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Why Skin Wipes are Not the Answer to Better Skin

Posted on 4 December, 2015

Modern life is filled with products of convenience from household goods to foodstuffs, skincare and more. What is the source of constant surprise for me, however, is the number of people I know who use facial wipes as a regular feature of their cleansing routine. We do live in an era of convenience and I would be lying if I said I don't enjoy the benefits of cutting corners from time to time.  I confess that I sometimes use wipes for cleaning hard surfaces and likewise I occasionally use facial skin cleansing wipes. However, wipes should not be for daily regular use. Wipes should only be used when it is difficult to do otherwise.

If you want to achieve radiant skin, then my advice to you is to start with the simple things. Skin wipes are the first thing to eliminate from your regime. Cleansing wipes, by their very nature, will leave a film of residue products on your skin. When you wash your face with a cleanser you use water to rinse away any remnants of the product. These trace ingredients left on your skin after cleansing with wipes may aggravate the skin unbalancing the normal pH and therefore disrupting the normal skin barrier. Wipes contain preservatives. We know that preservatives irritate the skin Over the past couple of years, there has been a surge in the number of people attending dermatology outpatients who have been diagnosed with allergy to preservatives found in cleansing skin wipes. The main offender is Methylisothiazolinone or as I prefer to call it MI. This substance is found in many products. It is safe and under European law was only allowed in very small concentrations. However, since the laws now allow higher concentrations of this preservative, many manufacturers are using this substance in the place of other preservatives like formaldehyde and parabens and therefore at higher levels than ever before. This, it seems, is causing us problems. If you have already noticed an itchy painful rash that is present on the parts of your body on which you use wipes, then you should consider the possibility that you have an allergy to SI. You should stop using wipes and remember that it may take around six weeks for your skin to recover. To put the level of allergy in the general population in perspective, it is thought that allergy to SI is second only to nickel allergy, so that means a lot of people.


What to do with normal skin  

If you are lucky enough to have ‘normal skin’ and you are in a situation where it is difficult to wash your face properly then by all means, use wipes. Do not, however, allow wipes to become the usual way to wash your face. If you already have an underlying problem skin type such as sensitivity, acne, rosacea or chronic redness then only use when there is no alternative and then choose wipes which are free from preservatives When you do wash your face properly, use a cleanser which helps to maintain a slightly acidic pH, not neutral as many cosmetic brands will have you believe. Washing your face should take around a minute, spend time massaging in your product and then rinse away with tepid water & gently pat dry with a clean towel.