Are Baby Wipes Bad for Your Face? (Adult & Infants Explained)

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In our house, we use baby wipes for EVERYTHING.

Changing diapers? Obviously.

Wiping down the counter? Check.

Scrubbing a juice spill out of the sofa? Check!

But a lot of new parents find themselves wondering if there are any no-nos for baby wipes. Like:

Can you use baby wipes on your or baby’s face? Are baby wipes bad for your adult face?

Let’s take a look at what’s in (and not in) baby wipes and whether they’re safe for the sensitive skin on baby and adult faces.

Using Baby Wipes on Baby’s Face

OK, let’s start here.

It’s spaghetti night. And you know what that means.

Your baby has red sauce smeared all over his face!

(Not to mention on the table, the high chair tray, and on the floor.)

Is it safe to use a baby wipe to clean him up?

Yes! It’s safe to use baby wipes basically anywhere on a baby’s body. They’re extremely gentle and formulated not to irritate skin, even the sensitive skin on a baby’s face.

(If anything, the skin on baby’s bottom and diaper area is even MORE sensitive! And wipes are just fine down there.)

Now it’s worth pausing to add a few caveats:

Make 100% sure you’re buying baby wipes, and not wet wipes.

(Here’s the difference between baby wipes vs wet wipes.)

In a nutshell, wet wipes and other wipes designed for cleaning and/or for adults, can contains alcohols, antibacterials, and other harsh chemicals.

You don’t want these on baby’s skin if you can avoid it!

Go for unscented, alcohol-free wipes from known baby brands like Pampers, Huggies, or Honest.

Good baby wipes should also be free of parabens, should be water-based, and should be hypoallergenic.

With those, they’re safe to use all over your baby, including his face.

But be careful not to overwipe! Too much aggressive wiping can irritate and dry out the skin.

For heavy messes, wipes sometimes aren’t the best option. For nights with red-sauce, we’ll sometimes break out a clean, wet dishcloth to get the bulk of the food off of baby’s face and then use a wipe for a follow-up.

This has a couple of key benefits, like saving you from using a million wipes, and absorbing more of the mess more quickly.

Using Wipes on Adult’s Face

You’ve probably guessed by now that yes, baby wipes are safe to use on an adult’s face.

But should you?

You might be wondering, since you have so many wipes laying around, if you should use them to remove makeup, use them as a before-bed face cleanser, and more.

Using a baby wipe to get the wing sauce off of your face and fingers is a no-brainer and totally safe and effective.

But how about these more specialized uses?

Baby wipes to remove makeup

If you’re traveling, on-the-go, or just in a hurry, using a baby wipe to clean makeup off your face every once in a while is fine.

But baby wipes aren’t your best bet here, as they’re a bit too gentle to remove all of the makeup.

(They’re good for removing eye makeup because they don’t have harsh chemicals that can get in your eyes, but again, might be too gentle for a full cleaning.)

You’ll likely end up with residue left behind and some clogged pores.

Doing this too often can lead to breakouts, so it’s not advised!

Best to use a proper face wash or facial wipe that’s specially formulated for removing makeup without irritating your skin.

Baby wipes as facial cleanser

It’s the same deal here.

Baby wipes are fine for a quick face wipe, but they don’t do a great job of cleaning your skin and pores.

They don’t contain much in the way of cleansing agents and chemicals, only wiping away debris from the surface of skin.

A good facial cleanser will contain agents that help break down grease and oil, things that get deep into your pores to clean and open them up — all without drying you out too much.

If you’re looking for an everyday face wipe, don’t just reach for the pack of Pampers. (Even though it’s tempting!)

Get something that’s actually up to the task.

(All that said, I would still use a baby wipe on my face for food and such before a wet wipe! Better to avoid all that alcohol and other chemicals that will dry your skin up.)

What are the benefits of using a baby wipe for your face?

There are a couple of reasons you might want to wipe your face with a baby wipe every now and then.

Quick and convenient: If you’re a parent, you definitely have tons of baby wipes around. Wiping dirt and food off of your face with a baby wipe (while not as good as a proper facial wipe) is better than nothing at all!

Cheap: Again, you’ll be buying baby wipes in bulk if you have young kids. Usually you’ll pay anywhere from 1-5 cents per wipe. Good quality facial cleansing wipes can easily cost 3-5x as much.

Gentle: A good set of baby wipes is free of scents, alcohol, parabens, and, well, pretty much everything! If you use them aggressively or too frequently, you can irritate the skin, but otherwise they’re about the gentlest product imaginable.

Of course, you have to remember the downsides.

Baby wipes are too gentle to clean your face deeply and will leave oil and makeup residue behind. Fine in a pinch, but not a replacement for a proper face-washing routine!

Wrapping Up

That about covers it.

Baby wipes are totally safe to use on your face! And baby’s fine!

Wipe everything with them! There’s almost nothing they can’t do.

Stock up! We love to get the Kirkland wipes in bulk from Costco, and that way we almost never run out.

For more, check out:

Hope this helps!