Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best makeup remover wipes (commonly known in Japan as cleansing sheets). We then chose the 17 most popular products and tested them for the following:
1. Cleansing Power
2. Hydration (that is, how hydrated your skin is after cleansing)
We looked at items you can buy in bulk and ones that were individually packaged. We looked at effective options and options suitable for sensitive skin. We then compiled our findings into a definitive list of the best Japanese makeup remover wipes to buy online and in drugstores.
Top 17 Best Japanese Makeup Remover Wipes to Buy Online
We used them on liquid foundations and waterproof items. We checked if they were drying. We made sure their ingredients were safe for sensitive skin. Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we ranked the top 17 makeup remover wipes available online.
※Japanese prices for the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.
1. Bifesta Moist Cleansing Sheet
The Best All-Around Choice: Effective, Hydrating, and Dirt Cheap
When it came to hydration, none of the other wipes even came close. Cleansing power was also exceptional; though the tint left behind some residue, most of the waterproof mascara actually came off.
Ethanol was pretty high up in the ingredients list, which will knock this product off the list of contenders if you’re sensitive. Generally speaking, though, the ingredients were simple and few in number; there should be little issue if you have normal to oily skin.
Finally, a friendly tip: if you ever find yourself in Japan and in sudden need of cleansing sheets (because you forgot to restock or you have a sudden sleepover), you can also find pocket-sized packs of ten in most convenience stores.
|Japanese||ビフェスタ うる落ち水クレンジング シート モイスト||Type||Liquid|
|Sheet Material||Not Listed||# of Sheets||46|
|Sheet Size||5.9 x 7.9 inches||Cleansing||4.0|
2. Bioré Makeup Remover Fukudake Cotton
The Most Stress-Free Cleanse: Smells Great and Works on Heavy Base Makeup
This did nothing to waterproof mascara; however, the wipes worked on eyeliner, long-wearing liquid foundation, and eye shadow. As long as you don’t wear tints or waterproof products, they will cleanse your skin through and through.
They gave off a floral scent that was well-received by our testers, and the long strips were easy to fold up again and again, revealing clean sides to use on different parts on your face.
|Japanese||ビオレ メイク落とし ふくだけコットン||Type||Liquid|
|Sheet Material||100% Natural Cotton||# of Sheets||46|
|Sheet Size||8.3 x 2.9 inches||Cleansing||4.0|
3. Dr.Ci:Labo Cleansing Sheet
The Softest Wipes: Fine, Tightly-Woven Threads Glide Against Skin
We loved the feel of the sheets themselves. They were sturdy but felt felt soft and glided smoothly against skin. While we couldn’t scrub off all of the tint or waterproof mascara, the remaining products disappeared with little fuss. There wasn’t any tacky residue, and the wipes left skin feeling light and refreshed. They’d be a good choice for oily folks.
These were also alcohol-free–though they did smell a bit like disinfectant.
|Sheet Material||Microfiber Mix||# of Sheets||46|
|Sheet Size||Not Listed||Cleansing||4.0|
4. Bioré Makeup Remover Fukudake Cotton Uruoi Rich
The Strongest Wipes: Packed with Cleansing Liquid for Heavy Makeup Days
It only took a single swipe to rid our skin of waterproof mascara. Most of the other products quickly followed. The sheets were so wet that, when we wrung them, rivulets of cleanser ran down our arms, which helped account for how effective they were.
However, they also stripped our skin of essential oils and hydration. It wasn’t bad enough for us to feel any tautness, but we’d recommend following up right away with a good toner and moisturizer.
|Japanese||ビオレ ふくだけコットン うるおいリッチ うるっとモイスト||Type||Oil-in|
|Sheet Material||Natural Cotton||# of Sheets||44|
|Sheet Size||8.3 x 2.9 inches||Cleansing||5.0|
5. Bifesta Oil In Cleansing Sheet
Worth Buying: Gentle Wipes that Keep Skin Hydrated
These sheets worked gradually; we had to take time and slowly massage product off of our face. Most of it did eventually come off, with the exception of the lip tint and waterproof mascara.
Skin stayed hydrated for quite a while after cleansing; it actually felt like a thin, oily membrane had been stretched over it. The formula was fragrance free, but the wipes smelled obviously of oil.
|Japanese||ビフェスタ クレンジングシート オイルイン||Type||Oil-in|
|Sheet Material||Not Listed||# of Sheets||40|
|Sheet Size||5.9 x 7.9 inches||Cleansing||3.0|
6. softymo W Hyaluronic Acid Makeup Cleansing Sheet
Worth Buying: Cleanses and Moisturizes Your Skin on Busy Nights
It’s not like these wipes were completely ineffective against waterproof products, but both the mascara and the eyeliner left behind light residue.
