DIY : make your own reusable makeup remover cotton pads

If we say to you makeup remover, do you immediately think of those little cotton rounds that you buy endlessly every month and throw away after one use? If the answer is yes, we have very good news for you, your wallet and the planet! 

Why are disposable cottons not a good solution? 

Beyond the budget they represent (about 50€ per year if you remove your makeup every day), they also have a large environmental impact. To produce 1kg (about 2 pounds) of cotton, you need more than 5000 liters of water but also a large quantity of pesticides. This endangers the people who work in the crops, and it’s also one of the main causes of water pollution in the producing countries. What about organic disposable cottons? No pesticides, but still far too much water for a product that is going to end up in your bin.

So prefer organic cotton for clothes that you will wear for several years, and opt for a sustainable and very economical alternative for daily make-up removal. 

What is the alternative to disposable cottons?

Zero waste, economical, sustainable, softer for the skin… These are some good reasons to adopt reusable cotton pads to remove your makeup. Not only do they last for years, they can also be very chic on the edge of the sink and make your skin care routine even more pleasant. 

Where can you find them?   

If you are not a very hands-on type of person, you can easily buy some on websites like Etsy (handcrafted) or in zero waste stores. If on the other hand, you feel like being a bit creative and have some spare time, what a great opportunity to start making your own makeup remover cotton pads.

The Absolution team has prepared for you, a simple and beginner-friendly tutorial. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can make them by hand. It will just take a little longer, but can be very relaxing!

Durationone hour 


Material for 3 cotton pads (10×10 cm squares)  

  • Sewing machine 
  • Thread matching your fabric + a bobbin of white thread  
  • 3 squares of fabric (11×11 cm), with the pattern of your choice. For an even better zero-waste approach, you can use fabric scraps or upcycle an old shirt or pillowcase. 
  • 3 squares of fleece fabric (11×11 cm). We advise you to use a certified organic bamboo fleece, softer for the skin and more ecological than cotton.  
  • A pair of sewing scissors 
  • A ruler 
  • A few pins 
  • An iron 


Before starting, your fabric must be clean and dry. If it’s new, it’s important to wash it to remove the primer that makes it smooth and shiny.   

  1. Iron your fabrics and then assemble them: a square of fabric and a square of fleece with the right sides together.   
2. Place your needles to hold the two pieces of fabric (needle head outward).
  1. Start sewing the sides according to the picture above, making sure to start and end with a stop stitch. Leave 3-4 cm of opening.  
  1. Once your squares are sewn together, round off the corners with a pair of scissors, and cut off the seam allowance.   
5. Turn your square outside out by passing a first corner through the opening, then the next three.  
6. Using a stick or a pencil, push the corners back so that they are nice and neat.  
7. Make a straight stitch seam on the opening by folding the fabric inward. Don’t forget the stop stitch at the beginning and at the end so that the seam is solid.  
8. Iron one last time and your cotton is ready! 

Good for you, you are willing to save thousands of liters of water and pesticides, not to mention the savings you will be able to spend in a good restaurant, an ethical fashion piece or an Absolution skincare product. 🙂

To wash your cotton pads, simply rub them with a little bit of soap (for example, Savon de Marseille) after using them, then put the cotton pads in the washing machine with your laundry. And if they turn gray with time, plunge them into boiling water with a tablespoon of sodium percarbonate for 1 hour. Thanks to this trick, you will be able to remove stains from any frabrics and make them look new again without using any chemicals.

We can’t wait to see your creations! 

Don’t hesitate to tag us with the #mybeautytherapy, we’ll be happy to share them on @beauty_therapy_absolution.