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 multiple years on earth, I’ve come home dead 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 Hillsbased 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 OK 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.

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