeup at the end of the day.”

What ingredients should we look for in a wipe?

“Water and a surfactant (like Glyceryl Stearate). Also, smoothing, moisturizing ingredients and vitamins are a plus!”

If you’re super acne-prone, should you use one on top of washing your face at the sink?

“Yes, double-washing is often helpful in removing excess oils and dirt which can plug pores and cause acne.”

So there you have it, friends. You officially have a lifelong pass for not washing your face. Well, not exactly lifelong, but you get it. Brushing your teeth, however, is a non-negotiable.