Face-off: wipes vs washes

Expert insight:

Unlike washes, which are rinsed off, wipes are typically used in absence of water, meaning the preservatives (like parabens) and acids (such as salicylic or lactic types) stay on your skin, explains Ashley Hudson, senior regional manager for EQX Body Lab in New York City.

You could experience irritation and dryness as a result—especially around the eyes, where the skin is thinner and more sensitive. These effects are sometimes compounded if you’re using a textured wipe, which is more abrasive than your fingers are.

Plus, wipes are less environmentally friendly since they produce more waste.

The bottom line:

When wipes are the most convenient option, look for a biodegradable product with moisturizing coconut oil, Hudson says. Avoid those with methylparaben, polyparaben, butylparaben, and harsh acids such as AHAs and BHAs.