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I may write about beauty and skincare for a living, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I always put my advice into practice. For instance, some nights I find myself way too tired to remove my makeup and wash my face, resulting in the accompanying guilty feeling the next morning of, “Why did I do this to myself?” With sometimes-lazy habits like mine, I yearn for the simplicity of cleansing wipes. When we got a sample of La Fresh Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes, ($9.99, amazon.com) I knew I had to dive deeper to see what they’ll do to my skin.
The extract from the sweet papaya fruit contains a large range of alkaloids, flavonoids, and polyphenols. As such, it has a wide variety of uses, such as antinociceptive or antibacterial (African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, West Indian Medical Journal). It has been shown to help the skin heal after burns, likely because it increases cell turnover (Burns).
More specifically, it helped wound-healing in diabetic rats by increasing hydroxyproline, a specific marker of collagen and an important component of the extracellular granulation tissue matrix. This resulted in rapid collagen turnover and accumulation (Indian Journal of Experimental Biology). Papaya also has a mild anti-inflammatory effect, which is ideal for soothing your skin after a long day (African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology).
Pineapple extract’s main component is bromelain, which has traditionally been taken orally for its anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, anti-coagulating, and diuretic abilities. When used topically, it is used after invasive cosmetic procedures to reduce inflammation. Bromelain may also decrease tumor formation, as shown by its activities on irradiated mouse skin (Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology).
Some researchers even suggest that the enzymes found within bromelain can help to exfoliate your skin by digesting dead skin cells, as discovered in a study where 35% bromelain assisted in wound debridement in rats (Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences). Typically, bromelain is found at 1% concentrations (or less) when found in cosmetics, so I’m not entirely sure if this would work out in these situations.
In all likelihood, you’ve probably very familiar with this ingredient; it’s been used for thousands of years for its medicinal, health, beauty, and skincare properties. Some studies have found it to be an effective ingredient in treating burns and smoothing skin as well as an effective anti-inflammatory agent (Indian Journal of Dermatology; Journal of Ethnopharmacology).
Vitamins C & E
We here at FutureDerm love us some vitamins C and E, but it’s important to look at the sources. Tocopherol, also known as vitamin E, is produced naturally in the pores. This antioxidant protects your skin from UVB radiation and other environmental factors (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology). Additionally, it stops collagen from degrading by inhibiting the formation of metalloproteinase matrix mRNA (Free Radical Biology and Medicine).
The vitamin C in this formula comes from citric acid, which helps to exfoliate the skin, inhibits tyrosinase to stop melanin production (the cause of hyperpigmentation) and gives your skin a dose of vitamin C (Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin). Fortunately, vitamins C and E are best friends in the vitamin world due to their synergistic effects in the skin, so I’m glad to see the two united.
Citric acid, however, can be irritating to your skin (particularly in a leave-on formula). It makes your skin more sensitive to the sun and can cause contact dermatitis (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology; Contact Dermatitis). It’s not a huge ingredient in the wipes so it shouldn’t be irritating in most people, but I’d rather tell you about its detrimental effects than leave you uninformed.
Overall Rating: **
Overall, La Fresh Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes are great if you’re on the go and need a quick way to clean your face, like after a workout or camping. If you’re wearing waterproof makeup, I’d stick to your normal cleanser unless you plan on using the wipes along with makeup remover. I tried using the wipes after a night out and while my face was clean, I still went to bed with mascara on my eyes. Looks like finding simplicity in a facial cleansing wipe is only good if you’ve got simplicity with your makeup.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Lauryl Glucoside, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Papaya Extract, Pineapple Extract, Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Extract, Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate