Ditch the Cotton Balls and Switch to These Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

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Byrdie / Amelia Manley

Sadly, the beauty industry is a huge contributor to the waste produced annually. It’s not just the plastic shampoo bottles or makeup packaging that are problematic, but the small, single-use items that most of us use daily. We’re talking about the disposable cotton balls, face wipes, cotton pads, and more that we all use to apply skincare products or remove the remnants of the day's makeup. 

Swapping those for a machine washable, reusable option is an easy way to have a major impact on the environment, while saving yourself money, too. Better for the planet and your wallet? Sign us up. Not to mention that these reusable options are great for a variety of tasks including applying essences, removing stubborn waterproof makeup, and as a tool for exfoliation. The best part? They come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, materials, and price points to help you find the best ones for your specific needs. 

Meet the Expert

Sarah Uslan is celebrity makeup artist and founder of LULA. 

Keep reading for the best reusable makeup remover pads available.

Best Overall

Biossance Reduce, Reuse, Rejoice Cotton Pads

Biossance Reduce, Reuse, Rejoice Cotton Pads

Biossance

What We Like
  • Soft material 

  • Machine-washable

  • Can use on face, eyes, and neck 

What We Don’t Like
  • Reviewers note they get lost in laundry

Looking for a reusable makeup remover that can be used for just about everything? Snag this Biossance pick. Made with towel-like bamboo material, it’s soft enough to use on your face, eyes, or neck and the most sensitive of skin. Toss the used cotton pads into the washable bag and throw them into the washing machine to get them squeaky clean. 

Material: Cotton | Size: 7 pads | Shape: Round

Best Budget

PINOWU Reusable Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads

16 Pack Reusable Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great for deep cleaning

  • Fit into the palm of your hands 

What We Don’t Like
  • Difficult to wash darker makeup from cloth

These makeup remover pads are a great wallet-friendly option for those looking to stock up or dip their toes into trying reusable makeup removers. Each pack contains 16 pads, which is equivalent to 2,000 cotton balls and works exceptionally well at removing makeup, sunscreen, and more. The pads also fit into the palm of your hands seamlessly, making them super simple to use. 

Material: Bamboo | Size: 16 3.15-inch pads | Shape: Round

Best Drugstore

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Eco Pads, Reusable, 3 Pack

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Eco Pads, Reusable, 3 Pack

Ulta

What We Like
  • Soft material 

  • Multi-use tool

  • Machine-washable

What We Don’t Like
  • Difficult to wash darker makeup from cloth

  • Requires daily cleaning 

Sure, you could splurge on a luxurious reusable makeup remover, but this Garnier one works just as well (if not better) than its pricier counterparts. Its thin, velvety microfiber pad activates with just a tad of micellar water to thoroughly remove makeup and rid skin of any residue. “These work with micellar technology to act as a magnet, pulling up the dirt and makeup—and they’re machine washable,” says Uslan. 

Material: Microfiber | Size: 3 4.9-inch pads | Shape: Round

Best for Cleansing

Jenny Patinkin Organic Bamboo Reusable Cosmetic Rounds

Jenny Patinkin Organic Bamboo Reusable Cosmetic Rounds

Blue Mercury

What We Like
  • Soft material 

  • Includes a storage case and laundry bag

  • Machine-washable

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

  • May irritate sensitive skin 

Made with an ultra-soft yet slightly exfoliating terry-like texture, you’ll adore using these cloths for daily or deep cleansing. The reusable rounds hold up beautifully wash after wash—they arrive with an included mesh laundry bag, so simply throw them in there and wash with other towels—and come housed in a gorgeous vegan pink leather case. They’re also a favorite of Sarah Uslan, a celebrity makeup artist and founder of LULA. “These are anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and organic, '' she explains. “They feel extra soft but also have a subtle texture to help exfoliate while using.” 

