Turning down for the day is one of the best feelings! Slip into your comfy pajamas, brew some tea for a good night’s sleep, and then you begin your PM skin care routine. For those who wear falsies, those go first, then you reach for the makeup remover wipes. And just like that the makeup is gone – and so are your day’s troubles. Before we dive into whether makeup wipes are good or bad for your skin, let’s talk about why removing your makeup at the end of the day is vital.

Wipe the Day Away

The term “Beauty Sleep” is used for several reasons, one of those is that at night, your skin undergoes a renewal process. Leaving your makeup on while you sleep deters the renewal process. For those who suffer from acne, makeup will increase your chances of breaking out as it clogs your pores. Sleeping with mascara, eyeshadow, or eyeliner can irritate your eye, cause itchiness, or even an infection if any of the makeup finds its way into your eyes.

We’re exposed to grime and pollutants throughout the day. These can lead to lines and wrinkles – you see, sleeping with makeup on seals in those pollutants onto your skin, eliminating the opportunity for your skin to regenerate itself. Finally, leaving your makeup on overnight can cause your skin to dry out as some makeup ingredients pull moisture away from your skin.

The other concerning issue is that if you’re frequently sleeping with makeup on, you don’t have a PM skin care routine. That’s a matter for another time.

Common Makeup Wipe Ingredients

Among the common makeup wipes ingredients are surfactants, solubilizers, and emulsifiers. These ingredients play a role in dissolving makeup and getting rid of oil and dead skin. Another common ingredient in wipes is sodium lauryl sulfate, which can irritate your skin and eyes. Many preservatives – such as formaldehyde-releasing chemicals and parabens – are also added to the wipes. And for that fresh or floral scent, fragrances are often added. After using makeup wipes, many people tend to not rinse their faces. Thus, allowing all those chemicals to seep into the skin.

To Wipe or Not to Wipe

Skin irritation and even allergic reactions can be caused by many of the common ingredients, particularly for those with sensitive skin. For those who live with rosacea and eczema, it’s best to avoid makeup wipes altogether as they may result in a flare-up. So far, we have irritated skin and clogged pores on the cons list for makeup wipes. Yes, they are an easy way to remove most of the layers of foundation, blush, concealer, etc., that we apply, but at what cost? Breakouts, aging, and irritation!

We get it, sometimes it’s not feasible to wash your face with a cleanser (i.e. when you go camping instead of glamping). On those rare occasions, dermatologists understand that wiping your face is better than leaving your full face of makeup on. And IF that’s the case, go for something au natural, meaning with natural ingredients. Please, as soon as you have access to water, rinse your face. May we suggest packing an extra gallon of water to use specifically with your EltaMD® Foaming Facial Cleanser at night – not a bad idea!

Makeup wipes tend to not be biodegradable; they can be harmful to the environment.

Are Makeup Wipes the Same as Baby Wipes?

Designed to remove certain waste particles from your body, baby wipes are not devised to break down makeup. In short, the answer is baby wipes and makeup wipes are not the same. We know a few of you have used baby wipes to remove makeup, we get it. Anything to wipe the gunk off. However, that’s exactly what you’re not doing, baby wipes leave the makeup behind, which can cause your pores to clog and even make you breakout.

Alternatives to Makeup Wipes

Let’s talk about alternatives starting with reusable makeup removing cloths or cotton rounds. These microfiber cloths are created to be simple. Add water and have at it! They have a long lifespan, and to clean them, simply throw them in the washer. Typically, after each use, you’ll want to give them a quick hand wash and then throw in the washer on a weekly basis.

Cleansing balms are another alternative. They have a thick consistency to them. Gently work the balm into your skin so that it may break down your makeup. Afterward, rinse it off, and proceed with your cleanser.

Try the double cleanse technique. Wash your face twice using two different cleansers. Think of the first cleanse like the one that gets rid of the grime accumulated throughout the day, makeup, dirt, bacteria, etc. The second cleanse will be able to penetrate further into the skin and soak in all the ingredients. Typically, the second cleanser is a little stronger and more specific to your skin type and/or challenges. Double cleansing is best for nighttime.

For more nighttime skin care routine recommendations tailored to your skin care needs, schedule an appointment with one of our Board-Certified Dermatologists at Vitalogy Skincare. Visit us online to request an appointment or schedule a consultation with one of our specialists by calling 512.930.3909.