Cleansing Make-up Remover Wipe Review: Bioderma, Philosophy, Neutrogena, Burt’s Bees, Wotnot

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How to cite: Wong M. Cleansing Make-up Remover Wipe Review: Bioderma, Philosophy, Neutrogena, Burt’s Bees, Wotnot. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. August 13, 2017. Accessed December 22, 2023.

I recently tried out a whole bunch of different wipes when I got my eyebrows microbladed (review coming soon) and couldn’t wash my face for a week. I generally prefer a proper cleanse to wipes because it feels less wasteful and polluting, but I do find them handy when travelling, and in situations like these! I tried wipes from Bioderma, Philosophy, Neutrogena, Wotnot Naturals and Burt’s Bees They all tested at a skin-friendly pH 4-5. Here’s what I thought of the individual products.

Cleansing Make-up Remover Wipe Review: Bioderma, Philosophy, Neutrogena, Wotnot

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Wipes

Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water is a huge hit in Australia, so there’s been a lot of buzz around their new Bioderma Sensibio H2O Wipes ($20.99 for a pack of 25) too.

The Sensibio line is designed for sensitive skin, and these wipes have a very short ingredients list which is good if you need to scan for your specific allergens. I thought it would be just the micellar water in wipe form, but it’s a completely separate product: the surfactant in the wipes is polysorbate 20, while the micellar water contains PEG-6 caprylic/capric glycerides.

I found these a bit of a mixed bag. They didn’t sting my eyes, but they were a little weak in the make-up removal department. My skin felt a bit tight after cleansing with these, but paradoxically it still felt plump and hydrated with that slightly sticky humectant feeling. The regular Micellar Water works better overall in my opinion, although these are a bit more convenient. It has a stronger fragrance than the micellar water as well.

(This is probably a good time to mention my pet hate – when people write H20 (with the number zero) instead of H2O (with the letter O). H2O is the formula for water and means 2 hydrogens + 1 oxygen, H20 is twenty hydrogens bonded together against the laws of physics. I know it’s a super petty thing to get irritated by, but I needed to get that out of my system.)

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Polysorbate 20, Pentylene Glycol, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Allantoin, Cetrimonium Bromide, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum).

Philosophy Purity Cleansing Cloths

Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleansing cloths ($18 AUD for a pack of 30) are notable because unlike most other wipes, they don’t contain a standard surfactant in the top ingredients – there’s solvents (butylene glycol and water), oils (meadowfoam seed oil is the main one) and gluconolactone (a PHA exfoliant).

I’m particularly excited about gluconolactone, since PHAs are supposed to be gentler exfoliants than AHAs that don’t need a low pH to work. I didn’t see any significant effects during the week I tested them though, but my exfoliant routine is already pretty intense so I’m not sure I would’ve noticed an effect! Unfortunately I found that these didn’t remove make-up as efficiently as I’d like, and I had to go over the same spot a few times. They didn’t irritate my eyes while removing eyeliner, but I’ve seen reviews where other people found it irritating. The scent is a mild essential oil scent (probably sandalwood, but I’m terrible at recognising essential oil scents…).

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Gluconolactone, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Rosa Centifolia Flower Oil, Piper Nigrum (Pepper) Fruit Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil, Bulnesia Sarmientoi Wood Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Glycerin, Calcium Gluconate, Cetyl Palmitate, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-12, Ceteareth-20, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Geraniol, Linalool.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (Night Calming)

Neutrogena have two types of makeup remover wipes in Australia: one plain and one labelled “Night Calming”. Both are priced the same and are pretty budget-friendly ($7.99 AUD for a pack of 25).

Confusingly, they have slightly different ingredients lists even though it sounds like they’re identical apart from the scent. I found them pretty similar in action though.

Both of them were excellent at removing make-up. They took off eye make-up without irritation, although it required more effort than a two-phase make-up remover with a cotton pad. The plain wipes have a very generic “clean” fragrance, while the night calming ones are a bit more perfumey and floral (I apologise for the crappy descriptions!). They didn’t leave my skin feeling stripped or tight or irritated.

My biggest gripe with these is that the wipes are closed by a flimsy sticky flap that stops sealing when it gets wet (which happens very easily). I don’t know if this is intentional, so they dry out and you need to buy more, but it’s pretty annoying. There also aren’t any particularly beneficial ingredients, though I’m not holding this against them – they’re a great option for affordable, effective, no-frills cleansing, and I ended up taking them to Uluru on my recent holiday (which I’ll be posting about soon!).

Night Calming Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isononyl Isononanoate, Isostearyl Palmitate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Hexylene Glycol, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Sucrose Cocoate, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, PEG-4 Laurate, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide.

Plain Ingredients: Water, Cetyl Ethythexanoate, Isostearyl Palmitate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hexylene Glycol, PEG-4 Laurate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Sucrose Cocoate, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance.

