Wipe On, Wipe Off


Raise your hand if sometimes you’re lazy and cannot cope with the idea of actually washing your face [raises hand]. So when I got the pretty-good Amazon Beauty Box (which, btw, I still haven’t seen another/new version yet, so maybe that was a one-off), there were two small packs of facial cleansing wipes, from Acure Organics and Simple. Which, I used to purchase and use something in this category — I think they were Neutrogena? But I stopped, because it gave me an easy excuse NOT to wash my face for real, and when you’ve got finicky skin that’s always looking for an excuse to break out…

But since I already had some, I figured I’d buy a couple more varieties from my local druggist (isn’t that a great word? I feel like we should use “druggist” more) to compare. I’ve used all four types, on both clean-ish morning skin and on full face o’ slap at the end of the day. Now, granted : I did not use one kind exclusively for days on end and not rinse off its residue and carefully track any changes in my skin. WHO HAS THE TIME? (Not me.) OR THE ATTENTION SPAN for something marketed to THE LAZY? (Also not me.) But, yeah. I tried ’em all, with makeup on and without and … you know what, they’re all fine.

Seriously! I didn’t notice a ton of difference in the performance of any of them! They seemed to remove surface skin dirt and oil and makeup okay. They all removed my eyemakeup (except for mascara, which I didn’t even attempt because I’m not scrubbing at my hard-won lashes) just fine. They even took off matte liquid lipsticks with a little extra rubbing. None of them made me break out. All of them left a very slight “residue” feeling — which, if you’re someone with dry skin, or who uses heavy moisturizers, or does an oil-cleanse thing? This probably wouldn’t bother you at all. But it bothers me, and I’m paranoid about incurring breakouts, so most of the time I gave my face a quick splash ‘n’ rinse before applying serums and what have you.

SO. This ended up not being much of a Face Off, but it might still be useful to compare/contrast a few brands, their ingredients, type and size of cloth, cost, etc. And off we go :

Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes : ($2.48/25 pack on Amazon; about $.10 each)

These are “unscented,” but they smell vaguely of like … paper? They’re the soft dotty quilty fabric, about 7 x 8″. Not super wet, but with enough moisture to easily get all the stuff off my face.

Ingredients : Water (Aqua, Eau), Cetearyl Isononanoate, Panthenol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Ceteareth-12, Sodium Citrate, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Cleansing Facial Wipes : ($6.59/30 pack on Ulta; about $.22 each)

These also have a very light fragrance, but I don’t detect any tea tree — mostly it’s a soft and slightly creamy herbal/spicy scent. If you’re down with their Frankincense stuff, you’ll probably be fine on this. The cloth is the thinner and less fluffy linen-y type common to facial wipes, and they’re also roughly 7 x 8″.

Ingredients : Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Propanediol, Glycerin, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Stem/Leaf/Flower Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Bran Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*†, Shea Butter Polyglyceryl-6 Esters, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Cocoate, Shea Butterate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Pod Ash, Decyl Glucoside, olyglyceryl-10 Caprylate/Caprate, Coco Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Polyglyceryl-10 Decaoleate, Phytic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Gluconic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend)


Almay Clear Complexion Purifying Towelettes : ($5.99/30 at Ulta*, about $.24 each) *Currently on sale for $3.

A light scent, kind of lotion-y aloe, and they’re the exact same dotty-fluffy-quilty fabric as the Shea Moisture ones, and the same approximate size. If I were going to repurchase any of these four types, it’d probably be the Almay. I like the clean scent, and the texture, and I like that they have witch hazel and hyaluronic and glycerine and salicylic, even though I’m sure only very small amounts are actually getting into my skin.

Ingredients : Aqua (Water) Eau, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Salicylic Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Trehalose, Fomes Officinalis (Mushroom) Extract, Urea, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyquaternium-51, Ceteareth-12, Cetyl Palmitate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate.

Acure Coconut + Argan Cleansing Towelettes : ($17.97/90 [3-pack] on Amazon, about $.20 each)

Expected to like these best, liked them least. They DO work pretty well and seemed to take off all my makeup just fine, and I even rather liked their light coconut-esque scent. But they’re MUCH smaller than the other three (about 5 x 6″ versus 7 x 8″) and also they feel a LOT drier. They’re appx the same flat clothlike material as the Shea Moisture ones, and they did take off my makeup just fine, but if you’re wearing a ton you might have to futz around for clean spots — and also the presence of olive and grape seed and sesame oil makes my acne-prone self a little nervous.

Ingredients : Water, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, argania spinosa (argan) oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E acetate), polyglyceryl-6 caprylate/caprate, polyglyceryl-4 laurate/sebacate, citric acid, glyceryl caprylate (from glycerin + coconut), glyceryl undecylenate (from glycerin + castor bean oil), potassium sorbate, flavor (organic coconut oil).

GRODY BONUS PIC : The smaller Acure wipe on top of an Almay one, after each removed the makeup on half of my face. NAST. (The size differential isn’t QUITE that pronounced, I don’t think — the dotty quilty fabric ones tend to stretch out a bit more as you use them.)

Tried any of these? Like / dislike? Got a favorite to recommend? Share!