Skin felt plush and supple right after cleansing. Even after five minutes had passed, our skin was more hydrated than it was before cleansing. Generally speaking, makeup remover wipes aren’t amazing for your skin, but these will keep dehydration and stress to a minimum.
|Japanese||ソフティモ メイク落としシート ヒアルロン酸||Type||Liquid|
|Sheet Material||Microfiber Mix||# of Sheets||52|
|Sheet Size||3.3 x 2.2 inches||Cleansing||3.0|
7. Koh Gen Do Cleansing Water Cloth
Worth Buying: Effective Cleansing, Huge Sheets, User-Friendly
These wipes were huge. One sheet was enough to not only strip a face of makeup, but also freshen up around the neck and wipe off any sweat or sunscreen. The formula contained no oil, yet it worked to remove skin of virtually all makeup, including most of the waterproof mascara.
Hydration was so-so. Some of our testers said skin felt a bit tight after cleansing. If you can, follow these wipes up with a toner and moisturizer.
|Japanese||Koh Gen Do クレンジングシート||Type||Liquid|
|Sheet Material||100% Organic Cotton||# of Sheets||40|
|Sheet Size||7.3 x 6.5 inches||Cleansing||4.0|
8. Clé de Peau Beauté Eye and Lip Makeup Remover Towelettes
Worth Buying: Works on Most Makeup, but Feels Oily
These sheets featured mineral oil, which is naturally high in cleansing power. However, cleansing liquid was scarce, and it took time to work makeup off our skin. We were also left with some oily residue.
The wipes are largely meant to be used on lip and eye makeup (it did work on the waterproof mascara, if not entirely), which would explain the small size. If you mean to clean your entire face, you’ll have to use multiple sheets.
|Japanese||クレ・ド・ポー ボーテ ランジェットデマキアント||Type||Oil-in|
|Sheet Material||Not Listed||# of Sheets||50|
|Sheet Size||5.9 x 3 inches||Cleansing||4.0|
9. MUJI Cleansing Wipes
Worth Buying: Decent Cleansing, and Hydrating to the Point of Being Sticky
This was pretty compact, so we’d recommend sticking a pack in your purse for emergencies. The sheets themselves were dripping with cleanser, but we weren’t able to completely clear skin of tints or waterproof items.
Hydration, on the other hand, was top-notch. The wipes left skin so moist that some testers complained of tackiness.
|Sheet Material||Not listed||# of Sheets||12|
|Sheet Size||5.9 x 7.9 inches||Cleansing||2.0|
10. Zubö Labö Night Cleansing Face Wipes
Worth Buying: If You Want Wipes that Function as Both Cleanser and Skincare for Your Next Trip
We could hardly believe these wipes were packed with cleanser–they were so hydrating. Time passed, and our skin showed little signs of drying. We’d even say you can skip the moisturizers every once in a while–when you’re out camping, for example, and want to pack light.
Though most of the eyeliner faded after cleansing, the waterproof mascara barely budged. Well, we doubt you’ll be wearing heavy makeup while backpacking or camping, so we’d say these are the ultimate sheets for when you’re out roughing it.
|Sheet Material||Not Listed||# of Sheets||35|
|Sheet Size||6.5 x 3.8 inches||Cleansing||2.0|
11. BCL Cleansing Research AHA Sheet Cleansing
Caveat Emptor: Works, but May be Too Rough for Delicate Skin
The sheets were made from a rough, mesh-like material and didn’t pack much liquid, so there was no way for us to cleanse without rubbing at our skin. And the more makeup you wear, the more you’re going to have to scrub.
The formula featured malic acid and lactic acid as exfoliants. Judging by how far back they were on the ingredient’s list, they probably made up less than 1% of the formula, but just make sure to patch test if you have dry or sensitive skin.
|Sheet Material||Mesh||# of Sheets||60|
|Sheet Size||6.5 x 3.9 inches||Cleansing||3.0|
12. PureVivi Cleansing Sheet
Caveat Emptor: Wipes that Do Their Job–Just in a Lackluster Manner
Cleansing power was decent; hydration was decent. These wipes neither lacked in nor excelled at anything. The sheets themselves were so thin that we had to fold them in half to even use them.
The cleanser was formulated for sensitive skin. However, it featured a mix of botanical extracts that could prove irritating. Basically, the product was fine but failed to take that extra step.
|Sheet Material||Not Listed||# of Sheets||50|
|Sheet Size||7.7 x 6.3 inches||Cleansing||3.0|
13. Daiso Makeup Removing Sheets
Caveat Emptor: Dollar-Store Product that May Work for Touch-ups
We mean, you get an alcohol- and fragrance-free formula that’s eyelash extension-friendly for around a buck. What you don’t get is a complete cleanse.