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes for Normal to Dry Skin ($9.95 AUD for pack of 30) contains cucumber and sage extracts and smells pleasantly fresh. I’ve tried their White Tea wipes before but the scent put me off, so the scent of these was a nice surprise! These wipes are high in aloe vera, wipe makeup off thoroughly and don’t sting my eyes. They also leave my skin feeling soft with no residue, and are budget-friendly as well. The only complaint I have is that Burt’s Bees are big fans of the whole “free from” marketing schtick, which is one of my pet hates.

Cleansing Make-up Remover Wipe Review: Bioderma, Philosophy, Neutrogena, Burt's Bees, Wotnot

Ingredients: Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Dicaprylyl Carbonate,, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Glycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Amyl Cinnamal.

Wotnot Natural Face Wipes

Wotnot Natural Face Wipes for Dry/Normal/Oily and Sensitive Skin ($8.99 AUD for pack of 25) are cult products in Australia. I’ve heard rave reviews both online and in person, but unfortunately they just don’t work for me, and it’s pretty clear that I’m in the minority here.

The problem is that they irritate my eyes a lot – at first I thought it was the citrus oil in the oily skin version, but the dry and normal skin versions irritated my eyes too. It isn’t super painful irritation, but since I wear orthokeratology contact lenses at night it’s an issue.

Apart from that, I found these wipes quite good. The wipes were very soft, and all three versions removed my make-up effectively. The oily version left my skin feeling a little tight, but the normal and dry versions felt very nourishing. They leave a slight residue on the skin that I can imagine could be a bit annoying, but to me it feels a bit like a moisturising serum. It’s really the eye issue that’s the dealbreaker for me.

Dry and Sensitive Skin ingredients: Purified Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Certified Organic Avocado Oil, Certified Organic Apricot Oil, Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, Certified Organic Aloe Vera, Tocopherol Acetate, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide.

Oily And Sensitive Skin ingredients: Purified Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Certified Organic Pink Grapefruit Oil, Certified Organic Papaya Oil, Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, Certified Organic Petitgrain Oil, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Cetearyl Glucoside, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide.

Do you use cleansing wipes? Do you have a go-to brand? Let me know in the comments!

Products were provided for editorial consideration, which did not affect my opinion. This post also contains affiliate links – if you decide to click through and support Lab Muffin financially (at no extra cost to you), thank you! For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

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25 thoughts on “Cleansing Make-up Remover Wipe Review: Bioderma, Philosophy, Neutrogena, Burt’s Bees, Wotnot”

  1. It seems so convenient to be able to use wipes! I haven’t yet found any that would work for me though, because super sensitive skin… BUT it looks like I actually could be able to tolerate the BioDerma ones! No fatty alcohols and no phenoxyethanol yay! Hopefully they’re possible to find in my country… 🙂

  2. I don´t use cleansing wipes on a regular, or actually ever, but the Bioderma ones would have interested me because I am a huge fan of the micellar water. If they are formulated differently though, that is a little bit disappointing.

  3. I absolutely loved this review… I like burt’s bees products too but the whole free from this & that is a bit putting off, all in all if I can find those here I will get them for an upcoming trip and if not the neutrogena. Needed this review….and yes H20 should be banned because science…

    • I’m glad someone else feels that way about Burt’s Bees marketing, though I’m sure the number of people they attract with it is much bigger than the number that get annoyed. I hope that switches over someday!

  4. My go-to are the NIVEA Pure & Natural Refreshing Cleansing Wipes. I deal with the sticky flap issue by leaving the pack face down after ‘sealing’ it shut. No dried out wipes so far!

  5. I’ve read similar reviews about Micella Water and tend to agree with your opinion about people mispelling the chemical composition of water. (Ex microbiologist, right here)

    I’m a real fan of R+F’s Eye Cloths that not only remove makep but have an anti-ageing component as well.

  6. Nice post! as always 🙂 I’m curious about the Neutrogena wipes, I’ve read good reviews about it. On “emergencies” o “extreme” lazy days, lol, I use the Burt’s bees with white tea to remove makeup or clean my face (I like the scent! but actually don’t mind too much about scents in general I guess). I might try the cucumber one 🙂
    I have an appointment next month to get my eyebrows microbladed so I’m looking forward to reading your experience! ♥♥

  7. Hi Michelle!

    I love your blog 🙂
    Thanks for sharing all these info always backed up by science!
    Would you care telling us more about intimate products and hygiene?

    I’d also love to know more about effective products for under eyes dark circles.

    Thanks heaps!

    • It depends on the ingredients, and whether they clean off your make-up properly – in general I’d say they’re fine 🙂

  8. Thanks for the article Michelle.

    Have you tried Voeu brand wipes? They’re stocked at Woolworths and include micellar and sensitive variants.


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