After a long day (or just whenever you feel like it), taking off your makeup can be a relaxing form of therapy, or it can just feel like a chore.
Regardless, you need something to help you do it, and single-use makeup remover pads are just not in fashion anymore, dear.
I’ve taken the time to look into eco-friendly alternatives, which can be used again and again. I searched high and low for the best reusable makeup remover pads and put them all through their paces.
It’s exciting knowing that I don’t have to throw away my makeup pads after a single use - as if I upgraded from the disposable sample in a magazine to the actual product!
We don’t really think about it, but most days we spend at least 5-10 minutes taking off our makeup (and that is almost a daily thing). The problem is, when we take the time to clean our skin, we are doing the opposite for our planet. Most pads and wipes that we use end up in a landfill or the ocean.
It takes about 5-6 months for a single cotton pad to break down, and looking at the size of it… wow, doesn’t that seem like forever? You might think, “well that’s just one round, surely it doesn’t matter,” but the average person uses 730 rounds a year!
In short, for sustainable-minded, zero-waste warriors like myself - reusable makeup removers are the way to go.
And I’ve searched the web to find the best options out there. So, let’s get straight to my favorite makeup remover pads/rounds.
Firstly, my absolute favorite - LastRound. But before I dive in, I just have to take a moment to discuss the company LastObject. They are a danish company that aims to eliminate single-use beauty products, such as cotton rounds, swabs and even tissues!
Their packaging is as clean and lasting as their products and the best part of all, it feels (and works) just like a single-use product. I know that sounds a bit odd, but one reason people don’t want to switch over is that they are scared it won’t work as effectively as disposable cotton rounds.
Ok, but back to LastRound, they are made from a biodegradable cotton alternative that looks almost like the makeup removing cotton pas we all (used to) love. I had to remind myself not to throw them away since they look so similar!
They have really stretched the use I get out of my products. Now just a small drop will do, and it cleans my makeup off so easily! The only downside I have experienced is if you are using the round dry (no water or soap), it will be quite the opposite of my last statement. I prefer to apply oil and moisturizer with my hands and face wash with water using the rounds. Each pack of 7 replaces 1000 disposable rounds.
In terms of cleaning, I just give it a good rinse and squeeze under the tap, and after about four uses, I pop it into the laundry for a proper deep clean. I have had such a great experience with these, even the packaging is recyclable and oh so aesthetically pleasing!
On a side note, I would like to mention that LastRound is a bit tough when dry, so you need to soften them with some water.
Final Verdict: If you are looking for an all-rounder that is both eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing, this should be your go-to choice.
Next up we have Bambaw Reusable Makeup Remover, a perfect choice as an all-rounder if you ask me.
Bambaw’s makeup remover comes with 12 soft velvet pads and four exfoliating pads. For normal makeup removal or the more sensitive areas (for me it’s the area around my eyes) the soft pads are best, while the scrub pads are better to lift the more resistant makeup while exfoliating your skin.
They are relatively easy to clean; the pads come with a simple cotton wash bag that you can just toss in with your laundry. This is a great first set to try out because they provide two different textures. I thought it was such a great idea to include this kind of variety.
These reusable makeup removers were one of the first brands I tried. As silly as it sounds, it was almost comforting that they are the same size as normal single-use rounds (I know it is hard letting go).
In case you are in a hurry, or a bit foggy after a long night out, the different textures are color co-ordinated: no one wants to scrub their contacts out of their eyes!
The one problem I experienced is that these are not as easy to wash by hand, so it is best to wash them in a laundry machine (which is actually the more eco-friendly solution anyway) and remember that they need to air dry as they are not dryer friendly.
Final Verdict: Great for first-time buyers or people who want to spice things up with variety.
Greenzla Reusable Makeup Remover Pads come in a set of 20 with a handy little laundry bag and even a storage bin, both conveniently biodegradable. Made from bamboo, these makeup remover pads are made to last for years, but if you feel like you want to replace one, Greenzla did make sure they are compostable and biodegradable. It really is a zero-waste beauty solution!
