The pad does absorb less toner so that more toner goes on your face and a little toner goes a long way. Its looks like a super thin sponge. The sponge like design is probably why it doesn't shed so thats great! I wanted to use a pad to help me apply toner because toner tends to be watery so it runs along my fingers and it makes me feel rushed to get it onto my face before it rolls off my fingers. So with pad I just like how it stays on a flat surface and keeps it in place till I'm ready to pat my face. I use it with essences too. It's also just really handy to have if you ever want to soak a pad in like an essence/serum and leave it on the face like a mask or on problem areas.