What’s the green alternative to cotton wool?

The non-organic cotton industry is a huge source of global environmental pollution  using almost one quarter of all the world’s insecticides and 10% of pesticides. These toxic chemicals cause health problems for cotton workers and are responsible for poisoning wildlife and rivers, as well as killing an estimated 16,000 people each year.

Greenest alternatives to cotton pads

There are simple ways to be a shade greener which will save you money, as well as helping to save the planet. The best idea is to replace disposable cotton wool with a washable and re-useable alternative.

Muslin cloths

Muslin cloths are perfect for removing cleanser whilst giving your skin a gentle exfoliation at the same time. I love cleansers which you remove with a muslin cloth. In my post Simple way to supercharge your skincare regime I explain why organic cotton face cloths should be a part of everyone’s daily skincare routine. My favourite organic muslin cloths are from Pai Skincare and in the post I also recommend some cleansers.


Washable cleansing pads

I use these as an environmentally-friendly alternative to cotton wool for applying toner or for removing make-up. You could also use them for cleansing as the name suggests. I’ve had my set for years and they have saved me the cost of buying cotton wool as well as helping me cut down on waste. I just throw them in the washing machine after each use. The cleansing pads have a cotton outer layer and a washable polyester fibre filling. Buy from Ethical Superstore.

Bamboo & hemp fleece makeup remover pads

These are ideal for removing make-up, especially eye make-up or  for applying toner. This fabric is 70% Organic Bamboo and 30% Hemp and the material has been tested for harmful chemicals including lead and OEKO certified. Hemp is a strong fabric which gets softer with washing. Bamboo fabrics are naturally antibacterial, antifungal, anti-static & hypo-allergenic. Buy from SewTheLoveIn on Etsy. £6.54 for a pack of 14 which is great if you’re going on holiday and won’t be able to wash them while you’re away. Ships worldwide from United States.


Earth softly washable cleansing pads (soft bamboo)

These environmentally friendly alternatives to throwaway cleansing pads are made from soft micro fleece backed with the soft bamboo towelling. You can buy a pack of 6 reuseable Earth Softly Washable Cleansing Pads Soft Bamboo for £5.49.


Use organic cotton wool. Big Green Smile sell a range of organic cotton wool products including pleats, pads, balls and buds.


Join the discussion

Have you got any other eco alternatives to cotton wool? Please post below.


You may also be interested in…



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *