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Reusable Cotton Pads: When & How You Should Use Them

May 17, 2021
Reusable Cotton Pads: When & How You Should Use Them

Trust us; we know how convenient disposable cotton pads can be. One and done, and you toss it in the trash. But reusable cotton pads aren't just more eco-friendly by helping to minimize your carbon footprint by reducing your contribution to landfills—they are also more affordable in the long run than single-use items. In addition to being better for your wallet and the environment, reusable cotton pads are designed to be more functional and efficient, and they’re taking over the beauty industry. Here’s how: 

How to Use Them

Using reusable cotton pads is pretty straightforward. You’ll use them the same way you would use single-use cotton pads, except, instead of throwing it away, you toss it in the wash—how’s that for a reusable alternative? 

You can keep them in a cute glass jar in your bathroom and grab one whenever you need.

When Removing Makeup

You’ll need an effective liquid make-up remover to pour onto reusable facial rounds to help remove residual makeup. These cleansing cloths are particularly effective at removing makeup from the eye area, and we all know how stubborn that eyeliner and lash glue can be, and they reach deep into your pores to get every last bit of foundation. 

Plus, you use them exactly as you’d use the disposable kind, so there’s no need to watch any complicated tutorials—you literally can’t do it wrong. 

How to Clean Them

A very important factor to consider is to never grab used cotton pads for a second time. Always make sure you have a backup of clean ones on hand. Luckily, reusable cotton pads are easy to wash. Just be sure you don’t overload them in the wash, ensuring they get a good, thorough clean. 

In the Washing Machine: Opt for a brand that includes a laundry bag in every purchase so you can wash them in the washing machine while keeping them in prime condition. Without a laundry bag, other items in the wash, like zippers, fastening clips, and buttons, can snag at the material and minimize the lifespan of the cotton pads. 

Wash by Hand: If you don’t have a laundry bag to keep your cotton pads safe in the wash, just wash them by hand in the sink. Fill the sink with warm water and some mild detergent, and let the pads soak before rubbing them together to add some friction in getting rid of all the dirt and makeup grime. 

When to Use Cotton Pads

You can use reusable makeup pads for anytime your skin needs to be cleansed of something or when something needs to be applied to your skin that doesn’t need to foam or get washed off. 

Removing Makeup

We know that you might be stuck on your makeup wipes, but you really can do better when it comes to getting off that stubborn waterproof mascara residue. 

Soak the cotton pad in liquid makeup remover as you would a regular toss-away cotton pad, and get to work removing your makeup as usual. Depending on the size of the pad you’re using, you may need to use a fresh corner or an additional pad to remove a full face of makeup, but it should only take a few swipes. If the pad you’re using has a functional flip side, you can use the reverse side of the cotton pad as you would a fresh pad. 


A reusable cotton pad is a great option for applying a no-rinse cleanser like micellar water that doesn’t need to be rinsed. It carries more product and reaches all the curves and crevices in your face better than your hands would. 


Toning is a key step in any skincare routine since it preps the skin for moisturizers and serums while getting rid of any excess oil or stubborn dirt or makeup leftover. You can skip the cotton pad altogether, but it is more effective to use something to help wipe all those leftovers away—and delightfully satisfying when you get to see what you’ve missed when washing up. 

Reusable cotton pads are great for applying your toner because they also double 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. 


A quality your average throw-away cotton pad can’t boast is the reusable cotton pad’s exfoliating abilities. Reusable cotton pads are made with intentional materials like bamboo cotton—offering a luxurious exfoliating experience in addition to applying your cleanser or removing your makeup. 

Removing a Face Mask

Instead of splashing water all over your face and soaking your shirt, your sleeves, and sloshing water all over the bathroom sink and floor to clean off your self-care Sunday DIY face mask, use a cotton pad! 

Soak the cotton pad in water and glide it all over your face to remove your face mask. You can use the cotton pad the same way you would use a washcloth, rinsing it and wringing it out as you continue to wipe off the residual product from your skin. 

Are Reusable Cotton Pads Worth it?

If you’re looking to make your beauty routine more sustainable and cost-effective, reusable makeup remover pads are absolutely worth the initial investment. You’ll feel better contributing to less waste and making a conscious effort to help out the earth, and also feel pretty good not having to run off to the convenience store for another bundle of toss-away cotton pads. 

Consider this: If you are using two toss-away cotton pads every night for a whole year, that equals 730 cotton pads you are tossing away every year. Let’s say you pay $3 for a pack of 50—for a full year, you will be spending around $44.00. So, are reusable cotton pads worth it, you ask? We vote yes. 

In Conclusion

Reusable cotton pads are a simple, easy way to level up your skincare routine in affordability and sustainability. They are a staple item to have on your vanity or in your makeup bag, and they make a great gift, too. Grab a few for your mom for Christmas or your bestie’s birthday—they’ll be sure to thank you once they realize just how useful these are.  


Why A Cotton-Free Skincare Routine Is Step No.1 To Saving The Planet | Elle

How to wash reusable cotton rounds, care of a dermatologist | Well + Good 

How To Use Face Toner - What Does Face Toner Do? | Women’s Health Mag  

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