“With soap, the ingredient gets applied to the skin and gets rinsed off, so there’s very little residue left,” says Zirwas. “But with a wipe, you don’t rinse, so whatever is in that wipe gets left on your skin at full concentration, which increases the chances of getting an allergic reaction from it.”
What Is Contact Dermatitis?
According to Mayo Clinic, contact dermatitis is a type of skin inflammation that occurs when substances touching your skin cause irritation or an allergic reaction. In most cases, the condition is neither contagious nor life-threatening, though many of the symptoms can make you feel very uncomfortable.
Symptoms of contact dermatitis can include:
- Red rash or bumps
- Itching, which may be severe
- Dry, cracked, red patches, which may resemble a burn
- Blisters, draining fluid and crusting in severe reactions
- Skin rash limited to an exposed area — for example, directly under a watchband
- Pain or tenderness
So, What Can You Do?
Before you buy face wipes, read the ingredient label. Methylisothiazolinone is often one of the last ingredients listed. Also, if you suspect that you’re having an allergic reaction to your face wipes, or any other cosmetic product, be sure to contact your primary care physician or a dermatologist as soon as you can.