Shiseido Facial Cotton vs Swisspers

Enjoy this legacy post from the archives! These days, I use reuseable makeup cloths, but if I was going to use cotton, I’d use the products mentioned in this post.

Previously, I wrote about the cotton pads from Swisspers that I use with my micellar water to remove makeup. In that post, I exclaimed that nearly $10 for the Shiseido Facial Cotton was ludicrous. As it happens, a smaller pack was available at Sephora for $5 – and I’ll digest that in order to compare them for you.


I was surprised to see that the packaging of my $4 or $5 Swisspers product is remarkably similar! Both products come in a pouch made of this translucent, velvety, satin-finish plastic.

Shiseido Facial Cotton
Resealable? Swisspers is, Shiseido Facial Cotton (in the small size I purchased or the full size pack) is, unfortunately, not. It does not appear that the full-sized package is, either.


There’s not much to say here – the pads are close, but not quite the same size. The Shiseido Facial Cotton pad is roughly 1/8th of an inch longer than the Swisspers Facial Cotton pad. They are very close in thickness as well. The Swisspers pad, ‘crushes’ slightly more easily.

Texture, Feel, & Absorption

Both pads are pleasant and gentle on the sensitive skin of the face. The surface of the Shiseido Facial Cotton, however, is textured differently; you can see in the picture above that there is a slight ribbed texture to the surface.

During my examination, I found that I can get slightly more mileage (one more swipe across my face) out of a single Shiseido pad than a Swisspers one. I am not sure whether to attribute this to the greater surface area, slightly different texture, or slightly enhanced sturdiness of the Shiseido pad. I typically get three passes with a Swisspers pad dampened with micellar water, but I can get a fourth small swipe out of the Shiseido. Aside from that minimally-enhanced longevity, there isn’t a significant difference in performance between the two.

The Bottom Line

I’m a lot obsessed with the Swisspers Facial Cotton. What’s worse is that I suspect it has been discontinued. Fortunately, I saw this coming and stocked up like an Extreme Couponing hoarding fiend…but my stockpile won’t last forever.

I am willing to concede that Shiseido Facial Cotton is a quality product that does perform, but that $9.50 price tag hurts my heart. Especially considering, at that price, that they couldn’t be bothered to include a zip-top to the bag to keep unused ones clean and safe. I’m just not up for shelling out that much on cotton pads. Fortunately, a ton of Asian brands have similar products because they’re ahead of us in the skincare department; I bet I can import some at a better rate. More to come on that adventure when I undertake it.