Cotton Balls Are Over


If you really think about it, S.W. Basics Eco Cotton Rounds are just highly concentrated versions of your average cotton ball—like, if the spinning machine was programmed to weave the stuff into fabric instead of fluffing it into a miniature cloud. The real difference is that using the rounds is like wiping your face with good karma every day: they're reusable (machine-washable), organic, and will actually keep you from wasting product, as the fluffy ball versions just soak up exorbitant amounts of whatever toner/makeup remover/liquid-y lotion you pour into them rather than serving as the soft, friendly vehicle for delivering the product to your skin. The only drawback is the S.W. Basics Rounds are not meant for nail-polish removal. As for that, you'll just have to plant a sapling every time you switch from Chinchilly to Java Mauve-A. It's the least you can do.

Photo by Annie Kreighbaum.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • keely

    hmmm interesting! I always use The Body Shop's Organic Cotton Rounds ($3 a pack and often buy one get one half off). They have a nice texture, all the packaging is recyclable and they use sustainably sourced, community trade organic cotton (the packaging tells me cotton crops are one of the biggest users of pesticides). I like that these are made in the US. But I look at that probably synthetic wash bag they come with and think about the water used to wash these (though they're small enough they wouldn't take up much room in a regular load). Cotton rounds that I currently use are fully biodegradable so I wonder if ecologically these re useable ones really come out on top?

    • francine

      The disposable and reusable rounds are made up of a similar amount of cotton. Considering that it takes about 2700 litres of water to make enough cotton for a t-shirt, and that the proportion of space the rounds would take up in a load of laundry is negligible, I'm pretty sure that washing a cotton round takes less resources than producing a new cotton round... Also, all cotton is biodegradable.

  • Tina@OurWonderLust

    I love these! The founder is also super sweet...met her at an event and she gave me a few to try!

  • Natalie

    I have these and love them, but they don't wash super well. Even after just one use, they'll be stained with make-up.

  • Courtney

    How funny! These look just like more expensive versions of nursing pads for breastfeeding that were re-imagined for makeup removal.

    • macncheesy

      Hmmm... just checked 'em out and they're totally synthetic - not organic :(

  • Shanondoah Nicholson

    Reusable cotton, very interesting!

    • A.

      Just like clothing :-)

      • Shanondoah Nicholson

        I guess. It's so crazy and logical all at the same time! :)

  • Jessie

    THESE ARE THE BEST! I just ordered some off the S.W. Basics website and I haven't touched a cotton ball or tissue since. They come in a pack of 8 and are softer than you could ever imagine. The Body Shop's pads are disposable and packaged in plastic, so obviously these are more eco. Try them and never look back!

    • Hope

      Do they absorb like a regular cotton pad would? I bought some reusable rounds from an Etsy store, and when I went to put toner on them it rolled right off! Pixi Glow Tonic doesn't grow on trees!

      • Roisin

        Sounds like yours are made from a synthetic fibre of some sort. Synthetics are less absorbent than natural fibres, or even non-absorbent. :)

  • macncheesy


  • Guest

    No. I want something I can use, throw away, and never think about again.

  • Maria

    I love this, but it brings up the question of laundry detergent. Wouldn't whatever detergent that I wash my clothing with end up in the pads? I try to use a simple detergent because I'm sensitive to perfumes etc, but I'm not sure that I'd want to be wiping my face with it!

    • kt mo

      Do you never dry your face with a wash cloth or towel?

      • Maria

        Yes, I'll pat my face dry with a towel - I don't think it's the same as soaking something in product and spreading/rubbing it on my face, though. I think that my skin would have a reaction if I were to do that with a towel.

    • Colleen Garrity

      Oh my god, I so agree with this. And I worry that they wouldn't get clean enough hand washing... think of all the oils and stuff! But still, this is so tempting! I haaaate buying them over and over again from the drugstore.

    • Karla Orbegozo

      I would definitely wash them apart from my usual laundry! Maybe with something gentle, like unscented Dr. Bronner's soap?

  • BeautyJungle

    I have the same question here!

  • Mademoiselle nature

    Nice! What a great idea....havent seen something like that in Europe..anyone knows? merci!

  • Krista

    Would nail polish remover ruin these??

    • ASH

      Read the original post.

  • christabel

    good concept but $100 for delivery to Australia (even though I was buying 5 packets, so not just a $22 sale) is highway robbery

  • k8

    the problem is that i'm so lazy about doing laundry . . .

  • Addison Cain

    I think this brand is great, but these are way pricey. I would check out Etsy for some more affordable options.

  • CherHorowitz

    I don't use cotton pads for anything other than removing nail polish. So, back to destroying the planet, I guess...

  • Elizabeth Cornelius

    I literally just put down my iPad and ran to the store for these. Amazing, and I can stop feeling guilty every time I take off my eye make up.

  • mangomadness

    I'm a bit of a hippie and I use tons of cotton pads so I LOVE this idea. I'm gonna buy some reusable organic cotton rounds from Etsy. I'll also get some organic cotton washcloths to replace my beloved but not eco-friendly microfiber face cloths. I'll use regular cotton pads for my nail polish remover.


S.W. Basics Eco Cotton Rounds