It has become a normal, daily practice to end the night with 2-3 makeup pads in the bin of your bathroom. You got good use out of them, sure, and they’re now coated with residual mascara, foundation, and whatever eyeshadow look you rocked that day, plus that stubborn glue that’s leftover from your stunning falsies. But is this really what is best for us, our skin, and our environment?
There are a number of reasons why making the switch from single-use cotton pads to reusable ones will level up your skincare game. While the cons are minuscule, the pros and perks are endless. Let us explain all the reasons why you should upgrade your routine from using single-use cotton pads to reusable, washable pads.
#1. You’ll Save Money
How many cotton pads do you go through? Considering it probably takes three to remove your makeup look, using both sides of the pad… and another two to apply your nightly toner. Let’s assume you go through five per day, and that’s on the low end. After a year goes by, you’ve used an average of 1,825 cotton pads.
Assuming you chose the cheapest option on the rack for cotton pads, you probably paid around $3.00 for a pack of 50 pads. Keep in mind if you’re going the cheap route, you may be going through more cotton pads to remove your makeup look. Anyway, if you’re using 1,825 pads a year, you’ll be returning to the store to get more about 37 times. This means you’re mindlessly adding at least $111.00 to your yearly budget.
When you put money into perspective like that, investing in reusable cotton pads is a great change for your wallet, and you can spend that hundred bucks elsewhere—like on some new, gorgeous false eyelashes.
#2. You’ll Help the Environment
We’re not even taking into consideration the plastic bag that your single-use cotton pads come packaged in, which certainly ends up in a landfill, because all those cotton pads you used once are too.
Producing and processing cotton for products and clothing uses a huge amount of water. Some experts say that cotton is the largest water user of all agricultural commodities. To put it in perspective, each kilogram of cotton uses up to 2,000 liters of water. One kilogram is about the amount of cotton used to make about 15-20 packs of cotton pads. That's a lot of water wasted to just toss your cotton ball in the trash after wiping off your lipstick.
The other negative consequence our environment bears due to single-use cotton pads is the amount of pesticides used to grow the cotton. Pesticides deplete the quality of the earth’s soil and leak into the water systems, affecting animals and humans in the surrounding area.
The majority of single-use cotton pads are non-biodegradable. Single-use cotton pads are made up of a significant amount of synthetic fibers, aka plastic, which help the pad to bind together better and hold its form. Those cotton pads you're trashing daily? They take hundreds of years to break down.
#3. You’ll Have Happier Skin
So we talked about how reusable pads are a money-saving investment and better for the environment. Now let’s think about the reason we use them in the first place—to take care of our skin! You remove your makeup with a liquid cleanser and a cotton pad to clear your makeup from your skin, so your pores don’t clog overnight.
But here’s the catch: cotton isn’t even really good for skincare. Cotton is good for absorbing and scraping, but not good at really grabbing the grime and clearing it off your skin. Plus, it can leave behind tiny little pieces of cotton, which might even make those clogged pores worse.
Bamboo is the real winner here when it comes to cotton pads. It has a slightly rougher texture that’s perfect for exfoliating off dead skin and latching onto residual makeup.
Reusable pads are often designed so that both sides will be useful for different things, offering a different material on the flip side of the pad. One side is meant for removing makeup, and the other side is designed for exfoliating, applying toner, or whatever your heart desires. This style of reusable cotton pads is great for applying your toner because it also doubles as an exfoliator. Doe Lashes’ Reusable Cotton Rounds have a delicate velvet crystal material on the reverse side of their cotton pads, perfect for applying toner.
There are plenty of reasons why you should make the switch to reusable pads. Not only will your wallet, the earth, and your skin thank you for making the change towards living more sustainably, but you may just feel a little better about yourself. Little choices you make every day wind up being lifelong decisions, don’t let those little choices end up in a landfill and burn a hole in your pocket. Commit to a happier, healthier, more sustainable beauty routine today.
Why A Cotton-Free Skincare Routine Is Step No.1 To Saving The Planet | ELLE
A Deep Dive Into the Confusing World of Sustainable Beauty | Teen Vogue