MUJI Cut Cotton White – Shiseido Facial Cotton DUPE

I was going to make this post a “journey of discovery” and keep it a mystery on whether the MUJI is a dupe or not for the Shiseido, but I’m just going to come out and tell you that YES, the MUJI Cut Cotton in WHITE is indeed a viable DUPE to the cult favourite – and pricey – Shiseido Facial Cotton.
I’ve been using both MUJI and Shiseido cottons interchangeably for the past month to get a true sense of how similar or dissimilar they are to each other.

First, let’s explain what a “dupe” is in the beauty world.  A dupe is a product that replicates another product in terms of colour, finish, texture, longevity, performance etc. A mimic, if you will. A dupe is helpful when:
• it is less expensive
• the original is no longer available (limited edition or discontinued)
• the original is not widely accessible (ie. Canadian brand not available in the UK)
• it fulfills a certain personal criteria (ie. cruelty-free, vegan, not made in China etc)

(Perhaps I should add this definition to my terminology list?)

So for me, the MUJI Cut Cotton dupe is a cheaper alternative to the Shiseido Facial Cotton.
Let’s back up a little – I am just so excited about this discovery! Some of you may know that I’m a bit of a facial cotton fanatic. I love trying new ones and am forever on a quest to find the pinnacle of facial cotton perfection. That distinction goes to Shiseido Facial Cotton. But, it’s kind of pricey at C$11 for a pack of 165 pieces. Another passion of mine is trying to find a dupe for Shiseido Facial Cotton (which I call “Crack Cotton”) but so far, to no avail.
Enter the MUJI Cut Cotton in White. It costs only C$3.50 for a pack of 165 pieces. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the MUJI Cut Cotton contains the exact same amount of pieces as what Shiseido contains. When I compared those blatant knock-offs from Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall, I noted how similar their packages look to Shiseido’s too.
I did my usual physical, observable comparisons between MUJI and Shiseido. The size of the MUJI is slightly smaller, measuring 65 x 50mm whereas Shiseido’s is 65 x 55mm.
MUJI Cut Cotton is thicker than Shiseido. I’ve noted that the MUJI cotton does seem to hold more liquid than Shiseido.  Shiseido’s pieces look to have a slightly smoother cut when viewed in a stack.

I pulled them apart to show the fluffiness.

They’re both very soft and the cotton sheets don’t fall apart in use. There’s no linting at all.

I dialed up the contrast to show the difference in surface texture between the two – Shiseido has a slight ribbed texture whereas MUJI does not. It doesn’t make any difference in performance though.

Then I did a blind test. I placed both Shiseido and MUJI in my cotton dispenser, randomly alternating them. And I could not tell the difference! 😮

As with the Shiseido, MUJI instructs that you can peel the cotton apart and use them as spot “mask” treatments when soaked with toner / essence.

When I was scrutinizing the two cottons side by side, I’d say that the Shiseido is ever so slightly softer. But it’s not apparent while I was using them on even the delicate eye area. Honestly – saving 68% allows me to ignore this tiny, almost undetectable discrepancy.
And both Shiseido and MUJI cottons are made in Japan.
Be careful though – MUJI sells other facial cottons, so don’t get confused. You don’t want the Cut Cotton Ecu – see my review on it – it’s not nearly as soft as the White version, likely due to the unbleached cotton. The only reason why I had even purchased the Ecru version in the first place was that the White was sold out. In fact, the White version is often sold out, I’ve discovered – probably because it’s so good!
In addition, MUJI sells “Peelable Cotton”, and “Cotton Puffs” (thanks to Polished & Inspired for pointing this out!) which are not the same as the Cut Cotton. MUJI Cut Cotton WHITE is what you want! 😀

EDIT December 2017: I noticed that MUJI has updated the Cut Cotton packaging to this now so look out for this instead:

See this, Shiseido? This simple resealable bag opening? You need to upgrade your packaging to this!

