Though the experts I consulted didn’t outright denounce the use of makeup wipes, they did come to me with a long list of cons. From spreading bacteria to leaving behind built-up residue, there are a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t be using just makeup wipes.
“It’s a given that smearing makeup from one part of the face to another increases your risk of transferring bacteria and potentially viruses to different parts of skin,” says clinical dermatologist Dr. Erma Benitez. “This is important if you have an ongoing infection.”
Cosmetic surgeon and cofounder of Avya Skincare Dr. Tanuj Nakra agrees, saying, “[Wipes] spread around makeup and debris without truly removing it all, and the wiping action itself is inflammatory. Rubbing the skin daily can lead to a diffuse, low-grade inflammation that can cause pigment irregularities and other complexion maladies.”
“Some wipes can create gums and even pustules in the skin that can look like acne but are really an irritant reaction to some of the chemicals in the wipes,” adds clinical dermatologist Dr. Doris Day. “They can be overly abrasive to the skin while others may have ingredients that are irritating or others that are very oily and may leave a residue on the skin.”