The 5 Best Face Wipes For Acne-Prone Skin

By Marissa DeSantis

Even the most dedicated to their skin care routines turn to a makeup wipe from time-to-time. And while those with non-reactive skin types can reach for just about any type of wipe to remove makeup, the best face wipes for acne-prone skin are a bit harder to come by. But once you know what to look for, you'll find that there are still plenty of options out there.

Like with face wash, oily and acne-prone skin types want to look for specific ingredients in their face wipes that can help prevent breakouts and reduce oil production. A BHA, like salicylic acid, is a common acne-fighting ingredient that works to exfoliate skin and cut through the oil that clogs pores. Salicylic acid is also anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, so it helps kill acne-causing bacteria — though because it's on the gentler side, it's less likely to leave your face red and irritated. Astringents, like witch hazel and grapefruit extract, are other helpful ingredients, as they act to reduce the visibility of pores by causing the tissue to constrict. They can also reduce the appearance of oily skin, as can the ingredient zinc, which regulates sebum production.

Of course, it's also important to stress that using face wipes alone shouldn't become a nightly habit (although feel free to go ahead and use one as the first step of your cleansing routine to get a head start on removing makeup). While face wipes certainly help to get rid of makeup, dirt, and oil, they're definitely not as effective as washing your face with a cleanser for oily and acne-prone skin types. Plus, if you're not completely removing all of the makeup and grime that builds up on your skin throughout the day, it can cause even more breakouts in the long run.

Ahead, you'll find five of the best face wipes for acne-prone skin that are perfect for traveling, a post-gym refresh, or even those occasional lazy nights when washing your face seems like a monumental task.

1. Best Dermatologist-Formulated Face Wipes

Developed by dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Suzan Obagi, the Obagi Acne Cleansing Wipes combine two gentle ingredients that are known to help fight acne — salicylic acid and witch hazel. While the salicylic acid cleans out pores, witch hazel is a natural anti-inflammatory and astringent that helps shrink the appearance of pores by causing them to constrict. Additionally, these wipes contain aloe to help combat the drying effects of salicylic acid, and antioxidant-rich ingredients like broccoli extract and citrus bioflavonoids, which help protect against free radicals that damage the skin. They're also free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, and dyes so they shouldn't cause any irritation.

2. Best Face Wipes For Sensitive & Acne-Prone Skin

For sensitive skin that's both oily and acne-prone, these La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying face wipes have been dermatologist-tested and are free of parabens, fragrances, and oil. Lipo-hydroxy acid (LHA), a derivative of salicylic acid, is used to help exfoliate the surface of the skin to lift away dead skin cells and pore-clogging dirt, oil, and makeup. LHA is said to be a gentler acne-fighting ingredient, but the wipes are also infused with the brand's thermal spring water to further soothe red, irritated skin. Even better, La Roche-Posay's wipes help keep sebum production under control thanks to zinc pidolate, which targets excess oil and further helps clean out congested pores.

3. Best Eco-Conscious Face Wipes

Made with naturally-derived and organic ingredients, these face wipes are formulated with grapefruit oil to gently clean pores and argan oil to condition and repair damaged skin. Aloe vera and cucumber extract are also included for their complexion-soothing benefits. But, these facial towelettes aren't just good for your skin — Josie Maran's Bear Naked Wipes are also good for the planet. The brand donates a portion of the proceeds from sales to the NRDC's Polar Bear SOS initiative, which aims to protect polar bears from the growing threat of extinction. And that's not all — they're also biodegradable, so these are the rare facial wipes that you can feel good about purchasing.

4. Best Value Pack

If you always like to have makeup wipes on hand, these Burt's Bees Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleansing Towelettes come in a pack of three — so you'll have enough to store at home, in your gym bag, and even at your desk. The formula contains pink grapefruit seed oil, which serves as a natural astringent (and adds a refreshing scent!) to cut through oil and constrict pores, as well as moisturizing glycerin and several other antioxidant-rich fruit extracts.

"I have combination skin with adult acne and an oily T-zone with dry patches that sometimes arise," writes one Amazon user. "This formula has been just right for my skin." Other Amazon users note that they like the citrusy scent, and they recommend using these as post-gym wipes for body acne, too.

5. Another Great Acne-Fighting Multi-Pack

These acne- and oil-fighting face wipes won a spot on Teen Vogue's 2018 Acne Awards list — and with good reason. In Yes To's tomato face wipes, salicylic acid works to gently exfoliate the skin and clear out dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from pores, while tomato fruit extract, which, in addition to containing vitamins C and E, also helps control oil production. Feel free to use them on your chest and back if you tend to break out there, too.

"They're perfect for travel, but even better on lazy nights when I don't want to actually wash my face," writes one Amazon reviewer, adding, "I have very acne-prone skin, so I often use [these] mid-day to feel refreshed."

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