• Soft
• Very thick and strong
• No lint
• Resealable bag
• Affordable

• Smaller size per sheet

Stash worthiness: 10/10

The one negative point (smaller size) of the MUJI is more than offset by the affordable price of the product. The Shiseido Facial Cotton has met its match!  I do realize that for some people, MUJI may not be easily accessible. I’ll continue to seek out other dupes – I’m never complacent when it comes to facial cotton! 😉  And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’ll never buy Shiseido Facial Cotton again, but let’s just say that I’ve stocked up on 3 bags of the MUJI Cut Cotton White for now.  MUJI products can be purchased in-stores or online. In Canada, there are currently only 3 stores so far and luckily for me, they’re all accessible to me! 😛

Have you ever found a cheaper dupe for a more expensive product? Do share!

82 thoughts on “MUJI Cut Cotton White – Shiseido Facial Cotton DUPE

  1. I internet ran when I saw your email digest in my inbox. So happy to hear these are a dupe!! Your pictures were fantastic. Thank you so much for dialling up the contrast so we could see the difference in texture etc. I absolutely love the thoroughness you put into each and every post you write. Thank you for all of you continued hard work, Stashy!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “internet ran” hahaha that is the funniest imagery – love it! 😀
      You’re welcome and I hope you try out the MUJI – do report back if you think they’re just as good as the Shiseido. I’m really impressed!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OOH! Thanks for this Stashy! I just wish we had a MUJI Store here in Calgary. I might have to try doing an online order for these. I’m a Crack Cotton addict too – lol!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For now, MUJI only has locations in Ontario. I really HOPE they continue to expand into other provinces. I think it only makes sense to have locations in all the major Canadian cities. Good luck with ordering online!


  3. OMG, this post just made me realize that I picked up the wrong cotton when we went to MUJI together. Nooooo #fail. Looking on the MUJI website, I realized I bought the Cotton Puff:

    I have a draft post started to compare the two that I never got to writing (ahem), but basically it’s much thinner and scratchier than the Crack Cotton. Definitely cannot replace it in my skincare routine. I still use it from time to time, but mostly gave it to my fiancé to clean the inside of his computer, LOL.

    Anyways, how AWESOME that you finally found a dupe for it! No longer are you a slave to the Crack Cotton!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, I’m going to add that Cotton Puff to my list of “do not buy” too! I know they have a bunch of similar looking cottons so they’re very confusing! Aww at least your fiancé can use them for something. The other poor imitations of Crack Cottons that I’ve purchase, I ended up using them to remove nail polishes, so that’s another option!

      Now you need to come alllll the way back to Toronto to get the right kind of cotton! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, and I think when I saw the white cotton pads, I immediately thought they were it, not knowing they had several kinds.
        I have a list of stuff to pick up for the next time we’re in Toronto, whenever that is! 😛


  4. I’ve never tried Shiseido but I love the MUJI cotton that you sent me. It’s not the white but they work really well and they are very affordable. Who doesn’t like a little stationary with their beauty? Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Ecru version isn’t bad by any means. But I’m spoiled with the Shiseido! Don’t blame me, my face is a special snowflake! 😉
      MUJI is such a unique concept. I’ve started to really like their CLOTHES too. Such good quality and all classic styles. Also, don’t forget the FOOD – I just bought another 2 bags of those marshmallows with the gummy bits inside!


      1. Special snowflake?! 😂😂 that’s the first time I’ve heard that expression. I didn’t tell you that US MUJI doesn’t sell the marshmallows, I’m so sad I have to resort to ebay. Lol. My daughter loves their clothes too. I’ve only bought socks so far and they are comfy.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha we call people who think they’re the most unique person in the world and require special attention, “Special Snowflake”… 😛
          Oh man, so sad about your MUJIs not selling the crack-filled marshmallows! You should write to MUJI HQ in the US and tell them you need your FIX.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s so funny 😂. I will def use that term from now on.
            Good idea, I will write a pleading email letting MUJI know I am 100% addicted to their crack-filled marshmallows.


