nooks and crannies of the fibrous matrix of the loofah,” Associate professor of Microbiology, Dr. Angert explains. “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,” she says. “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.”
What Really Works?
“I actually strongly prefer that my patients use no loofah, washcloth or scrubby at all in the shower,” says dermatologist Dr. Krant. “Skincare should be gentle rather than harsh, and people spend a lot of time over-cleaning and stripping the skin of natural and healthy moisturizing oils that keep us from being itchy, dry and flaky,” she says. “Using disposable sponge pads or some ordinary over-the-counter body wash and your hand is enough to keep you clean.”
So what’s the verdict? You may not like the answer, but: it really depends on you, your skin and your health.