Don't be fooled, unless you're being cautious and buying organic cotton balls they are most likely not made of what you think. Most of the typical cotton balls you'll find in the store contain synthetic fibers, which actually make them more like single-use plastics.
The actual cotton crop itself is one of the industry's top users of pesticides, harming the environment, and potentially harming the consumers.
Synthetic cotton balls:
Most cotton balls you will find in your drugstore are synthetic and made out of polyester fibers that are bleached and full of chemicals. They are also rough on the skin and can be irritating for people with sensitive skin, especially with the added chemicals.
Organic cotton balls:
Organic cotton balls are technically made with fewer chemicals, pesticides, and water and are better for you and the environment. But it is more expensive and is still not the best way to apply or remove the product from your skin.
Regardless of the choice between synthetic and organic cotton balls, they still end up absorbing more of the product than applying and they can leave behind fibers or particles. Do you ever remove your makeup with a cotton ball at night and still wake up with raccoon eyes in the morning? That's because they are poor at picking up dirt and leftover makeup. Save money and look into some reusable face pads or washcloths!