The sheets were rough in texture and a bit dry, so we couldn’t remove makeup without scrubbing. You might be able to use them for touchups, however. Daiso doesn’t sell its products online, so if you are interested, you’ll have to locate the one nearest to you.
|Sheet Material||Rayon, Polyester||# of Sheets||30|
|Sheet Size||7.9 x 5.9 inches||Cleansing||2.0|
14. Orbis Cleansing Mild Sheet Oil Cut
Caveat Emptor: Soft and Gentle, but Lacks in Cleansing Power
These were so soft, they felt more like face towels than wipes. There weren’t too many ingredients and they were all mild; we could tell these were wipes formulated for sensitive skin.
However, cleansing power left something to be desired. Waterproof mascara hardly budged. You also have to follow up the sheets with face wash, so, overall, not much time was saved.
|Sheet Material||Not Listed||# of Sheets||10|
|Sheet Size||7.9 x 5.9 inches||Cleansing||1.0|
15. Bifesta Bright Up Cleansing Sheet
Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: Dehydrating and Sticky at the Same Time
Skin dried out right after cleansing. And despite how dehydrating they were, the sheets left behind a sticky residue.
Cleansing power was decent at best, so we couldn’t think of a reason to buy these wipes in particular.
|Japanese||ビフェスタ うる落ち水クレンジング シート ブライトアップ||Type||Liquid|
|Sheet Material||Not Listed||# of Sheets||46|
|Sheet Size||5.9 x 7.9 inches||Cleansing||3.0|
16. softymo White Makeup Cleansing Sheet
Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: Contains High Amounts of Ethanol, but Doesn’t Work on Waterproof Makeup
These wipes could do precious little to waterproof products. Some of our testers complained that skin felt taut after cleansing. Ethanol was also one of the first ingredients listed, so the sheets won’t work for anyone allergic to alcohol.
|Japanese||ソフティモ ホワイト メイク落としシート b||Type||Liquid|
|Sheet Material||Microfiber Mix||# of Sheets||52|
|Sheet Size||3.3 x 2.2 inches||Cleansing||2.0|
17. Saborino Body Sheets
Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: May Wipe off Sweat, but Doesn’t Work on Makeup
These sheets were quite large, as they’re meant to clean your entire body. The formula featured cosmetic ingredients, but it wasn’t hydrating and left skin feeling tight. It didn’t work on waterproof products. If anything, use the wipes to clean sweat off your body when camping or after a workout; don’t use them to remove makeup.
|Sheet Material||Mesh||# of Sheets||7|
|Sheet Size||11.8 x 11.8 inches||Cleansing||2.0|
How We Tested Our Products
We determined that the best makeup remover wipes had to, of course, remove even stubborn makeup. They had to hydrate skin, especially if you plan on using them in lieu of face wash and moisturizer. And they had to be compatible with your skin type.
This is how we tested for those factors.
Test ①: Cleansing Power
We applied makeup to the back of our hands, then used the wipes on them. We gently rubbed back and forth, five times each, and looked at how much product came off. We then graded the wipes on a five-step scale.
We tested using the following cosmetics. In order to give us a better idea of the maximum efficacy of each cleanser, we chose long-wearing items.
- Waterproof Mascara
- Waterproof Eyeliner
- Lip Tint
- Liquid Foundation
We found that effective wipes not only featured strong ingredients but also included more cleanser–that is, the wetter the sheet, the deeper the cleanse.
Test ②: Hydration
We used a moisture analyzer and measured water levels in our skin before cleansing, right after cleansing, and five minutes after cleansing. We then compared the values and rated the wipes on a five-step scale.
Makeup remover sheets that featured squalane, which is found in your skin’s natural barrier, were typically the most hydrating. It felt as if there was a thin membrane protecting our skin and sealing in moisture.
As for products that contained ingredients like hyaluronic acid and collagen–they proved to be moisturizing upon application, but skin rapidly dried out over time. It seemed that that thin membrane was key to long-lasting hydration.
Test ③: Ingredients
We asked a specialist who used to work in cosmetics R&D to look at all the makeup remover wipes. She flagged ingredients that could prove irritating, then rated all the products on a five-step scale, with products judged to be most suitable for sensitive skin earning the highest scores.
※Keep in mind that a low score doesn’t equate to a dangerous product. It simply means that it was deemed to be possibly irritating for folks with sensitive skin.
