This article was last updated in December 2018.
Have you sworn off face wipes because of their questionable ingredients, icky residue and harm to the environment?
It's time to reconsider! There's a new crop of cleansing cloths on the market that are a vast improvement over their predecessors.
No, they still won't replace a good old-fashioned cleanse with face wash and running water.
What they WILL do is remove dirt, oil and makeup on the go, with ingredients that are kinder to your skin (and won't leave a film behind).
When you're done, you can simply toss them into the compost bin, and they'll biodegrade within a few months!
Here's what to look for, plus the best wipes I've found.
How to Choose a Face Wipe
When choosing a face wipe, it should ideally meet the following criteria:
- Fragrance-free or low in fragrance
However, even with the best ingredients, face wipes have the potential to irritate because you're not rinsing away the cleansing agents (surfactants, emulsifiers, etc.) and preservatives.
That's why it's a good idea to rinse your skin with water after using a face wipe, if possible!
My Favourite Face Wipes
Consonant Come Clean Anytime Natural Cleansing Cloths
Consonant Come Clean Anytime Natural Cleansing Cloths are my number one face wipe pick because they're 100 percent natural and so refreshing to use. Made of biodegradable bamboo, they do a great job of removing light makeup without drying out your skin. Each pack contains 10 wipes.
Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Coco Betaine (coconut derived surfactant), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Citrus Grandis Peel Oil (grapefruit), Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vitis Vinefera Seed Extract (grape seed), Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract (chamomile), Limonene (lemon), Citric Acid.
Ursa Major 4-in-1 Essential Face Wipes
Ursa Major 4-in-1 Essential Face Wipes are an on-the-go version of the brand's 4-in-1 Essential Face Tonic, and made of biodegradable bamboo. Not only do they cleanse, they also exfoliate with sugarcane (an AHA) and willow bark (a BHA). The aloe vera base is soothing and hydrating. I tend to be sensitive to witch hazel, but I tolerate it in these wipes no problem—leading me to believe there's not that much of it in here. You get 20 individually-wrapped wipes per package.
Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice*, water/aqua/eau, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) pulp water*, salix nigra (willow) bark extract, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf /flower water, sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, levulinic acid, sodium levulinate, vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) fruit/leaf extract, saccharum officinarum (sugar cane) extract, acer saccharum (sugar maple) extract, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) fruit extract, citrus limon (lemon) fruit extract, oryza sativa (rice) seed extract*, camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract*, betula alba (birch) sap, lactobacillus/arundinaria gigantea (bamboo) ferment filtrate, caprylyl/capryl wheat bran/straw glycosides, fusel wheat bran/straw glycosides, polyglyceryl-5 oleate, sodium cocoyl glutamate, glyceryl caprylate, olea europaea (olive) leaf extract, pseudotsuga menziesii (fir) needle oil*, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower oil*, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) leaf/flower oil*, boswellia carterii (frankincense) resin extract, alcohol denatured*. * denotes organic
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Wipes
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Wipes are biodegradable wipes inspired by the brand's world-famous, cult-favourite micellar water. Although they're on the drier side compared to the liquid formula on a cotton pad, these are suitable for a light cleanse, when you're not wearing much (or any) makeup. You get 25 wipes per pack.
Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Polysorbate 20, Pentylene Glycol, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Allantoin, Cetrimonium Bromide, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum).
RMS Beauty The Ultimate Makeup Remover Wipes
RMS Beauty The Ultimate Makeup Remover Wipes are a convenient, portable way of oil cleansing. The biodegradable cloths are immersed in just one ingredient, coconut oil, and should be massaged over dry skin to break up and then wipe off dirt and makeup. You can also follow them up with a regular cleanser if you don't want to leave any oil on your skin. There are 20 in each pack.
Ingredients: *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil. *Certified organic
Beautycounter One-Step Makeup Remover Wipes
Beautycounter One-Step Makeup Remover Wipes are biodegradable wipes saturated in a natural micellar water formula. Despite being oil-free, they remove all traces of makeup, and feel super-soft and gentle on the skin. Each pack contains 30 wipes.
Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water*, Undecane, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Tridecane, Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids, Allantoin, Glycerin, Betaine, Phenethyl Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol. *Organic/Biologique
Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Wipes
Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Wipes are 95 percent natural and made of a compostable fabric. They also happen to be black, thanks to an infusion of charcoal powder! While I'm not convinced of any "detoxifying" benefits, these are still a good, gentle cleansing option for acne-prone skin. And they're mega-affordable, with each pack containing 30 wipes.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Betaine, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Charcoal Powder, Galactoarabinan, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Alcohol, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Coumarin.
