Cotton Balls

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Cotton balls are one of those perfect little products that are helpful in a million ways. Unlike cosmetic puffs which are made from synthetic fibers and sometimes combined with cotton, real cotton balls are always clearly labeled as 100 percent cotton. Although some consumers are allergic to cotton and prefer the cosmetic puffs, most people agree that 100 percent cotton balls are a superior product in terms of absorbency and strength.

Another real advantage of cotton over synthetics is its ability to withstand high temperatures. Because cotton can be sterilized, it is ideal for medical use. While you may find both cotton and synthetics in the cosmetic aisle, only 100 percent cotton balls are located in the first-aid sections of drugstores and pharmacies.

Cotton Balls for Kids, Pets and Grown Ups

Cotton is highly absorbent and "holds" oily, creamy liquids well. This makes it a perfect applicator for baby lotions, rash creams, and getting powder in delicate skin crevices. Also, because its soft texture, cotton balls are great tools to clean the sensitive areas around pets' eyes and ears, and between the pads on paws.

Unlike synthetic products, cotton balls actually become stronger when wet. They are much less likely to tear or shred during makeup removal, or when using them in small cleaning projects around the house. Plus, because of their "natural" surface, toners, astringents and acetones are well absorbed into the balls, and so the skin is cleaned more effectively. Synthetics can break down when confronted with these liquids, and can feel like they are "sliding" over the skin instead of cleaning it. Also because of this fiber breakdown, synthetics, unlike cotton, may leave fibers behind on nails, skin and other surfaces.

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