If you’re looking to make your skin care routine more sustainable, swapping out single-use cotton pads for reusable ones cuts back on landfill waste. They also save you money because you won’t need to keep buying packs of disposable pads every time you run out.
Reusable cotton pads can be washed and reused and are great if you have sensitive skin. If you’re looking to use them for removing makeup, Greenzla Reusable Makeup Remover Pads are made from soft organic cotton.
Not all reusable cotton pads are made from 100% cotton. In fact, many are made from bamboo-cotton blends, and some also add polyester into the mix.
Bamboo is highly renewable and also requires less water and pesticides than cotton cultivation. Some reusable “cotton” pads are actually made completely from bamboo. They're generally indistinguishable from 100% cotton pads and are just as gentle and soft on sensitive skin.
Popular uses for reusable cotton pads include makeup removal with an eye makeup remover, cleansing the face with micellar water, removing face masks and applying toners or astringents to the face. Unlike disposable cotton pads, reusable ones don’t fall apart or separate during more vigorous use, such as removing long-wear and waterproof makeup. Depending on the texture, some reusable pads can also be gently exfoliating and pair well with a facial or lip scrub.
Most reusable pads come in rounds with a diameter ranging from 2.75-3.75 inches. You can find select pads in square or heart shapes.
After you use a reusable pad once, you'll need to wash it, which is why they come in multi-packs of 10-40 pads. Consider how often you’ll realistically do laundry when choosing how many you want to purchase. More pads means laundering them less often.
Many reusable cotton pads have a smooth texture that won’t scratch the skin. However, some are double-sided, with a raised, more exfoliating texture on one side and a smooth surface on the other. You can also find packs that mix exfoliating pads, which feature a scrubby terry cloth surface or a raised one, with ones that feature a velour and smooth surface.
Many reusable pads come with a holder that keeps your clean pads tidy and stacked. Holders are made from bamboo, cardboard, plastic, metal or basket material. Some holders are more attractive than others. Consider your bathroom or vanity aesthetic when buying pads that come with a holder.
Many reusable pads also come with a mesh laundry bag that can also be used to store or transport them. This bag features either a string or zipper closure to keep your pads separate from the rest of your laundry in the washing machine.
Not all cotton is organic. If you have sensitive skin or use non-toxic skin care, be sure that your pads are organic and don't contain pesticides. Typically, bamboo isn't treated with pesticides or chemical fertilizers, but it's always wise to look for an organic label to be on the safe side.
Also called a finger pouch, reusable pads with a pocket provide a place for your fingers so you have a more secure hold while you maneuver them. Some reusable cotton pads instead come with a finger strap.
Most reusable pads are white. However, white shows stains, which is why some manufacturers offer black pads. You can also find multi-packs that mix colors such as black, gray, pink, blue and green. Be aware that many colored pads are actually made from microfiber, a synthetic material, and don’t contain cotton or bamboo.
Reusable cotton pads range in price from 25 cents to $1.50 per pad.
A. Always follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. In general, reusable pads can be placed inside a mesh laundry bag and washed in the washing machine on a cold/gentle cycle. You can also hand-wash them.
A. Generally, yes. Saturate the pad with liquid makeup remover and wipe until your makeup is gone. There are specific reusable makeup remover pads that can remove makeup with water alone, but not all reusable cotton pads are designed to do so.
What you need to know: With a blend of organic cotton and eco-friendly bamboo, these ultra-soft pads will last for years.
What you’ll love: They're thick, soft and work like a charm to remove makeup when paired with a liquid remover. They don’t tug on the skin, and one double-sided pad can take care of all your removal needs. The green trim is attractive. The 20 pads come with a lidded holder and a mesh laundry bag.
What you should consider: For some consumers, these pads aren’t absorbent enough.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: These low-cost reusable pads are organic and Oeko-Tex certified for your non-toxic beauty routine.
What you’ll love: The 18-pack comes in all white or a multicolored option. They're easy to wash in the included mesh laundry bag. With a large surface area, these reusable pads remove makeup better than disposable ones and require less product.
What you should consider: Although marketed as cotton, these rounds are actually made from bamboo.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This value pack contains both exfoliating and smooth pads.
What you’ll love: You get three black scrubby pads along with 12 smooth ones, all at a reasonable price. The smooth pads are double-layered and come in white and turquoise. The velour stays soft after multiple washes.
What you should consider: These pads contain 20% polyester, a synthetic fiber.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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