My skin has been clear for most of my life (I know, I know.) But lately, wearing my face covering for an extended period of time has left my skin… less than clear. During long walks or runs with my mask, my skin quickly becomes damp and hot, consequently welcoming breakouts to pop up around my chin and mouth. (If you haven’t heard, this is such a common skin concern as of late that dermatologists are calling it “Maskne.”)
I love Neutrogena’s OG wipes and saw that they just released a new wipe with micellar that’s plant based & home compostable, so I had to check them out. I've always kept a pack on hand to remove all of the sweat, oil, and makeup at the end of the day, but lately I've been using them even more than usual to refresh the the skin under my mask. With all of those extra wipes becoming part of my regular skincare routine and ultimately being thrown in the garbage, I was thrilled when I heard Neutrogena launched a new version of the makeup wipes I can't live without— so I had to get my hands on them. Ahead, my full review of Neutrogena’s new plant-based Skin Balancing Micellar Cleansing Cloths (spoiler alert, they're gentle on skin and gentle on our planet).
Neutrogena Skin Balancing Micellar Cleansing Cloths
BEST FOR: All skin types
USES: Gently removes makeup, seat, oil, and dirt in a flash, refreshes and conditions skin
STAR RATING: 5/5
KEY INGREDIENTS: Vitamin E, Pro-Vitamin B5, Micelles
BYRDIE CLEAN?: Yes
ABOUT THE BRAND: Neutrogena is best-known for creating high performance, dermatologist-recommended products at an accessible price point.
About My Skin: Prone to redness and breakouts around the chin
I’ve been blessed with fairly clear skin for most of my life, but the current climate has altered my skin’s temperament. I live in New York City and wear a protective face covering wherever I go—it’s a small thing I can do to protect myself and others, but extended wear creates a warm, moist environment around my mouth and chin (so basically, the perfect environment for breakouts to populate). Like clockwork, a few pimples will crop up around my chin within a day or two of wearing my mask for an extended period of time.
Also worth noting, I’m fairly prone to redness on my cheeks, especially when it’s cold outside or my skin comes into contact with any type of abrasion (like using a washcloth or a face scrub). I combat this with a tinted sunscreen or BB cream during the day—which means I need a makeup remover that sweeps everything away while being gentle on my skin (spoiler alert, these new wipes fit the bill).
The Feel: Clean and buttery soft
In the search for something more sustainable that I could carry in my pocket to help refresh the skin under my face covering, I discovered Neutrogena's new plant-based Micellar Cleansing Cloths, and they are truly unlike anything I’ve ever tried. The 100 percent plant-based, home-compostable wipes are buttery soft, with smooth fibers that glide along the skin rather than tugging on it. Each wipe is fully saturated (but not dripping wet) with a gentle micellar water and emollient-vitamin complex, which means there’s no rinsing or blotting needed.
If you’re unfamiliar with micellar water technology, it’s a type of oil-free cleanser made with water, hydrating ingredients (glycerides, in the case of these wipes), and mild surfactants known as “micelles.” Micelles attract dirt, oil, sweat, and makeup particles—when you use a Micellar Cleansing Cloth, the micelles stay on the wipe, then they pick up the particles as you sweep the wipe over your skin. These properties make micellar water a gentle, but extremely effective makeup remover and cleanser.
A quick 10-second sweep with one wipe gives me that clean and conditioned feeling while lifting away every last trace of my makeup. The best way I can describe the feel of the formula is that it’s like removing makeup, cleansing my skin, and moisturizing at once.
Key Ingredients: Vitamin E, Vitamin B5, Micelles
- Vitamin E: Protects the skin barrier, accelerates skin healing, soothes skin from environmental and pollution exposure
- Vitamin B5: Contains anti-inflammatory properties, hydrates, and conditions skin for a soft and smooth feel
- Micelles: Work like a magnet for dirt, oil, makeup, and sweat to gently cleanse without stripping the skin
The Results: No makeup, oil, or sweat left behind
As you can see below, a single sustainable wipe was powerful enough to remove a full face of makeup (including foundation and lipstick), but gentle enough that my skin doesn’t look (or feel) red, raw, or tight. I don’t even feel the need to moisturize—my skin feels clean, refreshed, balanced, and conditioned.
I use these cloths beyond just as a makeup remover, too. I’ve been carrying a pack of these in my coat pocket, and when I feel my skin getting grimey under my mask, I do a quick sweep with a cloth (this is a quality formula free of soaps, parabens, alcohol, phthalates, sulfates, and dyes, so there’s no rinsing necessary). The result has been a more comfortable mask-wearing experience and fewer maskne-related breakouts. It feels good to know that while I’m wearing my mask, the wipes are working doubletime underneath to balance my skin’s pH, deliver a dose of vitamins E and B5, and care for my moisture barrier.
The Scent: Light, crisp, and refreshing
I’m normally not one to welcome fragrance in my skincare, but this scent is absolutely delightful and not irritating to my skin. The best way I can describe it is if you could bottle up the smell of fresh, clean skin straight from the shower—there are no heavy notes of harsh soaps, essential oils, or overbearing florals.
The Value: Priceless (but under $10)
I’ve used products well over the $100 mark that have promised to melt away every trace of makeup or clear up my mask-related breakouts, but to no avail. At $6, Neutrogena’s Micellar Cleansing Cloths are extremely effective, affordable, and environmentally-conscious for a fraction of the price. Without hiking up the price point, the brand has managed to create 100 percent plant-based, home-compostable face wipes with ingredients I feel good about leaving on my skin.
Our Verdict: I can’t live without these
These Micellar Cleansing Cloths are officially a staple in my skincare routine. I can’t live without them, and at $6.29, I don’t have too. Within an affordable price point, Neutrogena has created a sustainable, plant-based, home-compostable wipe that’s kind to the planet and skin—and one that actually works to remove makeup, sweat, oil, and grime. Use it as a makeup remover, to refresh skin on-the-go, or as a first step in a double-cleanse. I love these and know you will too—give them a try and become a convert.