Q&A: Do Wipes or Face Cleansers Work Better?

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Q: Can I use those facial-cleansing cloths every night instead of soap and water?

A: Cleansing facial wipes, like Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes or Olay Wet Cleansing Cloths, dissolve grime and makeup (even waterproof mascara) so they can be wiped off your skin. Most leave moisturizing ingredients such as aloe, panthenol, and glycerin behind on your skin, so there's also no need to add lotion afterwards. They’re perfect for a trip, or at the gym, or on nights that you just want to crash into bed.

But a moist towelette shouldn’t replace thoroughly washing with a cleanser and water, advises New Jersey dermatologist Jeanine Downie, because the scrubbing involved with the latter option provides a deeper clean. The best choice? Tag-teaming. “Use a face wipe to gently remove makeup before washing your face with a cleanser and lukewarm water," Downie explains. "This takes off every trace of makeup, sweat, oil, and dirt at the end of the day.”