Many cleansing sheets contain ethanol, a volatile compound, as an anti-bacterial and emulsifying agent. It also helps left-over liquids evaporate so they don’t leave behind any sticky residue.
It’s not a bad ingredient in and of itself, but could be irritating for certain skin types. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend avoiding ethanol or at least using products where it’s at the bottom of the ingredients list.
Tips on How to Choose Japanese Makeup Remover Wipes – Buying Guide
Here are three big things to look out for.
① Oil or Liquid Depends on What’s on Your Face
Broadly speaking, you’ll find two kind of cleansers in makeup remover wipes: oily or oil-free.
Thick Makeup Calls for “Oil-in” Wipes
In Japanese drugstores, you’ll run across makeup remover wipes that are labeled “oil-in※1.” It just means that they utilize oil-based cleansers. These are more effective on long-wearing products, such as waterproof mascara or liquid foundations with high oil content.
Plus, oil is moisturizing. You can find products that feature squalane or jojoba oil, which are hydrating and a godsend on nights you aren’t able to go through an entire skincare routine.
However, some oil-in wipes need to be followed by face wash. Check the packaging if you were hoping to save yourself a trip to the sink.
※1 オイルイン: oil-in
Liquid Wipes are More than Enough for Light Makeup and Touchups
If you usually wear powder products, which have very little oil content, then try liquid※2 wipes. They don’t contain any oil themselves, which makes them safe for eyelash extensions.
Liquid wipes feel light and tend not to leave behind sticky residue. You could also use them as body sheets to wipe off sweat or sunscreen. However, they can sometimes be dehydrating and/or irritating on dry or sensitive skin.
※2 リキッド: liquid
② To Keep Skin Damage at a Minimum, Choose Wipes Made from Fine, Densely Woven Threads
Harsh ingredients aren’t the only thing that can damage your skin. Rubbing, scraping, and tugging can all serve to wear down your skin’s natural barrier, weakening it over time.
You use makeup remover wipes on your face, so look for soft fabrics. You can find products that are microfiber blends or 100% natural cotton. Stay away from thin sheets with a coarse weave, as these stir up the most friction.
Of course, there’s no way to check for weave short of actually feeling the product. We’ve tested all our wipes for softness, so no worries there. Other than that, read reviews and, when uncertain, buy smaller packs first.
③ Pay Attention to Other Skincare Benefits, Such as Hydration or Whitening
Makeup remover sheets sometimes offer other skincare benefits; they include, but are not limited to, hydration, whitening, and exfoliation. They come in handy on busy nights when all you want to do is sleep.
However, the main purpose of makeup remover wipes has been and will always be cleansing. They’re fine to use in a pinch, but you should never replace proper skincare with wipes for extended periods of time, no matter what the packaging claims.
So don’t get too caught up in all the other purported benefits; your greatest priority should always be to find an efficient cleanser.
How to Use Makeup Remover Wipes in the Gentlest Way Possible
You can use a wipe that contains nothing but skin-healthy ingredients; if you scrub too hard, it’ll still end up drying out or irritating your skin.
When removing stubborn makeup, especially around the eyes, let the wipe rest on your skin for 10-15 seconds, so the cleanser has time to seep in and lift product off your face. Clean up any residue by gently stroking outwards.
Also, when you reuse any side of a wipe, you’re transferring gunk back to your face. It may seem like a waste, but fold up the sheet after every stroke so only clean surfaces touch your skin.
But Don’t Use Makeup Remover Wipes Every Day
Wipes contain some pretty strong stuff–alcohol, surfactants, mineral oils. When left on your skin for long periods of time, these ingredients can be drying and irritating. Recall the fact that the very act of wiping off your face can cause damage in the long run, and you’ll see that makeup remover wipes are trouble waiting to happen.
But there’s days where you get home and it’s past midnight or you’re out camping and don’t have access to soap. That’s when you should turn to makeup remover wipes. One of the worst things you could possibly do to your skin is sleep in your makeup, so keep a pack of wipes by your bed just for when you’re particularly tempted.
Looking for Cleansers to Use on a Daily Basis? Consider These Options
Makeup remover wipes should always be your plan B. They’re less effective than traditional cleansers and harsher to skin. If you’re looking for something to use every day, consider the following.
We rounded up members from our editing department, purchased the 17 most popular Japanese makeup remover wipes, and tested them all.
Makeup remover wipes can strong or mild, light or oily, hydrating, whitening, or exfoliating. There is no one product that’s better than all the rest–everything comes down to your skin type and priorities.
Original by Rio Sasaki; Translation by Jasmine Li
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