It’s time to get Scrub’d up! Order now. 

by Dr. Rashmira Balasuriya 


For years I have been searching for a cost-effective brand of makeup remover wipes.  Prior to this, I had gone through a number of brands and types of makeup removers – from micellar water to eye make up remover, to your standard wipes. I’ve been through it all. As wipes aren’t freely available here, I used to resort to the Body Shop make up remover solution for the longest time. It did the job, but the convenience of wipes is what I craved. Yes, I know, wipes definitely have its’ drawbacks in terms of smell and oiliness (not to mention the rough skin pulling that happens when we try to remove the makeup), but for convenience, especially after a long night, they definitely get a 10/10!

When I first mentioned on Instagram that I was looking for a good brand of makeup wipes, I got so many suggestions for brands. Many even mentioned using Micellar water instead of wipes and I did also purchase this (await a mini-review below). I managed to convince my family members travelling abroad to bring me several brands of makeup wipes and so in the last 6 months I have begun the testing process. Please note that I do not regularly wear heavy make up except for the occasionally monthly wedding I go to.

Below I’ve written MY personal opinion on the Sephora cleansing wipes, the (OG) MAC wipes, Simple wipes, Watsons facial wipes and a bit of an odd one – baby wipes! What I have looked for in a makeup remover wipe when reviewing it is obviously its’ effect, its’ availability (a little bleak in Sri Lanka unfortunately) and the cost. I’ve also linked the  corresponding websites in the titles for easy access. So let’s get started!


Sephora cleansing wipes

img_2628I tried two types of Sephora make-up remover wipes, the Cucumber cleansing wipes & the Rose cleansing wipes. Each packet comes with the standard 25 wipes (most brands put this many wipes in a packet) and I loved the colourful packaging – definitely brightened up my sink area.

I don’t normally wear heavy makeup often, but on the days I did wear liquid foundation, it took at least 2-3 wipes to remove all my make up. This was a bit extra compared to some of the other brands I used. I generally use the same amount of make up each time, so I don’t know why I needed more Sephora wipes to remove my make up. The fragrance of the wipes was also a little strong and the rose one was significantly overpowering. Of recent, I’ve tried to steer clear from products with fragrances as they have an irritant and dehydrating effect on the skin. It also isn’t great if you have very a very sensitive nose that can smell even the faintest of scents.

It is decently priced, however, but when taking into account the number of wipes I required per sitting, the cost-effectiveness of the Sephora wipes was equivalent to one of the more expensive brands such as MAC. Obviously, I have only tried 2 varieties of the wipes and I think they have at least 5 more varieties so I’m going to give Sephora some leeway and not accuse all their wipes of being overwhelming.

In total, I will give the Sephora wipes a score of 3/5. They do a pretty decent job, and won’t burn a hole in your packet with the price (they cost $10 Singapore dollars).


MAC remover wipes

Straight up – These were superb, and cost almost the same price as the Sephora cleansing wipes (Why haven’t you opened your store in Sri Lanka Mac? Why are you being such a tease?). They come as an on-the-go pack of 30 (yes, 30!) for just $10 (Singapore) and I used maybe 1 or 2 MAC wipes on a “heavy” makeup day. They do have also have bulk pack of about 45 wipes, but I have come across 2 different price points online – $29 Singapore dollars on the MAC SG website and then  $53 Singapore dollars on the Sephora SG website, so I’m a little bit confused about the price point and will definitely look into it the next time I travel. It was also a little difficult to actually find the makeup wipes in stock – however, my family persevered and finally found me a pack in one of the many MAC stores around Singapore.

But back to my experience with it, these wipes were super easy to use – no scrubbing or pulling of the skin necessary. The makeup literally just glided off my face. By letting them sit over my eyelids for a few seconds, stubborn eye-makeup wiped off so much easier! There was also no strong fragrance which I really appreciated and it did not leave any greasy residue after using it.

In total, I would give these wipes a 5/5 (bearing in mind that you cannot easily get them in Sri Lanka unless ordered via an online shop or you physically get it from abroad).

img_2608Simple kind to skin cleansing wipes

These were very cheap, but purchased from the UK (Boots UK to the rescue) costing me £3.18 (approximately Singapore$5.50) to be exact for 25 wipes, but you can also buy a smaller pack of 7 wipes (as seen in the picture) for (£1.50). In the UK, these wipes can be found everywhere – at all Boots and Superdrug stores (similar to our healthguard stores) and they have very easy websites if you want to make an order.

