Everyone can relate to that feeling of getting home after a long day of work (not to mention squeezing in a sweat session, some social life, and meal prep, NBD) and feeling too lazy to wash your face. Even though there’s not a skin-care expert alive who recommends sleeping in your makeup and/or grime…
Enter the genius invention of makeup removing wipes, which allow you to wash your face and strategically remove eye makeup without the hassle—or, hey, the need for water.
But not all makeup remover towelettes are made equal. So to help you get through those nights when you’re more inclined to fall into bed than to oil cleanse (or if you’ve got a face full of heavy-duty makeup on—cough, Halloween, cough), Well+Good’s editors tested out all of the options to see which wipes can handle your tinted moisturizers, non-toxic mascara, and bold lipsticks in one fell, er, swipe.
We looked at everything, from how quick and effective they were at removing makeup and how they made our skin feel afterwards to whether they were likely to give you a face full of hives due to harsh ingredients.
Keep reading for the seven cleansing wipes that have superpowers when it comes to making makeup and grime disappear.
If you like to easily wipe off your makeup while daydreaming of a tropical vacation, these wipes are for you. They’re super gentle and almost feel creamy on the skin (that’s thanks to the coconut milk and nourishing jojoba oil and aloe vera), and the infusion of cactus water gives them a unique, summery smell. My skin felt velvety-soft and fresh afterwards (and that mascara vanished from my lashes—talk about paradise). —Rachel Lapidos, assistant editor
First thing I noticed about these wipes is how unnoticeable they are—they’ve got a super-neutral scent, and aren’t so liquid-drenched that they leave your face in a layer of sticky slime. While they weren’t the best at getting off mascara, they were pretty handy at wiping away my liquid liner and bright lipstick. Best of all? I wasn’t left with red, irritated splotches—a reaction I often get with other, more aggressive brands. —Rebecca Willa Davis, deputy editor
I love the chic little individual packets, which is kind of a big deal when you’re already lugging sneakers, leggings, and a laptop in your bag. But they also keep the wipes from drying out or needing preservatives. I use these to remove mascara before a workout—until recently I was kind of using the workout studio’s complimentary towels (sorry!) or ruining one of my own. My eyes and lashes are really sensitive and coconut oil is really nourishing and doesn’t sting a bit, so they’re great for any of those super-vigorous eye-rubbing ladies out there or those who drop lashes anytime they touch their eyes. —Melisse Gelula, co-founder and editorial director
Usually, I rely on baby wipes to remove my makeup at night—or after a workout—but these cleansing towelettes were a major upgrade. Not only did I not smell like a baby anymore, but they were also super soft and worked well enough to clean up my raccoon eye situation in seconds. And as someone who fits in a workout whenever she can, I love that you can use them on your face and body. —Emily Laurence, food and health editor
Real talk: There’s nothing more annoying than re-opening a pack of makeup remover wipes and realizing that they’ve gone drier than a stack of cotton pads. (Not just me, right?) Luckily, the Ogee cloths don’t lack in moisture—even when you’re down to the last one. And that nourishing feeling extended to my skin post-swipe, thanks to the hydrating jojoba (all sustainably produced in the US, as an added bonus) and botanical oils like ylang ylang and geranium. Plus, they contain organic oat extract, which works as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant (hey, I’m all about multitasking). —Rachel Lapidos, assistant editor
As someone who is generally hesitant to use makeup wipes—they tend to send my eyes and the skin around them into a painful, tear-filled war zone—these wipes initially grabbed my attention because of the packaging. (They’re modeled after an actual juice box—striped straw included—so I figured they had to be at least somewhat moisturizing.) Although it took more than a few wipes to get my many, many coats of mascara off, there was zero sting. Plus, they smell sweet and delicious—think Capri Sun from back in the day—and they’re completely biodegradable, so they’re good for the environment too. —Katie Maguire, associate editor
If it were the middle of summer and I just spent the day at the beach—or a night all dolled up at a rooftop party—I would definitely want to reach for these wipes when I got home. They are super-moisturizing, ultra-soothing, and smell like a piña colada. If you’ve got some serious eye makeup going on, you might want something a bit more heavy-duty, but for a tropical refresh they do the job. (And I bet they’d feel amazing year-round after a super-sweaty workout if you stored them in the fridge.) —Rebecca Willa-Davis, deputy editor
Looking to streamline your beauty regimen? These are the nine post-workout miracle workers to stash in your makeup bag, and here are 12 low-maintenance beauty essentials for busy women.