The 7 Best Face Wipes For After A Workout

by Anne Loreto Cruz

Although washing your face after a workout always feels great, there are times when that simply isn't an option. The best face wipes for after a workout are alcohol-free and leave you feeling clean and refreshed without running water.

When you work out, your body produces oil and sweat that can clog your pores. A face wipe should quickly and gently remove dirt, sweat, and oil from your face, but you'll want to steer clear of ingredients like alcohol, which can sting or dry out your skin. Some people also prefer to avoid parabens, a family of preservatives often used in cosmetic formulas, though, according to the FDA, there isn't any conclusive evidence that the amount found in skin care products is harmful to humans.

Face wipes can also be a powerful step in your skincare routine if you choose an option with active ingredients like hyaluronic or salicylic acid to tackle specific concerns, such as hydrating your skin after a sweaty workout or reducing breakouts. Cooling ingredients like cucumber or aloe can also benefit post-workout skin by soothing inflammation and redness.

You'll also want to consider the material your wipes are made from. Some have a textured design that aids post-workout exfoliation, and others are made from biodegradable materials or dead stock fabrics that are slightly more sustainable than plastic-based fibers. Size matters too — a face wipe is typically the size of your hand to easily clean your whole face, but an extra-large sheet can help you freshen up other parts of your body, too.

With all that in mind, these are the best face wipes that’ll have you feeling cleansed after even the sweatiest workouts.

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1. The Best Value

There’s a reason why these Neutrogena makeup remover wipes have a 4.8-star overall rating with more than 51,000 ratings on Amazon — at less than 25 cents per wipe, they pack a whole lot of bang for your buck. The wipes are alcohol-, paraben-, and phthalate-free, and have been dermatologist and allergy tested. These wipes have a very light fragrance that can help you feel refreshed post-workout, and Neutrogena makes these cult-favorite wipes in a variety of packages and scents. I previously used these wipes to take off mascara before hopping into a pool for swim practice, and they make easy work of removing sweat, oil, and waterproof eyeliners and mascaras. Each wipe measures 3.5 by 4.75 by 4 inches.

2. The Best Calming Wipes

These face wipes from Burt’s Bees have soothing cucumber and aloe extracts that feel great after a sweaty HIIT class or run. They're paraben-, phthalate-, and petrolatum-free, making them a good choice for those with sensitive skin. The wipes themselves are made from soft repurposed cotton deadstock from T-shirts, so these are a solid sustainable choice too. If the mint and cucumber fragrance is not your favorite, Burt’s Bees also offers a variety of other scents including peach, rose, and white tea. These wipes have the added benefit of being cruelty-free, and each one measures 6.9 by 7.4 inches.

One reviewer wrote: “These were mild on my sensitive combination skin. Very effective for make up removal or even a quick cleanse. Practical sealable pouches with good sticky covers that kept the wipes wet for a couple months after opening. They have a light minty cucumber scent.”

3. The Best For Oily Skin

These unscented wipes from La Roche Posay are a great option if you have oily or acne-prone skin. The oil-free formula won’t clog up pores and is paraben-free, while the salicylic derivative lipo hydroxy acid helps gently exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. Reviewers love how non-greasy this wipe feels, noting that it helps abate midday oily build-up.

One reviewer wrote: “Great product for when I’m too lazy to wash my face before bed OR right after the gym or a workout!!! Great brand I recommend this to put in every teens backpack for sports basketball or to throw in your workout bag ... great fast easy way to keep your skin clean so you don’t breakout!”

4. The Best Exfoliating Wipes

These individually wrapped face wipes are surprisingly eco-friendly, as Ursa Major strives to use sustainable resources like post-consumer plastic and carbon neutral paper stock for its packaging. The brand is also a Certified B Corporation, which means it not only meets a strict sustainability standard, but also positively impacts its employees and communities. The wipes are paraben- and cruelty-free, and are made with soft, biodegradable bamboo fibers. Reviewers love the subtle orange, lavender, and fir scent from these face wipes, and the four-in-one formula with aloe, glycolic acid, green tea and birch sap works to exfoliate, soothe, and hydrate your skin after a workout.

One reviewer wrote: “Ursa Major’s essential face wipe is absolutely amazing! I literally can’t leave the house without it, and it is such a refreshing product for long days in the office or after a sweaty gym session. If you haven’t tried this product, do it! It’s an absolute game changer.”

5. The Best For Acne-Prone Skin

These face oil-free face wipes have a 2% salicylic acid formula that can help keep breakouts in check. They have a light citrus fragrance and are free of parabens and phthalates. If you experience post-workout acne, these can also act as a preventative measure by helping to remove any bacteria that may have ended up on your face from workout surfaces. Each wipe measures 7.4 by 7.2 inches.

One reviewer wrote: “These are awesome wipes, especially for the summer months. They are very fresh and cleansing and keep my sensitive skin clean and blemish free. They are small-about half the size as a traditional baby wipe, but they work well and are very soft. You can feel the freshness as soon as you wipe your face. I keep them in my purse for when I'm out and need a quick refresh. They are also great for camping or the gym. Overall, I love them!”

6. The Best Compostable Face Wipes

These plant-based face wipes from Busy Co are unscented and have both vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to help firm, brighten, and hydrate skin. The paraben-free wipes come individually packaged, so you can slip a few into your bag without taking up a ton of space. The 4-by-6.7-inch wipes are made with unbleached cotton and cotton pulp and can be composted after use. Reviewers love these glow wipes, which can help your skin feel plump and refreshed after a workout, but the brand also makes a wide variety of other face, body, and personal care wipes.

One reviewer wrote: “These Busy Co face wipes are perfect for busy days and when I’m not at home with a face wash at my disposal. These wipes are the perfect size and thickness to do a very thorough job of cleaning my face and neck without falling apart. They are unscented which is great and they did not irritate my sensitive skin. I keep two wipes in my purse and a couple at work and in my car.”

7. The Best Extra-Large Face Wipe

These extra-large shower replacement wipes are perfect for days when you have to skip a post-workout shower but still want to feel refreshed. The 12-by-12-inch biodegradable wipe can be torn into sections, or you can use the whole thing to wipe down both your face and body. The wipes have ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree oil, and chamomile that help remove dirt and deodorize without leaving a sticky residue, and reviewers commented that the alcohol-free formula doesn't cause dryness. They're also phthalate- and paraben-free.

One reviewer wrote: “I love these wipes! The XL size makes these easy for a full body camping “shower” or to freshen up between a lunch Pilates class or some other occasion where it’s not ideal to take a full shower but you still want to freshen up. Love the tea tree oil, as these will kill bacteria and work great for the even for the face! Takes off makeup without overdrying my skin. The wipes can be easily split into smaller pieces to use on different areas of the body. Highly recommend these - you won’t be disappointed!”