When you first open Cosmo, the first thing some people notice is the missing cotton ball. This isn’t a mistake– it’s actually by design. Here’s why we decided to ditch the cotton ball:
1.) We want to create the best user experience possible
When we set out to create Cosmo, we put as much thought into what to include as what not to include. While we can’t speak for everyone, we personally find the oversize cotton balls stuffed into pill bottles to be unsightly, ungainly, and annoying. No one likes pulling out a long and seemingly never-ending swath of cotton just to grab a single pill.
As far as we’re concerned, cotton belongs in your clothes, not in your pills.
3.) Cotton balls are completely unnecessary
We initially assumed that cotton balls must serve some sort of purpose. In the early 1900s pharmaceutical giant Bayer began inserting cotton balls in medicine to prevent pills from breaking during transport. Pill capsules are much less sensitive to breaking today, however, and are no longer needed. Nevertheless, the company kept using them for decades to fulfill customer expectations.
In 1999, Bayer finally removed cotton balls from its products, citing their lack of usefulness. Many other supplement and medicine companies continue to use cotton, however. The practice is rarely questioned.
3.) They may actually be harmful
One myth is that cotton balls block moisture and prolong product life. In reality, they draw moisture into the bottle and have the opposite effect. This is why the National Institute of Health recommends removing cotton balls from medicine and dietary supplements.
4.) It’s one small way to make the world a better place
We’re not perfect, but we’re always looking for ways to make Cosmo more sustainable and eco-friendly. After all, Cosmo is designed to help you sleep better at night, and we want our users to feel good about their impact on the environment.
With that in mind while cotton is renewable, its production is highly water-intensive according to the World Wildlife Fund. Producing just one 2-gram ball of cotton consumes 40 liters of water. We estimate that this one small decision to forgo cotton will save enough water to fill two Olympic-size swimming pools in a single year (pool time at Cosmo, anyone?).
We understand that some people will miss the ritual of removing cotton from Cosmo. But we think the benefits to users and the environment outweigh any potential nostalgia. We’re proud to ditch the cotton ball and encourage others to do the same.