Material: Lyocell fabric | Size: 14 0.31-inch pads | Shape: Round

Best for Heavy Makeup

Face Halo Original

5
Face Halo Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

Revolve

What We Like
  • Gentle on the skin 

  • Only requires water

  • Easy to clean and store 

What We Don’t Like
  • Must clean after every two uses

Trying to remove heavy makeup to no avail? Grab a Face Halo. All you have to do is wet this pad and scrub your face to remove even the harshest of waterproof mascaras or long-wearing lipsticks instantly—sans any harsh scrubbing or tugging—with just a bit of water. “It’s so easy to use because with added water you don't need an extra cleanser,” advises Uslan. 

Plus, each pad is said to be made of a special fiber that’s 100 times finer than human hair and can effectively trap dirt and makeup. 

Material: HaloTech | Size: 3 6-inch pads | Shape: Round

Best Muslin Cloth

Eve Lom 3 Muslin Cloths

eve lom muslin cloths

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Gently exfoliates

  • Opens up pores, cleanses, and tones 

  • Machine-washable

What We Don’t Like
  • Thinner material 

Upgrade your standard washcloths for these luxurious muslin ones. The 100% cotton, tightly woven material is incredible at removing dirt, oil, and makeup in conjunction with your favorite cleanser, which gives it the added benefit of acting as a gentle physical exfoliant, too. Also nice: The gentle, absorbent factor only gets better (and softer) with each use. 

Material: Cotton | Size: 3 3.5-inch pads | Shape: Square

Control how much sloughing you want by the amount of pressure you use as you rub it across your skin.

Best Long-Lasting

Makeup Eraser The Original MakeUp Eraser

4.9
The Original MakeUp Eraser

Sephora

What We Like
  • Double-sided

  • Equals 3,600 makeup wipes 

  • Antibacterial

  • Great for sensitive skin

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

  • Must use with a balm or cleanser 

Hear us out: Just one of these rectangular clothes will last you three to five years, which can replace up to 3,600 makeup wipes (yes, we’re serious). Each is created with a polyester cloth that's successful at removing waterproof makeup with just a smidge of water (though they also work great with cleanser), and they are antibacterial. Since it’s double-sided, keep in mind that one side contains shorter fibers for cleansing and makeup removal, while the other side uses slightly longer fibers for an exfoliating effect. 

Material: Polyester | Size: 1 15.5-inch pad | Shape: Oval

Best Cotton

Marley’s Monsters Reusable Facial Rounds

Marley’s Monsters Reusable Facial Rounds

 Courtesy of Package Free 

What We Like
  • Comes in various designs

  • Machine-washable

  • Soft material

What We Don’t Like
  • Some skincare products absorb into the material 

Created with 100% organic cotton flannel, these reusable facial rounds feel just as good as your favorite set of sheets. Silky and smooth, you’ll get the ideal level of absorbency and 20-machine washable pads in a single pack. And they come in varying colors and prints so you can upgrade your boring white ones. 

Material: Cotton | Size: 20 3-inch pads | Shape: Round

Best for Eye Makeup

Take My Face Off The Mitty Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

Take My Face Off The Mitty Mini 5-Pack Ultra-Gentle Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

Courtesy of Take My Face Off

What We Like
  • Great for sensitive skin

  • Specifically designed to remove eye makeup

  • Soft material

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey 

Confession: All of the reusable makeup removers on this list will take your eye makeup off, but this one, in particular, is our favorite. The tear-drop shape allows you to get effortlessly into those hard-to-reach spots. The tapered end wipes off mascara and liner, and the rounded side evaporates all traces of shadow and brow products. Plus, its small size also has an insert that fits over two or three of your fingers, allowing you to get into those nitty-gritty spots.

