Nivea Makeup Cleansing Wipes – In-depth Review and Ingredient Analyses

Taking off your makeup is an equally important procedure and a big part of your skincare routine. However, in this fast paced world we live in, where 24 hours are just not enough, we’ve adopted a few tricks to make this boring process easier and faster.

Makeup wipes are literally in everyone’s house these days, even if you are not a makeup wearer! They provide such a convenient and fast way of cleaning up the skin from dirt, oils and makeup without breaking the bank.

Many believe that using wiping motions ages the skin (I will write a science infused post about this another time) and support that using makeup wipes is bad for us. However, let’s face it, their convenience is hard to resist. While I always prefer wet washing with a cleanser and I do try to avoid makeup wipes as much as possible, there are times when life gets the best of me and I just need a quick fix! Don’t we all?

Nivea makeup wipes

I’ve been using the Nivea 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin, for a few years now, even though I have oily skin. They are very affordable and you can find them everywhere, even at a supermarket, and I like the condition they leave the skin at. However, I’ve never been fully happy with the ingredients and I’ve always had an eye open for better wipes.

I previously wrote about the Misfit Cosmetic Wipes which have great ingredients but are not as easy to get and do not deal as well with a full face of makeup. They are excellent however, for cleaning your face in the morning. If you missed this post check out: Misfit Cosmetics Wake Up Your Skin and Face Wipes – In Depth Review and Ingredient Analysis

Nivea has just released a new MicellAIR range which includes makeup wipes too so I wanted to have a look and see if the new ones are better than the old. Since they use “micelle” technology I though it would only be fair to also compare them directly to the already existing Nivea Micellar Cleansing Wipes and figure out which one is worth your time and money!

Let’s find out.

 

Packaging

The Nivea 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin come in a white plastic bag-like container with typical Nivea branding and some pink shading. The Micellar Cleansing Wipes come in an almost identical packaging but with blue shading and bubble design. Lastly, the MicellAIR Wipes also come in the same type packaging but they stand out the most, as they come in completely black packaging with pink shading.

Nivea makeup wipes 6_20181123115230074

The packaging in all is resealable and is good enough to keep the wipes wet throughout. However, while the packaging works well and looks nice, it’s really nothing special. On the plus side, it doesn’t have a set shape which makes it cheaper but also lighter and easy to travel with.

Winner: All three wipes have the same packaging, just a different design.

 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin 0 vs Micellar Cleansing Wipes 0 vs MicellAIR Wipes 0

 

Price

The price of these wipes is hard to define as all three retail anywhere between £1-3.15 per pack, depending on the retailer and the current deal (they are almost always on a deal).

However, bear in mind that while the 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin and the Micellar Cleansing Wipes contain 25 wipes per pack, the MicellAIR Wipes contain only 20. This means that if all three are the same price then you get more out of your money with the first two.

Winner: Equal. All three are cheap and affordable.

3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin 0 vs Micellar Cleansing Wipes 0 vs MicellAIR Wipes 0

 

Texture, Colour and Shape

All three wipes come as a square white wet cloth. The texture of the cloth looks the same in all three but the MicellAIR ones feel the softest, followed by the Micellar Cleansing Wipes and lastly the 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin which feel the “harshest”.

Nivea makeup wipes 10_20181123115644840

Winner: Equal. All three are soft and none feel damaging or rough to the skin.

3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin 0 vs Micellar Cleansing Wipes 0 vs MicellAIR Wipes 0

 

Smell

The 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin have a soft cosmetic scent, the Micellar Cleansing Wipes have a stronger more floral type of scent and lastly the MicellAIR wipes have a soft, perfume-like scent.

The Micellar Cleansing Wipes have the strongest scent and the other two are fairly subtle. All three of them smell nice so it all comes down to personal preference.

Winner: Equal. Neither are overwhelming or bad smelling.

3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin 0 vs Micellar Cleansing Wipes 0 vs MicellAIR Wipes 0

 

 

Skin compatibility

The 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes are meant to be for Dry Skin as they contain almond oil. The Micellar Cleansing Wipes are set to be for all skin types and the MicellAIR for sensitive skin.

