2-in-1 Acne Wipes Oil-Free
30 towelette for $5.99
Last Updated:11.14.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

These cleansing wipes are bad news for all skin types because they contain alcohol, a sensitizing preservative (methylisothiazolinone, which should only be used in rinse-off products, yet part of the convenience of a cleansing wipe is not needing to rinse), and the potentially troublesome cleansing agent ammonium xylenesulfonate. All of these conspire to make redness from acne worse because each has irritant effects on skin, and in fact may make oily skin worse (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23).

The wipes are medicated with 0.5% salicylic acid, yet that amount, while potentially effective, is on the low side (though the solution the wipes are steeped in is in the correct pH range for exfoliation to occur). Contrary to claim, these wipes cannot keep pores open. Pores do not open and close like window blinds! Pores can become clogged and enlarged, but closing them isn’t possible. In fact, you wouldn’t want to close your pores because they’re key to your body being able to regulate its temperature (so closing your pores would quickly lead to you overheating).

We know wipes can be a quick way to cleanse skin, but there are other options that cost around the same yet cleanse gently, and those are strongly preferred.

Note: The inactive ingredients for this product are listed in alphabetical rather than descending order. This is permissible because the product is regulated as an over-the-counter drug. Although many companies selling OTC skin-care products have begun listing their ingredients in this manner, it doesn’t make it any easier for the consumer to determine how much of a given ingredient they’re applying to their skin.


With no need to rinse after use, the 2-in-1 Acne Wipes are perfect for on-the-spot treatment. The oil-free wipes feature 0.5% Salicylic Acid, a dermatologist-recommended acne medication that helps to prevent breakouts and keeps pores open and clear of impurities. Disposable AcneFree 2-in-1 Acne Wipes are available in a convenient, re-sealable plastic pouch.


Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 0.5%, Inactive Ingredients: Alcohol Denat., Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Xylenesulfonate, Glycerin, Isoceteth 20, Methylisothiazolinone, Pathenol, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-7, Propanediol, Simethicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Lauramphoacetate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Water/Aqua/Eau

Brand Overview

AcneFree At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some of the products in the kit are well formulated for mild to moderate acne; utilizes gold standard anti-acne ingredient benzoyl peroxide.

Weaknesses: None of the kits are all-in-one solutions for those with acne or blackheads (every kit has at least one problematic product that will make acne worse); none of the kits include a product with sunscreen (even those with oily, acne-prone skin need sun protection); no effective products with anti-acne salicylic acid.

AcneFree is a small group of skin-care products sold in sets. As you may have guessed from the brand name, this is a line that's all about treating acne. You'll find this brand in most major drugstores, but it's not the acne treatment system to beat!

Owned by University Medical Pharmaceuticals, you'd think these products would be a slam-dunk for acne, but they're not. Although the kits contain some good products, all of them feature at least one product that's not effective for its intended purpose or contains irritating ingredients that will make your acne worse.

Just because the company claims these kits (systems) are the #1 best-selling in America doesn't mean they work; rather, it means that a lot of consumers with acne are buying the wrong products. We understand the frustration of struggling with breakouts. You want something that works to get rid of them, and the faster the better. It would be great if AcneFree could make good on all of its promises, but it simply doesn't, at least not 100%.

For more information about AcneFree, call 1.800.321.4576 or visit www.acnefree.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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