Material: Polyester | Size: 5 0.25-inch pads | Shape: Teardrop with rounded edge and small pointed edge

Best Multi-Use

Kitsch Eco-Friendly Mini Face Rounds

Kitsch Eco-Friendly Mini Face Rounds

Ulta

What We Like
  • Multi-use tool

  • Machine-washable

  • Gentle on the skin

What We Don’t Like
  • May be too big

  • Some skincare products absorb into the material

Consciously created and silky smooth, these mini face rounds will quickly become a necessity in your daily skincare routine. Not only are they sustainably made from organic cotton and bamboo, but they are ideal for applying your favorite toner or essence, removing makeup, or cleansing away any dirt, grime, or residue. Our favorite part? After you finish using them, you can just throw them in the wash and reuse them. 

Material: Cotton and bamboo | Size: 7 pads | Shape: Round

Best for Sensitive Skin

HOPESHINE Face Makeup Remover Cloths

HOPESHINE Face Makeup Remover Cloths

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes in various designs

  • Great for sensitive skin

  • Soft material

What We Don’t Like
  • Not ideal for eye makeup removal

  • Requires daily cleaning

If you’re someone who loves using disposable face wipes, you’ll appreciate the square shape of these makeup remover cloths. The 12 by 12-inch side is great for cleaning your entire face, removing every last bit of makeup. Since they’re created with soft microfiber material and scalloped edges, there are no scratchy sides or corners to worry about when using them, which is why they are great for sensitive skin. And we’d be remiss to mention that they’re ultra-gentle as well. 

Material: Microfiber | Size: 3 12-inch pads | Shape: Square

Best for Exfoliation

Jane Iredale Magic Mitt

jane Iredale Magic Mitt

Ulta

What We Like
  • Gently exfoliates

  • Only requires water

What We Don’t Like
  • May irritate sensitive skin 

Swap your loofah for this mitt from Jane Iredale. With just one usage, it’ll remove any trace of makeup including the most stubborn of waterproof makeup products. The mitt is also created with a knitted microfiber material that's thinner than hair, buffing away dead skin cells and leaving you with super smooth skin. 

Material: Microfiber | Size: 1 mitt | Shape: Mitt

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for the best reusable makeup remover, Biossance Reduce, Reuse, Rejoice Cotton Pads (view at Biossance) is the cream of the crop, in our opinion. For those looking to remove the most stubborn of makeup, opt for the Face Halo Original. It’s made of a special microfiber material that’s 100 times finer than human hair, which allows it to effectively trap dirt, makeup, and more with only a little bit of water. Drugstore shoppers should check out Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Eco Pads, Reusable, 3 Pack (view at Ulta), an affordable alternative to other reusable makeup wipes, while those who are looking to remove stubborn eye makeup should try The Makeup Mitty 3-Pack Ultra-Gentle Makeup Removers (view at Amazon). 

What to Look for in Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

Material

Make sure the reusable makeup remover is made out of sturdy material like cotton, microfiber, or bamboo. “I like to see that they were well made, where they won’t fall apart after only one wash,” explains Uslan. 

Feel

The reusable makeup remover wipes should feel soft to the touch. Harsher materials may irritate your skin, so it’s best to check out how they feel before using them on your face. 

Holder or Laundry Bag

Check if they come with something to store them in. “It helps when they come with a holder or a laundry bag so you can easily use, clean, and take with you,” says Uslan. 

FAQ
  • How do you use reusable makeup remover pads?

    To use, either saturate the pad with makeup remover or wet with warm water, advises Uslan. “Apply a drop of gentle facial cleanser and begin with circular motions to remove any makeup and residue off the skin.” If you use a gentle cleanser, Uslan recommends re-rinsing throughout the cleansing process to ensure you get every last bit of residue. 

  • How do you clean reusable makeup remover pads?

    To clean the reusable pad or cloth, Uslan recommends handwashing it with gentle soap and laying it on a towel to try. “I suggest machine washing once or twice a week with Dreft baby detergent for a thorough clean as well.” 

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Rachel Dube has written for some of the biggest digital beauty publications out there. As a way to do her part in reducing waste, she has recently turned to reusable makeup remover pads. While using them, she’s found that they make a world of difference in removing makeup and other residues from her face at the end of the day. 

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any reusable makeup remover pads from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

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