What does washing with wipes for five days do to your skin?

What Does Washing With Wipes For Five Days Do To Your Skin?
Glitter, face wipes and clouds of dry shampoo are recognisable festival staples. © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Lara Owen, PA

Glitter, face wipes and clouds of dry shampoo are recognisable festival staples. Yet, as the summer heat rises and festival season kicks off, dermatologists urge that packing those trusty make-up wipes might not be the best idea.

“Whilst convenient, make-up wipes often contain alcohol and other harsh chemicals that can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and sensitivity,” says Dr Chandni Rajani, advanced aesthetics doctor and general practitioner.


“Additionally, the friction from wiping can cause micro-tears in the skin, making it more susceptible to irritation and inflammation. Over time, the residue left behind by wipes can clog pores, leading to breakouts and uneven skin texture.”


It seems, not only do make-up wipes cause irreversible damage to the skin’s barrier, but they may not even be doing the job at all. “Essentially, these are water wipes which will only take off a small amount of make-up and dirt from the skin,” notes Dr Ross Perry, medical director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics.


Alternatives include micellar water and no-rinse cleansers, says dermatologist Dr Eva Melegh. “The best way to remove make-up when you don’t have access to washing facilities is to use a water-free cream cleanser followed by a toner as a double cleanse to remove make-up and dirt from the skin.”

Kanzen Skincare: Derma Acne Duo


CeraVe Micellar Cleansing Water

Ensuring you follow cleansing with a toner and moisturiser will lessen the likelihood of breakouts.


(Marks and Spencer/PA)

M&S Collection Apothecary Revive Day & Night Cream Duo,

Opting for a gentler and environmentally friendly option is also better than nothing.


There are some plastic free, compostable alternatives on the market, “using a gentle, antibacterial body wipe specifically formulated to cleanse the skin thoroughly offers a practical solution for staying fresh and clean in challenging environments,” notes Dr Hilary Jones. “This ensures the skin remains healthy and free from unwanted odours.”


FreshWipes Unscented FreshWipes Antibacterial/Biodegradable Body Wipes – Fragrance Free

So, simply subbing your wipes for micellar water and cotton pads maybe the best solution to avoid your skin becoming dry, itchy and more prone to sun damage. It seems 2024 is the year where wipes may no longer be a summer essential.

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