However, your skin type doesn’t matter that much when it comes to using these wipes, even if you have sensitive skin, as they all contain similar irritants. I have oily skin and thought that all three were nice to use. There aren’t any ingredients that truly make these wipes specific for one skin type to another and as I mentioned above, even the sensitive skin ones have ingredients that could cause you irritation (perhaps they are just in lower quantities). It really comes down to which ones you like the scent or after feel the best.

Winner: Equal.

3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin 0 vs Micellar Cleansing Wipes 0 vs MicellAIR Wipes 0

 

Nivea makeup wipes 9_20181123115553170

 

Other

All three wipes last for 6M.

All three wipes have “lash care” and are suitable for waterproof makeup. However, during my waterproof makeup tests all three had the same difficulty in removing it and neither was particularly impressive.

The Micellar Cleansing Wipes and MicellAIR Wipes are meant to work using micellar technology. Micelles are supramolecular particles or assemblies (think of them as spheres) and are superior to traditional solvents because they can often dissolve both water and oil. I will write a science infused post on them another time. What this means practically is that micellar products (if formulated right) have the ability to clean the skin deeper and easier.

 

Here’s what Nivea says about the 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin:

NIVEA® Daily Essentials 3 in 1 Gentle Cleansing Wipes for Face, Lips and Eyes quickly and easily cleanse and remove make-up, even waterproof mascara. Enriched with Natural Almond Oil they are suitable for dry skin and leave skin feeling cleansed, moisturised and pampered.

  • Conveniently removes make-up and even waterproof mascara
  • Cleanses gently, moisturises and pampers the skin
  • The caring formula with Natural Almond Oil is especially gentle for dry skin

 

Here’s what Nivea says about the Micellar Cleansing Wipes:

  • “Micellar technology gently lifts away even waterproof make-up like a magnet
  • Cleanses deeply, no residues
  • Moisturises and leaves skin feeling soft”

 

Here’s what Nivea says about the MicellAIR Wipes:

“The formula with Micellar & black tea extract removes long-lasting make-up & waterproof mascara gently & effectively, without leaving greasy residue so your skin can breathe. The gentle formula cares for the sensitive eye area and protects beautiful lashes.

  • In one step effortlessly sweep away your long-lasting make-up & waterproof mascara
  • Does not leave greasy residue so your skin can breathe
  • Cares for the sensitive eye area and protects beautiful lashes”

Winner: Equal.

3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin 0 vs Micellar Cleansing Wipes 0 vs MicellAIR Wipes 0

 

Practicality of use – user experience

All three are easy to use but I felt that the MicellAIR were kinder to the skin and both the MicellAIR and Micellar Cleansing Wipes took off a full face of makeup SLIGHTLY easier than the 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin. This is no surprise as that is the exact point of the micellar technology and it would have been a spectacular fail otherwise. However, the difference in ease of makeup removal is really not that impressive, the micellar ones are just slightly better.

Winner: The MicellAIR and Micellar Cleansing Wipes are slightly superior.

3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin 0 vs Micellar Cleansing Wipes 1 vs MicellAIR Wipes 1

 

Results

As mentioned above, the MicellAIR and the Micellar Cleansing Wipes take makeup off slightly easier than the 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin but all three feel nice and leave the skin clean but not dry.

Winner: The MicellAIR and Micellar Cleansing Wipes are slightly superior.

3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin 0 vs Micellar Cleansing Wipes 2 vs MicellAIR Wipes 2

 

Nivea makeup wipes 3_20181123114930140

 

Ingredients

All three wipes mostly tie in all the above categories and the deciding factor really is the ingredients in each. This is also the reason why I kept looking as I wasn’t 100% happy with the ingredients in the 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin.

Generally speaking, the 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin have the worst ingredients (but they are not bad, just comparatively worse). Out of the 22 contained, 10 will offer you some skincare benefit (some more than others), 3 are potential negatives and 12 potential irritants.

