Can you use a cotton pad to exfoliate your skin?

Does this sound weird? How can a soft cotton pad do the job of exfoliation properly? I remember seeing a special type of cotton pad sold at Watsons for this purpose but here, I’m talking about the normal type of cotton pads. I use them about once a week to aid exfoliation.

Cotton pads are convenient and hygienic
Actually, I used cotton pads in place of a wash cloth because I find them more hygienic. Just use and throw. No need to wash and air dry and no need to worry about bacteria accumulation. But of course, one piece is usually not enough because of the way I use. So wastage is considerable.

Use it to remove residue from face mask
Once a week, I’ll set a mask on my face and when it comes to the time to wash off, I don’t just rinse with water. Instead, I rinse and then use a few cotton pads to remove the residue. By doing so, it helps to clean off the residue from the mask completely.  At the same time, I’m also exfoliating my skin.  My skin always feel soft and supple afterwards. Of course, compared to a scrub, this is not as effective but still, it will remove some of the dead skin cells and it is more gentle for my skin. I do this once a week on top of still using an exfoliating scrub sometime during the week.

Use it with toner
I apply my toner using my palm but I know some of you use a toner with a cotton pad. Actually, in a way, you’re also exfoliating your skin in a gentle way.

Use it on the lips
I also use a cotton pad to sort of rub my lips when I shower. I find this very gentle as compared to using a scrub or a wash cloth. I can even do this daily if I like.

Types of cotton pads
I use normal Japanese branded cotton pads I purchase from Sasa. They’re not as smooth to the feel compared to the Muji cotton pads so are more effective when it comes to exfoliating. Another type is those cotton pads that are textured. Those are not bad too.  And if you can get your hands on the organic cotton pads, they’re so much better because they’re far more natural. But, they cost a lot more too!

So does using a cotton pad to exfoliate your skin make sense to you?


  1. AtelierGal says:

    I use this method when my skin condition is bad. It is more gentle this way. However, Wastons’ cotton pads are pretty flaky so I get the ones either from SaSa or John Little.

  2. JT says:

    Hi Sesame,

    This is off-topic but wondering if you have any tips to help reduce post inflammatory hyperpigmentation?

    I’ve lots of dark spots on my face post a bad breakout last month, and they take forever to fade!

    Trying out palmer’s skin therapy oil now but no effects so far… ?

  3. sesame says:

    My experience is vitamin C serum will help. Exfoliate at least once a week too. I don’t think palmer’s skin contains it.

  4. sesame says:

    I don’t like Watsons’ cotton pads either. Never tried John Little’s. Must check them out next time.

  5. N. says:

    Oh. I guess I’ll try it!

  6. AtelierGal says:

    it’s the NUDE brand.

  7. serene says:

    I used body shop’s organic cotton pads to clean with my cleansing cream and it was really gentle and high quality. It worked really well. But really expensive too! Luckily, I don’t need to use cotton pads for cleaning my face anymore since I got the Clarisonic which works better and more fuss free. Now I only buy the cheap ones from anywhere just for removing eye makeup with Lancome Bifcal. I use cotton balls for removing nail polish as I find they work better than pads.

  8. sesame says:

    I love the organic cotton pads from TBS but they’re so ex! Btw, how often do you use the Clarisonic brush. A fellow beauty blogger started using and had problems with dry flaky skin afterwards. So I’m curious how frequent should the brush be used.

  9. sesame says:

    Ok, thank you very much!

  10. JT says:

    Thanks! Do you recommend any particular brand?

    I’m thinking of buying DHC one but it’s quite pricey.

    And I’ve always thought that Vit C serums tend to be unstable as they oxidise quickly.

  11. sesame says:

    It depends…some are more stable. John Masters Organics is not bad.

  12. Serene says:

    For Clarisonic, I use it once a day or even 2 days one time. The recommended usage is 2x a day but don’t die die follow the dosage if your skin is sensitive. Also, if the lady is flaky, she may want to change cleanser. I heard a lot of cleansers which are ok for normal use will become harsh for the skin as the clarisonic works it in very well. Definitely do not use any cleansers with beads in it. My husband uses the clarisonic twice a day and he said his face felt raw so I told him to use once a day only.

  13. sesame says:

    Ah I see…it might have been her cleanser.

Leave a Reply