Saturday, 29 August 2015

Q&A: Can I get away with using makeup wipes?

It's no secret that makeup wipes aren't the optimum way to cleanse your face, but what if you're tired? Or drunk? Or travelling? Can you get away with it?

As with most beauty questions, there's no easy answer. The impact of using makeup wipes depends on a whole host of factors, which I'm going to discuss below, but the reality is that wipes will never be as good for your skin as a dedicated cleanser, so it's up to you to decide whether the potential negative consequences are worth it.

So, what determines whether or not you can "get away" with using makeup wipes?
  • How well you use them - The biggest problem with makeup wipes is that although they're marketed as an easy cleansing option, they actually make cleansing well more difficult. Next time you use a wipe, follow it up with a damp cotton pad (focusing on areas like your hairline, your neck & the sides of you nose) & you'll likely be horrified with what you find. To genuinely clean your face, you'll need between 3 & 5 makeup wipes, & if there's still makeup residue coming off then you know your face isn't clean so you need another wipe (suddenly makeup wipes don't look so easy or cost effective).
  • How often you use them - As with all things that aren't so good for us, moderation is key. Using a makeup wipe one night because you just need your bed, or your chronic pain has flared up, or whatever isn't a disaster so don't beat yourself up over it. However, if you're using makeup wipes on a regular basis (teen me used them on a daily basis, with no follow up cleanser) you can guarantee they're having some kind of negative impact on your skin.
  • Which brand you use - There a loads of makeup wipes on the market now & if I'm honest I tend to just buy whatever is on offer, but if you're after a good quality wipe that will actually be effective then it's definitely worth paying attention to the label. Olay, Bare Minerals, & L'Oreal are all quality brands, & I prefer to buy basic wipes rather than those which claim any skincare benefits as I find they can irritate my skin.
  • How heavy your makeup is - The reality is that if you're wearing heavy duty makeup, no makeup wipe is ever going to remove it. I wear Estee Lauder's Double Wear on a daily basis & most wipes can barely make a dent in it, but if you wear lighter makeup - for example, a BB cream with light eye makeup & a tinted lip balm - then makeup wipes are more likely to be able to effectively cleanse your face.
  • Your skin type - There will always be people who can use makeup wipes on a daily basis & wake up with glowing skin, but if your skin is more easily irritated or if you're prone to blemishes, then you're more likely to see the negative impact of their use. Last night I came home a little worse for wear, apathetically dragged a makeup wipe around my face, & then flopped into bed. This morning I woke up with the biggest white-head just under my lip. Cause & effect.

So, that's it. The hard truth is that no makeup wipe can replace a dedicated cleanser, so it's best to keep their use to a minimum & if you're one of those people who can get away with using them without any negative consequences then make sure you thank your parents for those damn good genes.

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