Switching to reusable cotton pads seemed like an easy way to help the planet – so I picked some up earlier this year. Here’s my experience so far.
They work out cheaper in the long term.
I bought a pack of 18 reusable cotton pads from Amazon* for £9.99; which at first glance seems more expensive than my regular pack of disposable cotton pads from Primark, costing 90p for 100 pads. However, you can apparently reuse the Amazon cotton pads 1000 times, making them cheaper in the long term.
If I reuse each of the 18 pads 1000 times, they work out at 0.05p per use, whereas the Primark cotton pads would be 0.9p per use. Even if the reusable cotton pads fall apart way before they’ve been through the washing machine that many times, they’d still be cheaper. To be exact: they only have to survive 61 washes to cost the same as the Primark cotton pads. (I think? This is going to be so embarrassing if someone has to correct me in the comments.) So far, I haven’t put them in the wash enough to tell you if each pad will survive 1000 uses, but after a couple of cycles they feel pretty much the same.
They don’t feel exactly like cotton wool.
The one thing that bothers me about reusable cotton pads is the texture. It was a bit of a surprise when I first opened the box and felt the product – I was expecting the pads to feel exactly like cotton wool or maybe a bit thicker, but they’re more like flannels. This means they absorb more micellar water than traditional cotton pads, and I can feel the mildly-exfoliating texture on my skin when I’m using them.
I have the most sensitive skin in the world, so I’m a little more careful when I use these than I am with traditional cotton pads. I try not to swipe them around my face too much, and over my eye area I just press the pad down without swiping at all.
Right now, they’re much easier to find than regular cotton wool pads.
When I first bought them, the main advantages of not having to repurchase cotton pads was helping the planet and saving a bit of money at the same time. Now, with the current pandemic and subsequent toiletry shortage, there’s a third bonus. Primark isn’t even open, but I feel nervous about going to any shop right now, so it’s nice to have something I can keep reusing.
If you want to give them a try, you can pick up the reusable cotton pads I purchased here*.