Why Should I Quit Using Cotton balls and Wipes?

Cotton Balls:

Toxic and Scratchy

Cotton is the most pesticide-doused crop on the planet. Pesticides used on cotton are super toxic and extremely long-lasting. So it’s likely that your cheap cotton balls, rounds, and pads have harmful pesticide residues on them, and they’re the kind of toxins that can get into your body through your skin. You can wash your T-shirts and jeans before use, but there’s nothing you can do about toxic cotton balls.

Besides the toxin thing, cotton isn’t great for skincare. Cotton products are really good at absorbing and scraping, but not very good at grabbing the grime. Expensive ones are softer, but the cost can get out of hand.

Cotton Doesn't Work for Skincare

Cotton pads hog products like toner, eye makeup remover, and cleanser. Less liquid touches your skin and more is trapped in the fibers (and thrown away). Relative to other fibers, cotton is rough. It’s not optimal for sensitive skin.

Cotton fibers are notorious for getting stuck in eyes, on eyelashes (especially extensions), and on skin. Also, cotton doesn’t do a very good job of picking up grime—how many times have you used it on eye makeup, only to have raccoon eyes in the morning?

Lots of “cotton balls” aren’t actually cotton—many are made of synthetic fibers, so they're actually single-use plastics. Meanwhile, real cotton is a valuable fiber that has a lot valuable qualities--it's not something we should throw away.

Wipes Don't Clean

Experts warn that wipes should not be used as one-step cleansers. It's like rubbing cleanser around your face and not washing it off. Also, there are no regulations requiring wipe manufacturers to disclose the fiber content, so they don’t. Even if the label mentions bamboo or cotton, it’s usually a tiny percentage of the total. Most are made of non-woven plastic fibers that aren't good at removing grime.

Troublesome Ingredients

It takes a lot of liquid to saturate that fiber, so the cleansers used in wipes are usually poor quality. In addition, wipe makers add ingredients that change the skin feel of the product. These are often "meh" for skin.

All products containing water must be preserved (or they go bad). There is no such thing as a preservative-free wipe. There are some toxic preservatives out there and some good preservatives out there. You can guess which usually cost more. Expensive or not, preservatives and additives are famous for causing reactions and breakouts.

Wipes Aren't Worth the Cost

It’s hard to keep wipes from going bad, but it’s even harder to keep the active ingredients fresh. You can find similar ingredients in bottles tubs, and tubes. In most cases, those bottles, tubs, and tubes are a lot fresher, cheaper, and more effective on a per-use basis. Anything a wipe can do, a bottled product can do better.

The worst wipes are toxic and ineffective. The best ones are harmless and inefficient (because you still need to wash your face). It's a lot of money to spend on something that isn't helping your skin.

Hand grabbing a disposable wipes

Wipes and Cotton Balls Aren’t the Only Villains

The same information holds for any single-use product, ESPECIALLY if it comes in single packs. Think about the wasteful plastic packaging, fiber, preservatives, and getting-stale ingredients used in:

  • Single-use face masks
  • Eye patches
  • Tanning wipes
  • Single-pack treatments like glycolic pads

Almost all of these would work better, be cheaper, and be far more “green” if they weren't packaged for single-use.

Shop Mittys

Mittys are more effective, they cost less, they're gentler, they waste less skincare liquid, and they're far "greener."