Differences: Cotton Rounds, Squares & Balls


What exactly is the difference between cotton rounds, squares and balls? They're all made from cotton and do the same thing, right? I use cotton balls and pads to take nail polish off, cleanse, and apply toner to my skin but I've never thought about which kind of cotton would be better for certain beauty routines. 

We get the scoop from Wendy Glancy of U.S. Cotton, on which product is best for certain beauty tasks. "With all of the different cotton products available to women for their makeup application, removal and skin care needs, we understand it may be challenging to determine which products are best for what uses," says Wendy. Stay tuned this week for our article on whether or not you should splurge or save on cotton pads. 

Differences Cotton Rounds, Squares and Balls

  • Cotton Rounds are often hypoallergenic, as well as ultra-soft, lint-free and quilted for strength and durability. Therefore, they are made especially for both the application of toners, astringents and lotion, and the removal of nail polish, eye makeup, lipstick and foundation. Some brands also offer exfoliating cotton rounds, which maintain a micro-head exfoliating surface for extra deep cleansing, in addition to the same application and removal uses as standard cotton rounds.

  • Cotton Squares are the ideal solution for manis and pedis. Their super-soft surface is lint-free for high-shine buffing, and is great for applying cuticle cream and for removing multiple layers of nail polish. Like cotton rounds, brands may offer exfoliating cotton squares, which add the feature of exfoliating micro beads to remove stubborn glitter or dark nail polish.

  • Cotton Balls, like any and all cotton products, may be used with your favorite cleansers, astringents, and toners. They are best used for applying oil, lotion or powder.