The Big Mistake Way Too Many People Make With Facial Wipes

On busy days, facial cleansing wipes are a skin-care godsend. When you're on the go (or are just too tired to fathom doing your full cleansing routine), face wipes are perfect for getting skin clean quickly. Well, mostly. We asked the experts for the correct way to use face wipes to make sure you're getting the best skin possible.

"For those who wear light to medium makeup, face wipes alone can be enough to cleanse the skin," Shari Marchbein, a dermatologist in New York City, tells Allure. "My favorite wipes are Simple Water Boost Cleansing Wipes. "They are formulated for sensitive skin and are the only ones that do not sting my skin or leave a feeling of residue from the wipe after use."

The key is to use as many wipes as you need until no traces of makeup are left when you swipe, Erin Gilbert, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, tells Allure. If you wear heavier foundation, wipes alone may not be enough to get the job done. "I always recommend using a face wipe to remove the majority of your makeup before cleansing your face with your preferred cleanser," she says. "If makeup traces remain on your skin overnight, they can clog your pores and lead to breakouts." Gilbert recommends Vichy Laboratoires Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 Makeup Remover Wipes with Micellar Cleanser Water.

Both dermatologists agree the two biggest mistakes you can make are not using enough wipes to remove all your makeup and missing areas like your hairline. "Both leave makeup, daily build-up, and oil on your skin that not only can lead to acne, but faster [signs of aging], since you fail to remove environmental pollutants that can age your skin over time," says Gilbert.

The proper swiping technique can help make sure you're getting the best clean. Marchbein recommends starting in the middle of the face and moving outwards, making sure you don't miss your hairline or jawline.

Another major face wipe faux pas is not paying enough attention to the eyes. Eye makeup is typically formulated not to budge, so it can be hard to remove entirely with a wipe. "Eye makeup can get smeared onto your cheeks or under eyes if you remove it last," explains Gilbert. "Then you're defeating the purpose of having a fully cleansed face."

Either start with an eye makeup remover, or use a separate wipe for eyes. "You can leave a wipe on the eyes for a minute or two to help loosen mascara but remember to never tug or scrub as you do not want to accidentally rip out eyelashes," Marchbein says.

The bottom line? Face wipes are great for on-the-go or in a pinch. But to truly get the best clean, you should follow up your face wipe with a gentle cleanser like the Best of Beauty Award-winning Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser.

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