Why You Need to Start Using Japanese Body Wipes

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There are currently only three acceptable reasons why an adult should own baby wipes: (1) You are a parent, (2) you are hiking the showerless Machu Picchu trail, or (3) you are adult-baby-wipe fanatic Terrence Howard.

A company called Ban, which makes wipes that have been popular in Japan, hopes to change that when it launches a Stateside version of its body wipes this month. But how user-friendly — or, frankly, necessary — is a body wipe? Why use one instead of just taking a shower? I tried my best to incorporate Ban's Total Refresh wipes into my sweltering July 4th weekend to see what the hype was all about.

The first occasion to use the wipes came on Thursday morning. During my daily hike from the 6 train to the office, I started to sweat. It was 95 degrees outside, and I was wearing a long-sleeve shirt. Because I thought wiping myself while walking would be embarrassing (even in front of Canal Street fake-bag vendors), I waited until I got to the office before pulling a few out of my bag. In the name of experimentation and because no one was around me, I wiped myself down in my cubical (maybe one of the grossest sentences I’ve ever typed?). I couldn't tell if it was the central-air-conditioning or the body wipes, but I did feel instantly cooler. And none of my co-workers could even tell that I just took a mini bath.

On Friday, the weather was pretty cool, so an occasion to cool myself down with the body wipes didn't present itself. But the wipes did come in handy at my friend’s party, when we were presented with a plate of ribs. Nothing but the best cooling technology for everyone’s barbecue-sauce-stained fingers! The wipes were a huge hit with my friends, a luxury upgrade from Wetnaps. Maybe Tony Roma's should consider a partnership.

On Saturday, I lay out with a friend and brought along the wipes. Not lucky enough to have a pool nearby, we settled for a few douses of a Refresh wipe. While not quite as refreshing as the Soho House pool, the wipes did stay cool and didn't wipe away the sunscreen I applied.

While I couldn’t quite shake the feeling of feeling like an adult baby the whole weekend, the wipes, surprisingly, came in handy. I’m not sure if there’s a need for these in an everyday beauty routine, but for a short stack of ribs, a day in the sun, or a sweaty commute — Ban's Total Refresh wipes were a nice way to wipe out.