The 9 Best Cotton Pads of 2022

Evelyn Davis
Jan 13, 2022

Cotton pads generally refer to small pieces made of cotton or paper pulp, being pressed to about 5-6 cm. Cotton pads can be served as makeup removals. A cotton pad can remove makeup cleanly and thoroughly without any irritation. In addition, it can also be used as a makeup applicator and wet compressor. Makeup Artist Theresa Holland says whether it is to remove nail polish, eyelashes and cutin or apply serum, essence or ampoule, cotton pads are always your solid choice.

We rounded up a host of brands with a cult following, like Beauty Blender, Joly, Max Factor, ONE/SIZE and so on. Each brand boasts a wide range of super-quality products, and most of them are the winners of multiple beauty awards. So to find your pick, check out the list of cotton pads we’ve compiled for you.

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  • 1. Clé de Peau Beauté
  • 2. Unicharm
  • 3. IPSA
  • 4. Koh Gen Do
  • 6. Ebelin
  • 7. SEPHORA
  • 8. ALBION
  • 9. MUJI 

Clé de Peau Beauté

CPB is a top luxury brand under Shiseido Group founded in Japan in 1982. So far, CPB has spread to 23 countries and regions around the world and received the praise and support from its customers. CPB is well-known for excellent reputation and exquisite packaging, and have won the golden award of PENTAWARDS for several times, which is known as the "Oscar award in the packaging design industry". CPB only have one type of cotton pad and it was award the COSME Awards twice and ranked as the top three in the cosmetic cotton pads field.

CPB silk cotton is made of natural silk and a silky luster can be seen from its outer layer. It’s a very smooth, soft and plush to use. The size is large, and the thickness is moderate, so it has good water absorption and release ability. The texture is sturdy and no fuzz left behind.

Sometimes a large size is a good thing, but sometimes it could be a drawback. Because it may absorb more products. However, you can split it into two pieces. All in all, this cotton pad is an all-round hero product, which works for a variety of occasions. As CPB’s products are quite pricey, so if you are looking for luxury skin care experience, then it’s worth considering.

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Unicharm is a brand from Japan. Maybe you are not familiar with this brand, but you must know moony diapers. Unicharm launched the world-first pants-shaped diapers. Unicharm is a leading manufacturer in the baby and feminine care products in Asian market and its cotton products include diapers, menstrual pads and tissues. Unicharm is highly praised by many consumers.

When it comes to cotton pads, Unicharm silcot series has been popular for a long time. There are 4 kinds of products for different functions and usage scenarios. The 1/2 Silcot Sponge Touch Moisturizing Cotton is a hero product that well received by a majority of users and was listed as the No.1 Best Cosme Award in the beauty tools division. This cotton pad has strong water-saving ability. Besides, it’s made of paper pulp and rayon, which offers a sponge-like texture and it will be soften when exposed to water. It’s not easy to deform and has strong water absorption and release ability. So it only takes a small amount of toner to soak the entire cotton pad to avoid waste. On the whole, it’s a all-star cotton pad with good price.

The 1/3 Silcot Silky Touch Wiping Cotton is especially designed for makeup removal. It’s very soft and can easily remove stubborn makeup. the cotton pad is thicker and a great cost-effective option.

Unicharm Silcot Velvet Touch Cotton is the cheapest one, but it’s very soft yet super sturdy, and it has good water absorption and release properties, which is very suitable for daily use.

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IPSA is a well-known skin care brand in Japan and an independent beauty brand under Shiseido Group. It’s available to buy at beauty counters. IPSA’s cotton pad is specially designed to match with its a single hero product.

Its silky cotton pads are plush to use and are often recommended with high-end cotton pads from CPB. This cotton pad is made of silk and pure cotton, so it gives soft touch feeling and brings great experience to the skin. Because of its thick texture and strong water absorption ability, so it’s water-consuming and cause unnecessary waste. However, you can tear it into a single layer, which can effectively save toner.

Due to it’s affordable price, those who prefer silk cotton pads will regard this cotton pad as a cheap alternative to CPB silk cotton pads. However, it’s not sturdy enough, so it is more recommended to use it for applying lotion or using as a face pack.

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Koh Gen Do

Koh Gen Do is a well-known Japanese makeup brand founded in 1980, which is famous for makeup remover. It only have one type cotton pad made of organic cotton and it earned a good reputation in Japan. In the first half of 2015, it won the first place in the Japan Cosme Award in the cotton pad division.

This cotton pad isn’t treated with any chemicals, and the production process is bleach-free and dye-free. The cotton is flexible and soft and less irritating to sensitive skin. It’s sturdy and small cotton seeds can be seen on the surface, but it won’t affect the experience.

This cotton pad has good water absorption and release ability, but the texture is too thick , so it’s inevitable to cause waste. In general, this cotton pad can be used as a face pack or remove makeup, but the price is slightly higher. Many users buy this cotton pad together with another popular liquid foundation, but it has high repurchase rate due to its good user experience.

