Health Is Beauty

Why You Should Nix Baby Wipes from Your Life


Why are so many women using baby wipes for cleansing instead of washing their faces? I’m not sure, but it likely has to do with the fact that it’s quick and doesn’t require a trip to the bathroom (although I hope you’re brushing your teeth at night, so you’re already in the bathroom…). But while baby wipes seem convenient, they’re really not great for cleansing, for several reasons—not to mention they’re wasteful.

According to Dr. Susan Stuart, the co-founder of La Jolla Plastic Surgery Dermatology:

They may be convenient, but baby wipes as well as makeup remover wipes include very harsh chemicals. The idea behind such wet clothes is that the packaging requires added preservatives to increase shelf life; therefore, your skin is being exposed to extra formaldehyde-releasing chemicals commonly used as preservatives. Plus, since you’re not rinsing away the cleansing ingredients from the wipes, there’s a residue that’s left behind that exposes your skin to solublizers, surfactants and emulsifiers. This can lead to irritation, hives, dry skin, breakouts, and other unpleasant reactions.

Yep, it’s true, most commercial baby wipes contain plenty of preservatives (chemicals you definitely don’t want sitting on your face all day long)—and honestly, chemicals that aren’t exactly ideal for a baby’s skin either, since we’re talking about it. Now there are, of course, some great all-natural wipes (Natracare makes some, and so does Acure Organics), but while they can certainly come in handy—and are terribly useful if you actually have a baby of course—you really want to be cleansing and supporting your skin, especially at night. That’s when the skin rebuilds, so night-time care is especially important.

If you are short on cash, organic coconut oil cleansing is inexpensive and whether your skin is dry or oily, will work wonders (yes, you can and should cleanse with oils if you have oily skin; it actually helps to keep your skin from over-producing oil by cleansing with it, and will eventually make your skin less oily and more happy).

If you want a beautiful product that will give you aromatheraputic benefits, bring your skin into balance, and has some of the most beautiful bottles to boot, check out Kari Gran, whose cleansing oil and facial serum has changed my skin, for the better, permanently.

So leave the (natural and organic) baby wipes for baby bums, and wash your face properly before bed with healing and supporting oils and cleansers that work for your skin.

Main image via Flickr user Christopher

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.