Washable cleansing pads from Natural Collection

Filed in Product reviews by on September 13, 2008 13 Comments
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natural collection washable cleansing pads

Many women use cotton wool balls or pads on a daily basis to cleanse, tone, moisturise or remove make up. After use, they are thrown into the dustbin.

When I was a teenager and religiously did my cleanse, tone, moisturise routine twice a day, I got through a pack of cotton wool balls per week! All of these went into the bin which, in turn, went into the landfill. In addition I would use them to remove nail varnish and even stick the balls between my toes when I painted my toenails! Into the bin it all went after use…….
Not only is it a wasteful resource, but cotton is one of the most widely sprayed crops on the planet. Unless you buy organic, cotton wool balls are sprayed several times with pesticides during the growing process. After they are picked, they are bleached, sterilised and shaped into balls before being wrapped in plastic and travelling thousands of miles to stores.

Natural Collection’s eco friendly washable cleansing pads are a sustainable alternative to throwaway cotton wool balls or wipes. They can be washed and reused many times which saves on money too.

The pads are made from off-cuts of towel manufacture and supplied with a mesh bag for easy washing. You just put the whole lot into the washing machine. My only gripe with them is that the pads have a 100% polyester filling and the bag is polyester too. I think there could be room for improvement here.

One of our readers, Queenie, has been using the Natural Collection‘s washable cleansing pads and here’s what she says:

The ones I bought came in a pack of 5 and have their own little bag for washing them in. They did come in a plastic bag as well but I have reused that for something else.

I am really enjoying using the washable pads, in fact I think I am going to have to order another pack.

One thing I have found is that they are not as absorbent as cotton wool so the products you use with it “sits on top” rather than soaks in as with cotton wool. It takes a bit of getting used to but I am getting there now.

In a way that makes it even more economical as I’ve found I use less product.

They are better when used with cleanser rather than toner as its creamier and so it “sits” better. They are also less soft than cotton wool but I like to think of that as a gentle exfoliant – bit like getting 2 products for the price of one.

Because they don’t get so saturated its possible to use both sides too.

They wash well. I just hang the bag on the back of the door and as and when I use them I pop them into the bag and they’re already for my next wash load.

So that sounds like a great report from Queenie. I think with a natural, biodegradable filling and cotton wash bag, these would get a 5/5 🙂

Have you got a product to review that saves on waste going into the landfill? Or are you a retailer who would like to send us products to try out? Then Contact Us!

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (13)

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  1. Cleansing pads? Call me daft, but what’s wrong with a flannel?

  2. Shymom says:

    I guess I am not understanding this. How are these better/different than using a face cloth?

  3. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Ladies, and welcome Shymom; I believe you are new here – welcome to the site and thank you for leaving your thoughts here.

    I don’t think they are better or different! But I guess some people like the convenience factor, plus we all know how hard old habits are to break 😉

    So let’s say, you’re in the habit of those small, individual pieces of cotton wool but you’re figuring out how to reduce waste. I think these washable cleansing pads might be the next step for some.

    I don’t use anything at all – I use my hands, but I guess we all have our preferences. Thinking back to my teen years, these small, individual washable cleansing pads would have just about been all I could have managed as an alternative to disposable cotton wool while still staying within my comfort zone, you know?

    It will be interesting to see what others think too and it just goes to show that we don’t all think in the same way. Well thank goodness for that, or there would be no discussions on the site LOL!

  4. Sue says:

    i use a tea tree cleanser and toner which i put on cotton pads. when ive used both sides i put them in my compost caddy along with my tea bags etc. Im sure they are compostible.

  5. well, here comes the frugal commenter again.
    i make all sorts of to-do rags out of any good parts of used towels or flannel clothing. if there’s fuzz left on it, it’s fair game for creativity.
    hand wash cloth: hem a square foot, and you have a terry cloth rag.
    man rags: don’t forget to save some for the greasy chores in the shed.
    hand wash-mitten: sew as a thumbless mitten for body scrub.
    cotton polish removers/face cleansers: cut flannel in small circles and sew together turn inside out and close. good rainy day busy hands project for kids.
    monthly pads: sew in an 8 shape and fill with layers of cotton cloth and send to African school girls through an organization which will supply the patterns.

    wait wait, you may also light your fire or compost the tiny left-over cloth strips..signed: another zero waste addict

  6. Mrs Green says:

    Ah good one Sue – I wouldn’t have thought of composting them.

    Hi Nadine, it’s great to hear of the frugal options as these appeal to many of our readers. I’ll try the tiny cloth strips on the fire (better make sure there is no polyester in there 😉 )

    is it Goods4Girls you send your pads through?

  7. Sally says:

    I bought these pads for my therapy business, however my problem was they did not provide a wash bag and I spent a month slowly wondering why my washer was not working properly, they jammed inside the filter!! nightmare. However having fathomed they must be washed in a bag!!!! they are great.
    As for toner, i would suggest putting it in a spray bottle and spritz your face before wiping over with a pad, this save lots of product.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Sally, oh my! Fancy not telling you they needed to go into a wash bag – I’m glad they didn’t cause more damage.
    Spraying toner is a good idea!

  9. Gemma says:

    I really like these pads because they are the right size for using on the face. I think Nadine’s idea of making your own from flannels etc is a good one 🙂

  10. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Gemma, welcome to the site. It seems like you’re quite an expert from taking a look at your own site. Have you sampled any other zero waste products which are worth a mention for our readers?

  11. Gemma says:

    After I read your article I went on the hunt for more products like this and found some handmade knitted face scrubbies on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=18569412. They are pretty so would make a great zero waste gift and look nice in your bathroom! I think the other would be Pangea Organics soaps because the boxes have seeds embedded in them, so you can plant them in the ground and they grow. I think they have basil seeds inside – so if grows, you’ll have an endless supply of pesto ingredients 🙂 – a good zero waste combination. Really like your site 🙂

  12. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Gemma,
    The knitted face scrubbies are great and I like that she is selling them as single items so you can try them out rather than having to buy in bulk and find you don’t like them. I’ll have to check out the Pangea organic soap boxes; they sound fab – just like the plantable cards and tags we highlighted this week 🙂

  13. Carol T says:

    The little pads are better than flannels simply because if you’re removing makeup etc they get very mucky. Rather than have a filthy cloth hanging in your bathroom, or a single use flannel, just use the little ones instead. I’ve been waiting for one of my towels to die so I can upcycle it.

    Maybe I’ll even get a pringles tub or similar (I must know someone who eats them!), make a slit down the front, and cover it in images from magazines (is that called decoupage?) to use as a dispenser. Or maybe I’ll just put them in a dish, lol!

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