The Micellar Cleansing Wipes contain 29 ingredients of which 11 will offer some skincare benefit, 2 potential negatives and 14 irritants. It’s a very similar story for the MicellAIR Wipes which contain 30 ingredients, 12 positives, 2 negatives and 14 irritants.

The ingredients between the latter two are very similar, so similar that I don’t think it’s worth having both products out in the market. However, the MicellAIR Wipes are slightly better since they also contain Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract and higher and lower amounts of other key ingredients.

In reality though, none of the three makeup wipes are perfect, especially if you avoid parabens and definitely because it is recommended to avoid low molecular weight alcohols in cosmetics (as it can strip away your skin’s natural flora and lubrication).

To keep this article short, I am only listing the skin nourishing or skin positive/negative ingredients and ignoring the ones that only play formulation purposes. For the full list of ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.

Ingredient positives in the 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin:

  1. AquaWater based formulation.
  2. Isopropyl Stearate – Skin conditioner.
  3. Glycerin – Found naturally in the skin so can be seen as a skin replenishing ingredient. A skin conditioner that helps improve and smooth the appearance of skin. A good moisturiser that is almost always present in moisturising products.
  4. Dimethicone – Creates a barrier and can therefore protect the skin. Also acts as a skin conditioner. It leaves a silky feeling and can even fill in lines temporarily.
  5. Glyceryl Glucoside – A humectant (=locks moisture in) and skin conditioner.
  6. Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil – A fragrance and skin conditioning agent that is absorbed quickly by the skin and can offer some moisturisation.
  7. Panthenol– Form of vitamin B5. A moisturiser and potential acne treatment.
  8. Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate – Sometimes used as a sunscreen ingredient because of its water resistance. Note though that it does not offer SPF protection in this product.
  9. 1,2-Hexanediol – Preservative and moisture binding agent.
  10. Benzyl Salicylate – UV-light absorber and fragrance.

 

Ingredient positives in the Micellar Cleansing Wipes:

  1. AquaWater based formulation.
  2. Tocopheryl Acetate – A more stable form of vitamin E. A hero anti-oxidant molecule. A skin conditioner that also enhances the ability of sunscreens. Can help with inflammation. Check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?
  3. Glycerin – Found naturally in the skin so can be seen as a skin replenishing ingredient. A skin conditioner that helps improve and smooth the appearance of skin. A good moisturiser that is almost always present in moisturising products
  4. Sorbitol– Skin conditioner.
  5. Panthenol– Form of vitamin B5. A moisturiser and potential acne treatment.
  6. Glyceryl Glucoside – A humectant (=locks moisture in) and skin conditioner.
  7. Citric Acid – A natural preservative, can be used to even out skin tone.
  8. Sodium Chloride – Absorbs water.
  9. Ethylhexylglycerin – A weak preservative and skin conditioner that is often used in ointments for eczema.
  10. Propylene Glycol – A skin conditioner and humectant.
  11. 1,2-Hexanediol – Preservative and moisture binding agent.

 

Ingredient positives in the MicellAIR Wipes:

  1. AquaWater based formulation.
  2. Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract – This ingredient has multiple benefits including: anti-oxidant, fragrance, skin conditioner, UV light absorber, anti-microbial, astringent, skin protecting, tonic and possibly helping the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin.
  3. Tocopheryl Acetate – A more stable form of vitamin E. A hero anti-oxidant molecule. A skin conditioner that also enhances the ability of sunscreens. Can help with inflammation. Check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?
  4. Panthenol– Form of vitamin B5. A moisturiser and potential acne treatment.
  5. Glycerin – Found naturally in the skin so can be seen as a skin replenishing ingredient. A skin conditioner that helps improve and smooth the appearance of skin. A good moisturiser that is almost always present in moisturising products.
  6. Glyceryl Glucoside – A humectant (=locks moisture in) and skin conditioner.
  7. Sorbitol– Skin conditioner.
  8. Propylene Glycol – A skin conditioner and humectant.
  9. Sodium Chloride – Absorbs water.
  10. Ethylhexylglycerin – A weak preservative and skin conditioner that is often used in ointments for eczema.
  11. 1,2-Hexanediol – Preservative and moisture binding agent.
  12. Citric Acid – A natural preservative, can be used to even out skin tone.