I loved how easy it was to use and clean them; they dried so quickly! The thing that was not so great was the fact that they lost a bit of their shape when they came out of the wash. Another thing worth noting is that they are smaller than “normal” cotton pads.
Final Verdict: If you are looking for value for money, look no further.
The first thing that drew me to the Organic Reusable Cotton Rounds from Eco Roots was the adorable and minimal packaging and how nice they would look in a gift box.
They make these reusable cotton pads from a biodegradable fabric (a blend of organic cotton and bamboo) and a recyclable polyester thread that works very well for applying a bunch of different products such as lotions, toner and even cream.
I loved how little product they used and how compact they fit - perfect to store in handbags or overnight bags. The shipping packaging and product packaging is plastic-free and recyclable, just like the rounds. So if you are an eco-girl yourself, you will really appreciate the thought and effort they have invested in these rounds.
The two things worth mentioning (if you truly want to find a flaw in the product) are that they are not the best choice for sensitive skin. They are a little rough which might take some time to get used to.
It is also important to remember to wash them before you use them, all packaging is plastic-free and not really sealed off in the shipping packing. I found that a bit unhygienic, but nothing a wash can’t fix!
One personal tip - don’t forget that most unwashed fabrics shrink after the first wash. They base the size of your rounds on the amount of possible “shrinkage” after the first wash. Luckily, unlike most brands, this is something they warn you about before purchase.
Final thoughts: If you need small reusable cotton pads for a small buck, here you go.
You might have some questions before you switch over, so I decided to round up the best ones to help you out!
Unless stated otherwise, most reusable pads can be washed in your sink with water and/or make-up remover, or you can just toss them in the washing machine! Afterwards, leave them to air dry to prevent them from shrinking.
Reusable cotton pads are very hygienic and safe to use by anyone. You just need to make sure you keep them nice and clean. I suggest washing them with face wash in between uses or tossing them into the washing machine. Also, make sure they dry properly before storing.
Reusable pads can be used for all skincare products during application or removal/cleaning. It is worth checking how your reusable pads of choice absorb the selected product to decide how you would like to use it for yourself. I like to use them with runnier products such as face wash and toner.
Depending on how often you use them, reusable cotton pads can last you for years! You can expect 500-1000 uses from them. If you decide to throw them out and replace them, most reusable cotton pads are biodegradable, which the Earth will certainly thank you for.
If you are buying just to have some at hand or in small quantities, I would recommend either Eco Roots or LastRound. Both are compact and small; you just need to decide on budget and texture.
I think LastRound is a safe choice, but if you are not too fussed about packaging, Eco Roots will be great! I would just pop mine into a cute little bag once I removed the cardboard packaging.
If you wear lots of makeup or have a very serious skincare routine, Bambaw or Greenzla would also make good choices. Both come with a laundry pack, a nice big set, and have very similar price points. I think the main deciding factor would be whether you need the exfoliator pads. If you are a busy bee or you find yourself rushed in the mornings these big sets are great if you don’t want to worry about washing regularly before you run out.
If you are buying for someone else, you need to decide whether you want cute packaging or something a bit luxurious and special? If you don’t mind spending an extra buck, LastRound makes a great gift for an eco-friendly friend.
It might sound steep paying 13 bucks for a pack of 10 rounds, but you need to understand you are paying for something you DON’T throw away. You are purchasing something that could save you a lot of money in the long run - and saving you the hassle of continually restocking.
Do the math and tell me it is not worth having these pretty rounds next to your toner.
I’m not a regular makeup wearer but if you do like a touch-up, no matter how often, reusable makeup remover pads are great for your budget, your face, and the environment. What’s not to like?
LastRound gets my vote for your home and makeup bag, but whatever product you choose, know that you’re doing your bit for a zero-waste world. And these little steps, if enough people take them - add up to real change.