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Shiseido is a Japanese well-known cosmetics brand funded in 1872 and its business scope covers skin care, cosmetics, clothing, food and other fields. There are many subsidiary brands under its name. Shiseido cotton is widely-selected by many customers.

Shiseido cotton pads are available in three types: beauty up cotton, cotton for skin care and prepare cotton. All of them are made of pure cotton and plush to use. Through our test, cotton for skin care performs the best in terms of water absorption and release ability, so it’s more suitable to use as a face pack or applying toner and lotion. In terms of texture, the prepare cotton stands out from the other two types of cotton pads. It won’t deform even if you rub it repeatedly while removing makeup. All of them are priced at a mid-range level.

Applying toner with a cotton pad allows the nutrition to penetrate the skin more evenly instead of using your fingers to apply it. Moreover, it enables the effective ingredients of a lotion enter into the stratum corneum easily through gentle rubbing, thus make it exert to the fullest.

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Ebelin is a private label of DM, the second leading chains of retail store, which is a household name across the whole Germany. It sells various high performance beauty tool kits and many products of DM have won the German National Quality Award. Ebelin cotton pad is a top-selling item in Germany with good reputation.

This dual-sided cotton pad is a round cotton sheet, which has fine and soft texture and moderate thickness. One end is a smooth cotton surface, and on the other end is a diamond embossing, so it can be used for cleaning and wiping. With strong cleaning and water release power, it’s easy to remove heavy makeup and nail polish. And it’s non-irritating to the skin. Because this cotton pad have two layers, so it has a certain thickness, which will inevitably absorbs more toner or lotion. For this reason, it’s more suitable to remove makeup.

The packaging design of Ebelin cotton pad is very convenient and hygienic. It’s packaged in a drawstring bag with a opening below, which allows you to hang it up and take it out directly from below while using. All in all, it’s a very cost-effective product.


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Sephora is a French retail cosmetics brand founded in 1969 and headquartered in Paris. Currently, it has more than 1,700 stores in 31 countries around the world, including nearly 300 brands. Sephora is beloved by millions of female consumers for its a variety of well-selected cosmetic products.

The dual-sided cotton is a one of the best-selling beauty tools. Like Ebelin, it has exquisite patterns and good water-locking power. One side is mesh surface for cleaning and it has good cleaning power, which can easily remove eye and lip makeup. The smooth surface is for applying toner or lotion and the texture is very smooth. Plus, it contains 225 tablets for each box.

Another popular one is a 70-sheets portable on-the-go cotton pad for makeup removal. It’s a regular-sized round cotton sheet made of natural cotton, so it has a fluffy and soft texture as well as good skin-friendliness. This cotton has a wavy texture on the surface, which can be used to apply toner or lotion and it’s plush to use.

The cotton pad with SEPHORA's private label are exquisite, yet the price is competitive. They have been selected as favorite cotton pads by The beauty Look Book.

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Albion is one of the high-end Japanese cosmetics brands founded in Tokyo in 1956, which is famous for its toner. So they has specially designed two types of cotton pads to match with its best-selling toner, so the cotton pads are sold as a standard package.

Although the cotton pad is specially designed for emulsions, but it doesn’t perform as expected. Even though the texture is thick and fluffy and it’s plush to use, it absorbs too much liquid when using and more importantly it may leave behind little pieces of broken cotton, so it gives poor user feeling.

The other one takes “airy soft” as its selling point, namely Extra Facial Cotton. Compared to the other cotton pad, it offers softer texture and fit the contour of the face very well. But it still failed to retain its original shape, so it’s definitively not a cost-effective product.

However, the user experience may vary from person to person due to the different intensity of use. If you like this brand, you can still try it.

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MUJI is the largest household goods store in Japan and its first independent store was opened in Tokyo in 1983. MUJI was formally established in 1990. MUJI advocates the concept of minimalism and mainly sold in physical stores. It covers more than 7,000 categories and a wide range of products. At present, MUJI has 5 types of cotton pads with different functionality, which are quite cost-effective.

The classic unbleached cotton pad is natural and safe, so it’s very popular. But the downside is that the cotton pad is not sturdy enough, so it’s easy to leave fuzz behind while using it for makeup removal. Therefore, the user experience is poor, so does the upgraded version. Both of them are not recommended to try.

Relatively speaking, the crimping cotton pad with the same price is much better. With crimping design, it’s sturdy and no fuzz left behind. Besides, with moderate thickness, its water absorption and release power are pretty good, and it’s very soft, so it’s suitable for applying toner and makeup removal. In addition, it’s available to use as a face pack by separating a puff into four sheets. Plus, the price is affordable, so it’s suitable for daily use.

MUJI is very popular among urban youth due to its simple style and moderate price.

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