    1. Thanks! 😀 Definitely give the MUJI Cut Cotton a try – they are so soft and really gentle against your skin, especially the delicate eye area!


  5. Nice in depth review and compare/contrast.
    You’re really making me want to take a trip to TO simply to shop at the MUJI store there – until they get a Canadian website, I refuse to buy off the US one, simply because I refuse to pay $30 shipping on *anything*.
    Definitely keep us updated on your dupe-hunting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ouch, shipping is $30? That shouldn’t be allowed!
      I should start a side business shipping MUJI stuff within Canada. I bet I could ship the cotton for less than $10! 😉
      I hope MUJI continues to expand their Canadian footprint – right now they only seem to focus on Toronto and surrounding areas. I think it’d make sense to expand to other major Canadian cities. C’mon, MUJI!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t have a Muji store where I am 😫😫 I think the only one in the UK is London although I might be wrong? I need to actually check this.

    It’s a shame because I have heard great things. This is irrelevant but I love their pens (I bought a few from the store in Hong Kong, haha.)

    As always, a great and enjoyable review 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In did notice on my last Muji visit that the cut cotton looked similar to Shiseido. Thanks for reviewing it! Will have to get my hands on it soon (I’m running out of my usual Daiso cotton).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I fell into the Shiseido cotton trap because they gave me a small box in a gwp. Of course I fell in love with them… it’s been a long addiction but now I have an alternative! 😉


  8. I’ve never used facial cotton before (just cotton rounds) – you’re making me believe that I’m missing out on something big here. No Muji here though so I guess I’ll be splurging on the Shiseido ones…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely give the Shiseido ones a try at least once in your life! I find cotton rounds good for just the face but the Shiseido to be excellent for the eye area. I use it to remove my eye makeup every single nice. The cotton rounds I use it with toner only where I’m not needing to rub the skin.


  9. Oh! I’ve never used facial cottons before (unless they’re the same as cotton balls and cotton pads?). I’ve only purchased cheap storebrand ones (like from Walgreens or Target). Although i did purchase Swisspers cotton rounds from Costco before and I LOVE them! (Still have more in my stash haha)


    1. I used to use cotton balls ages ago but I find them to be very lint-y. Cotton pads are good too but usually I find them not as soft or as smooth. The facial cottons are very soft and gentle on your skin, and not lint-y at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Owh, I hate that the Shiseido doesn’t have the resealable packaging! And talking about those, it is so luxurious that one might just sew it into a dress!
    Hahaha! I remember the post about the other type of Muji cotton!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, right? Such a simple improvement to the packaging. I always look like a savage ripping open the Shiseido! 😛
      The Cut Cotton in WHITE is what to purchase! Do you have MUJI in Malaysia?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I can’t find these on the Muji website (Canada) anymore?

    I can only find the ‘Cut Cotton Ecru’ – which is how I found your blog post!

    I was searching for a review of the Ecru vs Shisedo & found your amazing in-depth review – huge props for the photos – I am also a facial cotton aficionado & deeply appreciate your work! 👏

    I’ve tried the ‘dupes’ from Shoppers & Rexall & can’t stand them.. But I’m looking to budget pretty hard this year, so $11 on Shisedo is not going to fly! (BUT it’s the ONLY cotton that doesn’t irritate my sensitive, Rosacea doomed skin)

    I know this post is a few years old but I figured I’d ask – do you know if this product was discontinued?

    Did you find any other Shisedo dupes?

    Tysm for any advice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I assure you that MUJI has not discontinued their Cut Cotton White – it’s too popular for that. They are often sold out so it’s possible why they aren’t on the Canadian site. We’re back on stay at home order or else I’d go to check in the store for you!

      Yes the Shoppers & Rexall ones are terrible. I fell for that trap too!

      Shiseido facial cotton and possible dupes?

      To be honest, since finding the MUJI Cut Cotton White I stopped actively searching for dupes. I tried a couple from The Face Shop which were ok, and a few from MINISO but they weren’t good. So I’m sticking with the MUJI ones.


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