Last year for Christmas, my husband gave me The Japanese Skincare Revolution book by Chizu Saeki (it’s very affordable and sold on Amazon). The book is full of interesting skincare tips and tricks for any age. The author, a Japanese cosmetologist, highly recommended using multi-layer cotton pads instead of the typical Western round thick round pads for makeup removal and express hydrating masks.
I ordered the first ones I could find, which happened to be by the Korean brand The Face Shop - Daily Beauty Tools Multi 5 Layer Facial Pad, available on* eBay and YesStyle (Use reward code KBHOBBIT for extra savings - I think these exact ones are no longer available, but the ones linked are very similar). The unassuming cardboard box came with 80 of these pads, each one separating into 5. That’s A LOT of pads. In fact, I’m still not out of them almost a year later. The pads are very soft and easily separate into the five layers, as they are designed to do. I have absolutely no desire to go back to my old school round fluffy cotton discs.
How I use these multi layer miracles:
Makeup removal - separate into layers, saturate in makeup remover, apply to the eyelids for about 20 seconds, then very carefully and gently lift away shadow, mascara and eyeliner. Try not to pull or tug on the delicate skin. One layer per eye is enough for me, and sometimes I use a third one to clean up any residue. These can also be used on the lips
Exfoliating toner/first treatment essence - if you have combination or oily skin or simply want to gently exfoliate, then saturate a couple of layers in an exfoliating toner (I like this one) and gently sweep over your face, removing any leftover debris and impurities.
Extra hydration using toner - saturate with a hydrating toner (make sure it’s a hydrating one, not exfoliating, and doesn’t contain any drying alcohols. I love this one and this one), separate into layers and apply to the face for a few minutes as shown. It’s very convenient and quick in the morning, and fills the skin with moisture. These stay on very well, so you could get dressed or do other morning things while they work.
A lotion/emulsion mask. Chizu Saeki writes about this in her book. In short - moisten the pads with water, squeeze out the excess, saturate in hydrating emulsion (I like this one) and apply to the face for a few minutes, just like with the toner. It’s the same basic idea but used at a different stage of your routine. Great for dry seasons.
I have the original (purple) box, but there’s also an extra soft green box. To me, the original pads are plenty soft, but if all you can find is the green box, those will probably work just as well.