How To Wash Your Face Without Water

Sable Yong
Getty / Gpointstudio

Getty / Gpointstudio

With water as a hot topic, from California’s drought to the controversial water privatization efforts of big corporations, could you imagine living in a world without accessibly clean water? Even Kristen Bell is challenging you to save water as you clean your face. One might be able to attest to modern plumbing as the ultimate beauty holy grail. If you’ve ever roughed it camping or been on a really intense road trip, washing your face can sometimes be forgotten or just not always doable. Also, anyone who’s gotten eyelash or brow extensions (or tattoos!) knows, the advised no-water treatment for one specific area of your face can be really difficult to work around.

You don’t absolutely need water all the time to cleanse your face. Face wipes are not the only option—there are lots of like-minded products out there that can spot you if you’re not near a nice sink with all your skin products.

Try a micellar cleanser. Also known as micellar water, these clear liquids get swiped all over your face like you would with a toner. Using a cotton pad, the micelles in the formula sweep up all the dirt and grime from your skin. No rinsing required. You’ve probably heard about these from any kind of “French beauty” fodder, since the French happen to make some of the most well-known micellar cleansers.

MORE: Yes, Micellar Water Transformed My Skin

There are also waterless cleaners. You won’t be taking a dust bath like a chinchilla with these waterless cleaners. They are often lighter formulas that wick away dirt once emulsified with the oil on your face, just by rubbing it around as you would with any cleanser. Then you can remove the cleanser along with your face grime just by wiping it off with a tissue or using a cotton pad. Pür Minerals makes a mineral-based one that hydrates as well as cleans.

Cleansing pads are replacing cleansing wipes. Why? They’re smaller, which means less environmental waste, and they’re often much more saturated with the cleansing product itself. Nip+Fab’s Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing Pads are loaded with salicylic and hyaluronic acid to nix acne as well as hydrate and plump your skin.

But cleansing wipes can do the trick, too. After a peak in popularity, makeup cleansing wipes have a bit of a sullied reputation because, like all skin care methods and products, they are not universally effective for everyone. Convenient, sure, but if you have very oily skin or wear lots of complexion makeup, one wipe will not a clean face make. Pairing it with an eye-makeup remover first—before wiping your whole face off—may be the ticket, but if you find yourself breaking out, consult stronger methods. Also, you shouldn’t scrub hard to remove your makeup—this could just end up irritating your skin, leading to blemishes.

MORE: 8 Beauty Hacks With Cleansing Cloths