Makeup wipes can be amazing. They’re travel friendly and an easy way to quickly remove makeup from the skin. Less amazing is the number of these wipes that will take 100 years or more to fully degrade in a landfill. Just think how many of these wipes a makeup user might go through in a lifetime. Yikes! Although there are a few biodegradable options already available (Josie Maran’s Bear Naked Wipes and RMS Beauty’s The Ultimate Makeup Remover Wipe among them), the new Almay Biodegradable Micellar Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes come in a pack of 25 for a fraction of the cost. Let’s discuss.
Find it HERE
Tested August 2019
As soon as I saw these were available, I immediately texted Lea and said we needed to try them ASAP. I am a die-hard Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelette fan, and use one every night to take off all of my makeup. I am also, therefore, adding to the horrifying quantity of these kinds of wipes that end up sitting in trash for decades. I’ve been hoping and wishing for more brands to offer affordable wipes that are biodegradable…and also work.
When I pulled the first wipe out of this package, I noticed two things. First, removing the wipe created this weird white foam on the package. The wipes are very saturated, but the liquid on them creates bubbly foam that gets on your hands and face, which I don’t love. Second, they do not smell good. I usually prefer unscented products, but these smell like stale cardboard.
I put them to the test at the end of the day, removing eye makeup, face makeup and whatever lip product remained from hours before. And then fire. Fire on my eyes. Within about three seconds of wiping my shadow and mascara off with these wipes, my entire eye area from lid to cheekbone started to burn. It didn’t create excessive redness and dissipated after a minute or so, but this is a deal breaker.
The wipe was effective at removing my face makeup and I didn’t notice any residue on the face after using it, but it cannot go anywhere around my eyes ever again. My Neutrogena wipes never burn like this, but I have had similar issues with remover wipes from other brands, including Yes To and Ulta Beauty. I applaud Almay for coming out with a biodegradable wipe that is inexpensive and in doing so, making this kind of product available on a this-brand-is-in-every-drugstore scale. Now, Neutrogena…are you listening? Can you pretty please be next?
Liz’s Verdict: Pass
I should start by saying in general I am not a fan of makeup wipes. In my (unpopular) opinion they just smear everything around, leave drying chemical residue on your face and are bad for the environment. I concede the occasional need for them (such as camping, as a pre-gym ritual or perhaps on set at a photo shoot) but that’s about it. I do however love coconut oil for makeup remover, so since these claim to be micellar (micelles=tiny clusters of “cleansing” oil) I figured why not give it a try. Also for the record, the jury is still out for me on micellar water in general, hence this foray.
Note to self: trust your gut. These BURNED and not just my eyes. The sensation actually progressed to the point that I rushed to the kitchen sink and tried to rinse away the invisible flames. On top of that I didn’t feel like the wipe removed all of my mascara. I noticed both when I first removed a towelette from the package and upon application that it felt soapy- I’ve never seen that happen with a wipe before. There is something unsettling about smearing suds on your face with the intention of leaving them.
I attempted to look these up on my Think Dirty app (highly recommend for checking product ingredients) but since these wipes are such a new release, there was no data. After my own Google searches, it doesn’t seem that these wipes actually contain any truly harmful ingredients. What I did find were the usual preservatives (to inhibit mold) plus sea salt, coconut oil and several humectants (to help skin retain moisture). In fact, compared to Neutrogena wipes (which are a 7/10 on Think Dirty) these don’t contain methylparaben- a particularly nasty anti-fungal. So it very well could just be my sensitive skin. That being said, it’s probably only fair to say they aren’t a flat out no, just not for me… or anyone else who doesn’t want the feeling of rubbing soap on their face and leaving it.