 

Ingredient negatives in the 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin:

  1. Methylpropanediol – Can enhance penetration of other ingredients.
  2. Methylparaben – Love them or hate them, there is still not enough scientific proof to prove that these are harmful. However, some people prefer to avoid them for “peace of mind” so if you are looking for paraben free products, this one is not for you. For my thoughts on parabens check out: Coffee Chat: Q&A – You asked “As a Chemist Which Ingredients do you Avoid?”
  3. ParfumThis ingredient represents an undisclosed mixture of compounds that give the product scent. There’re more than 3000 molecules that fall under this category and I personally do not like that there are some ingredients that are undisclosed and hidden under this general name. Fragrance also does not offer any skin care benefit, in fact there is some evidence that it can damage the skin.

 

Ingredient negatives in the Micellar Cleansing Wipes:

  1. Alcohol Denat.– There is evidence suggesting that low molecular alcohols (denat. or not) damage and dry the skin. This can in turn enhance the penetration of other compounds into the skin, although sometimes this might not be a negative. Additionally, since this product is a spray that is used over makeup, not all or any of this ingredient might actually reach the skin.
  2. ParfumThis ingredient represents an undisclosed mixture of compounds that give the product scent. There’re more than 3000 molecules that fall under this category and I personally do not like that there are some ingredients that are undisclosed and hidden under this general name. Fragrance also does not offer any skin care benefit, in fact there is some evidence that it can damage the skin.

 

Ingredient negatives in the MicellAIR Wipes:

  1. Alcohol Denat.– There is evidence suggesting that low molecular alcohols (denat. or not) damage and dry the skin. This can in turn enhance the penetration of other compounds into the skin, although sometimes this might not be a negative. Additionally, since this product is a spray that is used over makeup, not all or any of this ingredient might actually reach the skin.
  2. ParfumThis ingredient represents an undisclosed mixture of compounds that give the product scent. There’re more than 3000 molecules that fall under this category and I personally do not like that there are some ingredients that are undisclosed and hidden under this general name. Fragrance also does not offer any skin care benefit, in fact there is some evidence that it can damage the skin.

 

Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:

This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.

If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned.

Check out: What is sensitive skin? What are the causes and what can we do?

The following compounds present in the 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Isopropyl Stearate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hexyl Cinnamal, Parfum.

The following compounds present in the Micellar Cleansing Wipes have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Geraniol, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Parfum.

The following compounds present in the MicellAIR Wipes have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Propylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Geraniol, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Parfum.

 

Full list of ingredients in the 3 in 1 Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin:

Aqua, Isopropyl Stearate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Methylpropanediol, Glyceryl Glucoside, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Panthenol, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Sodium Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Limonene, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Parfum.

Full list of ingredients in the Micellar Cleansing Wipes:

Aqua, Alcohol Denat, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Panthenol, Poloxamer 124, Decyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Glucoside, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Acetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Trisodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Geraniol, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, BHT, Parfum.

Full list of ingredients in the MicellAIR Wipes:

Aqua, Alcohol Denat., PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Glucoside, Sorbitol, Poloxamer 124, Decyl Glucoside, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Polyquaternium-10, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Acetate, Trisodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Geraniol, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, BHT, Parfum.

 

Nivea makeup wipes 7_20181123115335457

 

Verdict:

Overall, neither of the three makeup wipes are perfect. All three worked well, with the micellar ones working slightly better at taking heavy makeup off. All three of them had a harder than expected time when it came to removing waterproof makeup and neither of them appeared to be better at that than the other.

Since they are all so similar, the deciding category is the ingredients contained. The Micellar Cleansing Wipes and the MicellAIR Wipes are so similar that I question the need for those two products to exist at the same time, but if you want to be super picky, the MicellAIR Wipes were slightly better.

I will still keep an eye open for better wipes but for now the MicellAIR Wipes are the best (out of the Nivea ones) and it doesn’t hurt that they are relatively cheap as well.

 

Nivea makeup wipes 2_20181123114856404

 

I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.

Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!

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