I needed approximately 2-3 wipes to remove heavy makeup but it definitely did the job with the ease. Again similar to the MAC wipes, the makeup glided off easily and on applying them for a few extra seconds over my eyelid, all the waterproof mascara/eyeliner just come right off my face. There was a slight oily residue, but nothing overwhelming. The fragrance is also very light and quite refreshing, not overpowering at all so would definitely order this again if I have the opportunity.

Overall, these would get a 4/5 (-1 only for the slightly oily residue), but otherwise probably the most cost-effective of the bunch and well worth every penny/rupee. They also do smaller wipes specific for removing eye make up if anyone is interested.

Baby wipes (Johnson & Johnson)img_2609

Okay, so this was an oddball. I got quite a few recommendations to use baby wipes after asking for help from my insta-fam so I thought why not just give it a try – they are after all cheap and cheerful. They are very moisturizing and contain a lot of liquid so it definitely feels great on your skin. It also does not leave any oily residue that would otherwise require washing off after use of the wipe – all the liquid just soaks in. Probably because nobody would have time to actually keep washing a baby after using this. This was a major plus as most wipes leave your skin feeling like a little grease ball. One pack contains only 20 wipes, and are lightly fragranced (don’t worry you’ll only smell like a baby). I cannot remember the price, but will definitely check and re-edit this after my next grocery trip.

The only negative is that there is quite a bit of tugging that needs to be done in order to remove all traces of makeup – this is not so great for your skin. Your skin has only so much elasticity, and this tends to decline as you get older. Pulling on the skin can be harmful to the natural elasticity of the skin and will definitely show on your face after a couple of years hence you do not want to be tugging at it. At the same time, gentle strokes are not very effective when it comes to removing your makeup with baby wipes. It is great on beach holidays when only a minimum amount of makeup is worn – as it will definitely take that off with no difficulty. It can also be virtually found anywhere including supermarkets so you can find it in an emergency situation.

Taking all these factors into account, I would give these wipes a 3/5!


Watsons facial cleansing wipes

Now it is very rare that I can’t find a single good thing to say about a product because I try to keep it as positive as I can. But I have to be real and genuinely say that I did NOT like this product at all. Again there are a few varieties of their make up remover wipes (this one was called “Refreshing”), but this particular one just did not work for me. They only cost Singapore $3.90 and they continually have a 2-for-1 offer (now I know why)!

These wipes barely removed any makeup, let alone the eye makeup and felt very rough toward the skin. I didn’t feel like anything effective had been done by the wipes no matter how many I used. Even though the wipes specifically state that makeup can be removed by the wipes, I believe they might best be used as refresher towels for just wiping dust/sweat. Really disappointed with these as this was essentially false advertising. So even though the cost is low, it doesn’t do what it was set out to do in the first place and so I would give this a 0/5. Don’t buy it, save your money and your face.

So those are the 5 wipes I extensively tried out over the past 6 months. I still have one more Neutrogena pack to try out and will accordingly update this post thereafter. I feel like I’ve tried out the good, the bad and the ugly; but it has helped me narrow down what works for me. I’ve also been trying out Micellar water by Bioderma which is wonderful to remove stubborn waterproof makeup. Not very travel-friendly, but does a super job! The micellar water essentially breaks down the oils in the makeup and makes it easier to be removed. It is decently priced, available even in Sri Lanka and I may soon make a switch to it.

Tip: Hold a wipe over the eyelid for a couple of seconds without tugging at the eye makeup so that the ingredients in the wipe can soak into the make up present. Then with one swift move, sweep the wipe across the eyelid. This will remove most of your stubborn eye makeup.

Tip: Do NOT tug at your skin. It won’t show immediately, but being rough on your skin will increase elasticity loss and increase the amount of wrinkles in your face. Be gentle with your face always!

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Hi there!

Hi there! Dr. Rashmira Balasuriya is a medical doctor in Sri Lanka, currently training in Family Medicine. Navigating the healthcare system in Sri Lanka is no easy task and this website was created to help guide other foreign medical graduates and junior doctors. This website also helps demystify life as a doctor in Sri Lanka and also combats medical misinformation circulating amongst the general public!