Sunday, August 4, 2013

What I look for in a Makeup Wipe

So many choices, what should you use?
I've mentioned it before, I have Rosacea Type 2 on my cheeks.  It isn't super severe but I want to take care of my skin so it doesn't get worse or spread.  I use Pevonia’s RS2 line and it works quite well for me.  However there are a few other things I use in my skin care routine that I think really helps the expensive Pevonia do its thing as efficiently as possible.

The main thing I do is I remove my makeup before I wash my face.  I know to some folks that sounds like washing the dishes before sticking them in the dish washer, but hear me out. 

If you use your cleanser to take your makeup off, you’re using all of that cleanser’s energy just getting that makeup off.  By the time you rinse and pat your face dry, the only thing you've accomplished is removing makeup.  Any extra benefits your cleanser claims to have won’t have had a chance to take effect on your skin because it was spent just removing your makeup.

Using a makeup remover or a makeup wipe first means that your skin is bare and ready for your cleanser to actually do the things it says it’s going to do, whether that’s fighting acne or calming Rosacea or exfoliating pores or whatever it is.

I prefer the makeup wipe method because it’s easy, convenient, portable, and the wipes can serve multiple functions (cleaning hands, spot-cleaning makeup brushes, personal hygiene in a pinch, etc).  But the problem with makeup removers is that so many of them are so very harsh.  I've seen a makeup remover wipe take the finish off of a table.  Really, do you need (or want) that kind of potency when removing your mascara?!  I sure don’t!

So when I started my search for the perfect makeup wipe, the first place I looked was the ingredients list.  (If you didn't figure it out from my Setting Spray Review, I'm definitely a label reader.)  What I like to see are skin-soothing ingredients like chamomile, rose,  aloe, and vitamin E.  Anything with alcohol, fragrance, salicylic/beta-hydroxy acid or alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids) went right back on the shelf because those are well-known skin irritants.  My final requirement is that they need to be cheap- under 30 cents each.  Bonus points for being nice to the environment.  

After searching through all the makeup remover wipes and face wipes with no luck, I walked over to the baby section and started reading the baby wipe ingredients.  I got closer and closer until I found my Holy Grail makeup remover wipe.  It was the Walgreens Renew Naturals Soft & Gentle Bio-degradable Wipes (unscented).  These were the absolute best makeup wipes I've ever used.  Ever.  They had 10 ingredients total and they were made from environmentally sustainable, organically grown, biodegradable bamboo fiber.  They took all my makeup off without irritating my skin or eyes, and they smelled wonderful even though they were unscented.  I just can’t say enough about these things. 

Walgreens Renew Naturals Soft & Gentle Bio-degradable Wipes (unscented)
The best wipes ever.
And then Walgreens discontinued them a few months ago. 

[insert dramatic music and lighting
*drops to my knees
NNNYYYOOOOOHHHH!!!!! Curse you Walgreeeennnnssss!!! 
*shakes fist in the air*

Sorry about that...  Anyway, I started my search again.  After a month or so of looking I found some baby wipes that would tide me over until I found my new HG wipe.  It’s the Gentle-Touch B Baby Wipes by Field Day.  I found these at my local New Pioneer Food Coop, but they also have a website.  The package claims they’re “alcohol free, gentile & soft for baby’s skin, hypoallergenic, free of dyes & fragrances, whitened without chlorine bleach, and contains natural aloe vera & vitamin E.”

Field Day Baby Gentle-Touch Baby Wipes
Field Day Baby Gentle-Touch Baby Wipes
Here’s the ingredients and what they do:

Water (filtered water)
I’m sure you can figure this one out without any help. ;)

Decyl Glucoside (a mild surfactant) 
According to Wikipedia, this is “a mild non-ionic surfactant used in cosmetic formulas including baby shampoo and in products for individuals with a sensitive skin. Many natural personal care companies use this cleanser because it is plant-derived, biodegradable, and gentle for all hair types.

Glycerin (soothes and cleans)
Glycerin is used in medical and pharmaceutical and personal care preparations, mainly as a means of improving smoothness, providing lubrication and as a humectant.

Less than 1% of:
Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (preservative)
This seemed like it was going to be a deal-breaker after reading this article about it.  But at the time I had run out of my backups of the Walgreens wipes and needed something.  So I got these wipes anyway as they had the least ‘offensive’ ingredients list of any I had found locally.  I liked that they didn’t use a parabens as the preservative, but wished they would have used Tea Tree Oil instead like Walgreens did.

According to Wikipedia, this “is an oral anti-foaming agent”.  I would imagine it’s been put in this product to reduce any foaming the water and decyl glucoside may produce.

Citric Acid (stabilizer, balances pH levels) 
I know this is on my 'no' list but it’s in an extremely small concentration so it’s unlikely to cause a problem on the skin. And as stated before, I needed something at the time.

Tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E- moisturizes and protects)
Another ingredient I don’t think you need help figuring out.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (aloe vera)
Another ingredient I don’t think you need help figuring out.

Field Day Baby Gentle-Touch Baby Wipes
Field Day Baby Gentle-Touch Baby Wipes
I do like that the ingredients list isn't super long with a ton of junk that doesn't need to be there.  KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).  As the package promises, they don’t contain any alcohol, fragrance, or dyes.  The main preservative isn't a paraben, but it isn't the nicest of chemicals out there either.  I don't like that it uses citric acid as a preservative because this is a known skin irritant.  These wipes do contain aloe & vitamin E as promised, but since they’re the last 2 ingredients in the list I would guess they’re only there in trace amounts. ~grumble~   

The actual wipes themselves are very soft to the touch and don’t feel scrubby or scratchy to the skin, which makes my Rosacea happy.  They're 6.3 inches by 7.9 inches, and are a nice thickness- not too thick so you can't feel what you're doing, but not so thin that your finger nails poke right through them.

How do they work?  My experience is that they work pretty well actually.  They remove my makeup relatively easily with little scrubbing, even eye makeup and glitter comes off with them*.  I noticed that have to work at my lashes a bit more with these than I did with the Walgreens wipes to get all the mascara off.  I don’t notice any excessive redness on my face, and I don't experience any stinging on my sensitive cheeks or in my eyes (I wear contacts). 

I do notice my face feeling a little ‘tight’ just after using one of these, which means its sucked all the oils out of my face.  This can be a bad thing, but the feeling goes away relatively quickly and I don't feel like my face is overcompensating by getting really oily.  However I never had this issue with the Walgreens wipes.

I have had a few really late nights where I used all the energy I had left to remove my makeup with a wipe just before crashing into bed; no actual skin care routine was performed.  I woke up the next morning with OK skin- no excess dryness, redness, or irritation.  My face would have felt more normal had I done my skin care routine the night before, but it wasn't awful.

I’m still on the hunt for the ‘perfect’ makeup wipe, something as similar as possible to the Walgreens brand baby wipes I used to adore, but for now I think these will do OK.   Someone who’s less picky than me might find these to be their own Holy Grail wipe so that’s why I decided to share this find and my experience with it.

So what do you use to remove your makeup?  Do you have any suggestions to help me out on my search for my new perfect makeup wipe?  Leave me a comment below!

*please note the most long-lasting, water-proof makeup I wear are the Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils and Glide-On Liners.

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