From The Straits Times    |

Can cleansing wipes remove makeup thoroughly B.png


We all know that taking off our makeup before bed is the most basic of beauty basics, but let’s face it, much like Mum badgering us to eat our veggies, the soundest advice often goes unheeded. After getting home late, dragging ourselves to the bathroom for a standard three-step drill isn’t exactly top priority – that would be kicking off our heels and switching on the tellie. And yet, it bears repeating that removing makeup can be an absolute eye and skin-saver.

Here’s why. Any sort of residue on your face, particularly stubborn eye gunk like water-resistant mascara, will up your chances of an ophthalmological infection when left on overnight. Bacteria festers quickly in gel liners (which is why most formulations have shorter shelf lives than their pencil counterparts) and can choke off the circulation of lubricating tear ducts, leaving you with itchy, blood-shot peepers. That sandpapery sensation in your eyes the morning after? Chalk it up to the abrasive crystals in silica-containing shimmery shadows.

There’s also the scary spectre of premature skin aging. Leaving your makeup on overnight is like basting your mien in a malignant marinade of free radicals, which settle like septic snow on your skin during the day and can cause collagen breakdown over time. All things considered, it might be better to spend a few minutes scrubbing off at the sink than risk the heartache (and faceache) of fine lines and wrinkles.


Enter facial cleansing wipes, which at first blush may seem like a windfall for lazy girls when it comes to late-night makeup removal. After all, what could be easier than fishing one out from a resealable package, sweeping it over your skin and calling it a night?

The ugly truth, unfortunately, isn’t all that rosy. While their dirt-dissolving surfactants are much the same as those in wash-off cleansers, freelance makeup artist Larry Yeo cautions against depending solely upon wipes for cleansing: “Without a good rinse with water, wipes will inevitably leave behind a layer of grime, and cannot be counted upon as perfect substitutes for proper cleansing.” Bummer. What recourse, then, do we wipe worshippers have?


If you must use a wipe, avoid unnecessary tugging around the delicate orbital and lip area, and follow up with a quick splash of lukewarm water.

We may need a little extra help with degreasing during the festive season – intensely pigmented glittery eyeshadow is such a pain to remove. For that, Larry says inexpensive drugstore wipes can be used as a cotton-like receptacle for a stronger cleansing agent: “Grab a piece and fold it into quarters before saturating it with a good oil, like Shu Uemura’s Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil or Shiseido’s Ultimate Cleansing Oil.”

“Press the wipe over the glitter-festooned area for about 5-10 seconds to loosen the adhesives, then sweep off in one deft, decisive stroke.” Prep another piece by soaking with cleansing oil and repeat until the wipe comes off clear.

For double-cleansing goodness, run over the same area with a lint-free cotton ball doused with micellar water, the beauty world’s latest must-have; Larry recommends Bioderma Sebium H20 Micelle Solution. This will latch onto any impurities not picked up by the cleansing oil-and-wipe pads.


Left: Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil, $65 for 150ml and Bioderma Sebium H20 Micelle Solution, $29.90 for 250 ml

And now, a quick explanation. Micellar water gets its exotic name from the science behind the product. The main component of most formulations are microscopic “micelles”, or oil molecules suspended in a “shell” of water. Unlike your regular oil-based cleanser, this next-gen, non-foaming solution glides on like a water-based product, releasing the micelles upon impact to sop up impurities clinging to your skin.

As for oil-adverse readers, repeat after us: Oils are good for you. Cleansing oils work by binding with the “bad” oils on your face. Then, when you work warm water onto your skin, the oils emulsify – that is, the liquid envelops the globules of fat and debris, turning into a milky solution – and can be rinsed right off.

Beauty class over! The bottom line: Using a cleansing wipe is better than stumbling into bed with a face full of makeup. You’ll still be left with an icky, clingy film, which is when heavier-duty oil and micellar cleansers come into play.

At the end of the day (and we use that phrase quite literally), you do need a little water and elbow grease to take it all off – a small price to pay, really, for beautiful makeup begins and ends with a perfectly clean canvas.