You don't want to spend as much time taking off your makeup as you spend putting it on, especially at the end of a long day. Makeup remover cloths or wipes make the process as simple and easy as a few swipes. Cloths are reusable and only require a little water, whereas wipes are disposable and useful for on-the-go use, like at the gym.
The marketplace is saturated with these products, so we've created a quick guide to help you make an informed purchase. Our top pick is from La Fresh, which features individually wrapped towelettes for travel that are nourishing for the skin.
Considerations when choosing makeup remover cloths
Reusable makeup remover cloths are washcloth-like and made from microfiber. Thousands of synthetic fibers cover the surface area of these cloths — more than in a typical washcloth — and allow for more grip and friction to lift makeup off. They need to be wetted with water before gently used to buff face, lips, and eyes to magically erase long-wear and waterproof makeup. They also provide gentle exfoliation. Cloths require washing, typically once per week.
Disposable makeup remover wipes are thin, packaged sheets soaked in solutions. They are made from a variety of materials like polyester or polypropylene. There are also more eco-friendly and biodegradable ones made from cotton or wood pulp. They are designed to be thrown away or composted after a single use. Already moistened, they don't need added water, and many include skincare features like moisturizing or exfoliating.
Size: Most disposable cloths are square in shape and are seven-by-seven inches in dimension. Reusable cloths, on the other hand, vary in size from four-by-five inches to 12 x 12 inches. If you don't want to wash your reusable cloth often, consider a larger one that you can use in different, clean sections each time you remove makeup.
Packaging: Disposable makeup remover cloths can come in small individually wrapped packets or in larger packs containing a stack of individual sheets. Packets are ideal for slipping into a purse or small bag, and they also stay moist better. However, they are more expensive and create more waste than pack versions.
Makeup remover cloths are saturated in a solution that aids in the removal of makeup and may also cleanse the face. Wipes may contain ingredients with the following skincare benefits:
Soothing: Wipes with soothing ingredients are formulated to calm the skin and may include chamomile, cucumber, or aloe vera extracts. Check the ingredient list to be sure the wipes don't contain alcohol, which can irritate the skin.
Hydrating: Wipes with nourishing formulas to hydrate the skin may include jojoba oil, primrose oil, and vitamin E. Look for wipes labeled as hydrating or moisturizing if you have dry skin.
Exfoliating: While reusable makeup remover cloths will physically exfoliate skin because of their texture, exfoliating disposable wipes must rely on exfoliating acids to do so, like alpha or beta hydroxy acids.
Micellar water: Micellar water is a common ingredient used in makeup remover wipe solutions. Wipes soaked in micellar water contain tiny balls of oil, "micelles," that pull out dirt without over-drying the skin. Look for a micellar water wipe if you have sensitive or dry skin.
Disposable makeup remover wipes range in price from $5 to $20 for a 30-count packet, while individually packaged towelettes can cost as much as $40 for that same count. Reusable makeup remover cloths start at $5 and can increase to $20 for one cloth.
Q. Which are better: reusable or disposable makeup remover cloths?
A. Depending on your needs, each type has its benefits and its drawbacks. Reusable cloths are better for the environment, are non-irritating to sensitive skin, and are more cost-effective than disposable wipes. However, they aren't nearly as convenient and don't offer the skincare perks that disposable ones do.
Q. I have acne-prone skin. What should I know about using makeup remover cloths?
A. If you're using reusable cloths, we recommend buying more than one and/or laundering the cloth after each use to avoid bacterial buildup that can lead to acne. If you're using disposable wipes, look for ones that are oil-free and non-comedogenic. We also recommend using them before and after a workout to reduce sweat-related breakouts.
Makeup remover cloths we recommend
Best of the best: La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes
Our take: Silky makeup remover wipes individually wrapped for travel.
What we like: Non-abrasive and good for sensitive skin. Convenient to slip into a carry-on or gym bag. Nourishes skin with vitamin E. Biodegradable.
What we dislike: Strong scent, which is unpleasant to some users.
Best bang for your buck: MakeUp Eraser The Original Makeup Remover Cloth
Our take: After an initial investment, a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to remove makeup.
What we like: Will remove stubborn waterproof eye makeup and HD makeup. Machine-washable. No stains left after washing. Plush and soft material.
What we dislike: May not completely remove waterproof mascara for some.
Choice 3: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Biodegradable Facial-Cleansing and Makeup-Remover Wipes
Our take: Micellar wipes that will remove makeup and cleanse sensitive skin types.
What we like: Biodegradable. Oil-, alcohol-, and fragrance-free formula. Won't irritate skin. Light pleasant scent.
What we dislike: Wipes are prone to drying out.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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