We use washcloths everyday. Well, most of us do according to a recent poll. But are you doing damage to your skin every time you use one? Well it depends on what kind of washcloth you use. Take a look below at the ones you should avoid and others you should keep around.
I. Worse Washcloth: Terrycloth
Most folks are familiar with the plain-old terry cloth washcloths, the ones you may have stolen from your mother’s linen closet before moving out. Yes, you need a new one. Why? Because the more you wash cotton, the more brittle it becomes.
You might feel like like you’re exfoliating all your troubles away with that old school terrycloth washcloth, but it’s too easy to over-scrub when you use those soft (seeming) cloths. Then, you’re not exfoliating, you’re creating tiny tears in your skin, which can lead to inflammation and wrinkles. Oh, and those washcloths are havens for bacteria. Think about it: you wash your face, (kinda) rinse and wring the washcloth out, then let it air dry until you use it again. There are dead skin cells on that washcloth. There’s ample opportunity and time for bacteria and other microbes to grow and spread.
II. Worst Washcloth: Anything static resistant, stain resistant, permanent press, wrinkle-free, stain proof or moth repellant. Many of the stain resistant and wrinkle-free fabrics are treated with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), like Teflon. Many – not all – synthetic fibres, do not absorb water or regulate temperature. This barrier effect may also create conditions of bacterial growth that could result in skin disorders.
III. Worst Washcloth: Dollar Store Loofa
Technically, it’s not a washcloth, but many of us still use it. Loofahs are hygienic to start out with, but it’s how they are maintained that will affect their longevity.
Your loofah scrubs dead skin cells off of your body, which get caught in all of the nooks and crannies of the fibrous matrix of the loofah. When you’re done scrubbing, chances are you leave the loofah in the bathroom until its next use. This is the opportune moment for bacteria to cultivate. The shower environment is a nice, humid environment — there’s not a lot of air circulation, and it’s a great place for bacteria to hang out. The bacteria eat any organic matter — like those discarded skin cells — left behind in the loofah.
Every time the loofah gets wet and does not dry properly, the organisms grow and grow. You spread the bacteria that you washed off your body the last time — yuck!
Now that you know the worst washcloths, here are three of the best:
BEST: Aquis Essentials Exfoliating Wash Cloth
Rougher than your average washcloth fare, this cloth falls into the “not-every-day’ category. We know it’s bad to over-exfoliate, so Aquis has dual-textured technology that keeps the experience from being too coarse (that’s a fancy way of saying there’s a scratchy side and a not-so-scratchy side).
BEST: Bamboosa Adult Washcloths
Even though the name says “adult”, it’s definitely as soft as a baby’s bottom. Which doesn’t mean you can’t use it to…