I’ve never shared a proper review, but I have mentioned my holy grail makeup wipes countless times – they’re the Pond’s Original Wet Cleansing Towelettes if you haven’t been around long. I love them – one gets the job done, they’re effective even on stubborn eye makeup, and they don’t leave a gross film like some wipes do.
One thing that I would change, though, is the scent. Although my skin isn’t sensitive, I don’t want scented skincare. The Ponds wipes’ fragrance isn’t offensive, but it is a little potent at first, and it lingers. On top of my own preference for scent-free facial products, I tend to use these to remove makeup and clean my face before bed and the smell, unfortunately can be an irritant to my fragrance-sensitive husband (and to me if I’m having a migraine).
I decided to see if anything else on the market could deliver similar results with less scent. Some research lead me to one of Ponds’ sister brands, Simple (both owned by Unilever) – they have a few different wipes – ones intended primarily for eye makeup removal, for gentle exfoliation, oil-balancing, and “radiance,” in addition to their classic, all-purpose Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes ($5).
The Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes have generally favorable reviews and met my major (for this test) requirement of being free of added fragrance. Conveniently enough, I had a coupon for them so I picked up a two-pack during a visit to Target where I also took advantage of a Cartwheel offer. Each standard pack is 25 count, which is usually $5-ish, though I think this twin pack was about $9 (or $0.18 per wipe) before my coupon and Target Cartwheel hijinx. Unfortunately, they aren’t as great of a bargain as the tried-and-true Ponds wipes I’ve been using (I can get 75 for $8, or not quite $0.11 per wipe) – but that isn’t such a big deal if they were super-effective, especially since coupons are frequently available.
When I opened the package at the first time at the end of the day – similar plastic pouch with a resealable flap opening – and was pleased to confirm the most important thing: that these indeed have no fragrance. They live up to their promise of no added perfumes or dyes, which is awesome.
Okay, great – no perfume is all fine and good, but do they work?
Ponds Wipe Detail
Upon removing one wipe from the pouch, I noticed that the Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes are a bit drier than ye olde standard. The texture, too, is different – the Ponds wipes have kind of a quilted, diamond weave but are very soft. The Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes are just a woven cloth devoid of any pattern, and don’t feel quite as soft – though I may just perceive that due to the lack of moisture.
Simple Cleansing Facial Wipe Detail
I went about using the Simple Cleansing Facial wipes as I would any other wipe – focusing on eyes first, I press the wipe to my eye and hold it there momentarily to help its cleansers saturate my mascara and eyeliner, and then gently wipe it away. I did find that I had to put a little more effort into removing eye makeup that I wouldn’t describe as stubborn (non-waterproof mascara), but it did remove it without harsh scrubbing or tugging.
I then went about the rest of my face – it’s business as usual, picking up foundation and whatever else. I needed only one wipe for my entire face for a, “normal,” full face (which, for me, consists of foundation, concealer, eye makeup, blush, setting spray). The job required, however, that I make a few more passes and fold it over once or twice more to get the job done. I think if I went all out like I will on occasion (special events, or just…because I felt like it – it happens), it would require more than one of these wipes.
Afterwards, my skin was left neither filmy (I used some wipes from Biore a few years ago and…no) nor dry. Occasionally, the Ponds wipes can leave the skin on my cheeks a little thirsty – that’s no matter since I’m moisturizing right after anyway, but it is nice not to feel even a hint of tautness. I can’t say my skin feels particularly conditioned or, “nourished,” as their marketing suggests…but if that’s the silliest claim, I’ll take it.
Ponds Original Fresh vs. Simple Cleansing Facial Wipe
At first, without holding the wipes side-by-side, I thought the Simple wipes were smaller. Even side-by-side, completely unfolded, it is hard to confirm, but as it turns out, the Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes are slightly larger than the Ponds ones. And no – I have no intention on wasting a clean wipe for a photo op, sorry! Below, I’ve placed the Ponds Original Fresh wipe on top of the Simple one, and you can see that there is a bit of a gap.
Ponds Original Fresh laid over Simple Cleansing Facial Wipe
Ultimately, I think the Ponds wipes are a bit more effective but I will be keeping both on hand to use as the day dictates. Many days, I only wear eye makeup (non-stubborn) and concealer, so I may be able to get away with half of a Simple Cleansing Facial Wipe for those days, reducing my annoyance with the frivolous fragrance and not causing a perfume-induced headache for my husband.
If any of these apply to you, consider trying the Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes: sensitive skin; fragrance-sensitive; have a spouse who, you know, spends time close enough to your face that using fragranced products will be irritating to them. If your daily makeup tends to be on the heavier side, you frequently use waterproof products, or if you wish to avoid parabens and you have a product you already like, skip these.