More Face Wipes to Try
Arcona Triad Pads
Arcona Triad Pads are biodegradable pads marinated in the brand's Cranberry Toner. They remove makeup, cleanse the skin and infuse it with protective antioxidants. Just be aware that they are quite high in witch hazel, which some people are sensitive to. Each jar contains 45 pads.
Ingredients: Aqua (Distilled Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Rice Milk (Sodium Lactate), Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Matlodextrin, Benzyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol (component of Witch Hazel), Fragrance (Natural).
Klorane Make-Up Remover Biodegradable Wipes
Klorane Make-Up Remover Biodegradable Wipes are eco-friendly wipes designed with sensitive eyes and skin in mind. They're fragrance-free and have a pH similar to tears, making them ideal for contact lens wearers. There are 25 wipes in a package.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, Glycerin, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate, Disodium EDTA, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trideceth-9.
Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths
Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths are the only wipes that actually foam, without water. Sulfate-free and biodegradable, they're infused with mineral-rich Icelandic glacier water, cucumber and cornflower extracts, and natural surfactants—so they won't be drying. You get 30 cloths per package.
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau*, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Hexylene Glycol, Glycerin, Angelica Archangelica Root Water*, Polysorbate 20, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Simondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Peg-75 Shea Butter Glycerides, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Cetraria Islandica Extract, Buddleja Davidii Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, Oxycoccus Palustris (Arctic Cranberry) Seed Oil, Rubus Chamaemorus (Arctic Cloudberry) Seed Oil, Tropolone, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Citric Acid, Benzyl Salicylate, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Limonene, Citronellol, Geraniol, Perfluorodecalin, Butylene Glycol, Glycosphingolipids, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Bisabolol, Benzyl Alcohol, Eugenol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Parfum (Fragrance). *component of Icelandic Glacial Water
Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Cloths
Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Cloths are biodegradable wipes that cleanse with a squalane oil-based formula. A heads up if you're used to wet wipes—these are a dry oil, so they're not going to be moist. But they also won't drip into eyes (and irritate), and will loosen stubborn makeup when pressed into the skin. There are 25 cloths in each pack.
Ingredients: Water/Aqua, C13-15 Alkane, Polyglyceryl-10 Decaoleate, Glycerin, Glyceryl Oleate Citrate, Squalane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Olea Europaea (Olive)Fruit Oil, Simmondisia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Allantoin, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate , Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Caprylic/Capric, Triglyceride, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Tetrasodium, Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.
Pacifica Purify Facial Cleansing Wipes with Coconut Water
Pacifica Purify Facial Cleansing Wipes with Coconut Water are an affordable, natural and biodegradable option. They use a sulfate-free surfactant in a base of glycerin, coconut water and aloe vera. Each pack includes 30 wipes.
Ingredients: aqua, decyl glucoside, glycerin (vegetable), cocos nucifera (coconut) water, aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf extract, carica papaya (papaya) fruit extract, calendula officinalis (calendula) extract, polysorbate 20, citric acid, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, parfum (natural).
Alba Botanica Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes
Alba Botanica Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes are made from biodegradable fabric and use fruit enzymes to remove makeup, dirt and oil. Just a heads up that there are lots of essential oils in here, so it's probably best to rinse your face when you're done. Each package has 10 wipes.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice(1), Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, Hedychium Coronarium Root Extract, Barosma Betulina Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Allantoin, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Babassu Oil, Polyglyceryl-4 Esters, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Panthenol, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium PCA, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Allyl Caproate, Allyl Heptanoate, Lauraldeyde, Triethyl Citrate, Vanillin, Citral, Limonene, Linalool. (1)Certified Organic Ingredient
Burt's Bees Micellar Cleansing Towelettes
Burt's Bees Micellar Cleansing Towelettes are made from repurposed cotton, which is biodegradable, and are 99.5 percent natural. The micellar formula is fragrance-free and should be suitable for even sensitive skin. There are 30 towelettes in each package.
Ingredients: Aqua (water, eau) pentylene glycol, honey extract, callitris columellaris leaf/twig oil (white cypress oil), lactic acid, sorbitan oleate decylglucoside crosspolymer, glycerin, alcohol, potassium sorbate, limonene.
Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes
Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes are also super natural (98.7 percent) and made with biodegradable material. Saturated in cucumber, aloe and green tea extracts, they should suit most skin types in need of gentle cleansing and makeup removal. You get 30 wipes per package.
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cucumis Sativas (Cucumber) Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Extract*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract*, Sodium Chloride (Sea Salt), Carpylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance. * Certified Organic Ingredient
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