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Why Makeup Wipes and Towels are Bad for Your Skin

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Do you use makeup wipes as your sole makeup removal method every night? Have your friends told you time and time again not to use makeup wipes? If so, they're right, and here's why they're so vocal about it.

Many makeup wearers use makeup wipes out of convenience, as their first cleanse, only cleanse, or even their after cleanse. However, is this actually damaging your skin? Let’s discuss the cons of makeup wipes, as well as an alternative method.

Makeup Wipes Don’t Actually Remove Makeup

Although you see makeup on the actual wipes, you’re not actually removing the makeup from your face. Makeup wipes smear and move makeup around the top layer of the skin and don’t actually lift dirt from the face. Oil-based cleansers deep clean the skin down to the pores, while makeup wipes only touch the surface. Your face might look clean to the naked eye, but there’s all makeup and gunk stuck in your pores. This can lead to all sorts of problems down the line like clogged pores and acne.

Watch this video of The Welsh Twins using a microscope to see their skin before and after removing sunscreen and makeup with a makeup towel and makeup wipes vs with an oil cleanser.

Irritation and Aging

Have you ever noticed the amount of pressure you’re putting on your skin when using wipes? All that tugging, scrubbing, and wiping not only causes irritation and aging but also leads to uneven skin tone. From repeatedly wiping your face, you can see redness and irritation occur, which can become inflamed and lead to hyperpigmentation.

Using these wipes and towels especially is extremely abrasive on the face and actually exfoliates your skin. This isn’t a good type of exfoliation because you’re exfoliating on a dirty base and can very easily over-exfoliate. If you use any type of physical scrub or chemical exfoliation after using a makeup towel or wipe, you've just double exfoliated which is not good. This can cause damage to your skin barrier and lead to hypersensitivity, acne, irritation, redness, and uneven skin tone.

Residue and Harsh Ingredients

After you use a makeup wipe, you’ve probably noticed an oily residue on your face. Not only are you basically sleeping in your makeup and clogging your pores, but now you have these harsh ingredients sitting on your skin all night causing all sorts of issues.

Makeup wipes are soaked in heavy alcohols, strong preservatives, and no actual makeup removing ingredients. There are tons of preservatives in those packets in order to prevent bacterial buildup and mold. All these things left on your skin can cause dry skin, irritation, aging, and even allergic reaction.

Daily Waste

Just to add the cherry on top, you’re creating daily waste that can be easily prevented.


Although makeup wipes are often loved for their convenience, there’s an easy alternative: Micellar Water. Micellar water is just as convenient, all you have to do is pour it onto a cotton pad. Not only is it quick and easy, but micellar water actually lifts makeup and dirt off the face.

Don’t sleep in your makeup and don’t put your skincare on a dirty face. Remove your makeup properly and be nice to your skin.

If you have any questions, recommendations, or want to share some of your input, feel free to DM @Boafo.Beauty or@ninamariemakeup on Instagram.

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