Should I use a washcloth to cleanse my face?

Do you use a washcloth to cleanse your face? I know many people swear by them but I honestly am too lazy to use one. Every once in a while, yes but for everyday, I just don’t bothered with it. The last time I used one was a couple of days ago, which is what inspired me to write about the pros and cons of using one.

The benefits of washcloths

Using a washcloth in your skincare routine has several benefits. When used with a water-soluble cleanser, a washcloth can be a great help in cleaning your skin and removing makeup, especially if you’re wearing thick liquid or cream foundation. This is very important to keep our skin in good condition and prevent it from breaking out from all that makeup that could still be on our face if we don’t cleanse it well and throughout. In addition, a washcloth also provides a gentle exfoliating action that removes oil, dirt and the dead skin cells on the surface, exposing the brighter and healthy skin underneath. Just be careful not too scrub too hard or you may irritate skin!

Washcloths can harbour bacteria

Despite its benefits, I personally don’t like to use washcloths very often. That’s because washcloths when wet and damp can easily harbour bacteria and fungi. Now I know that bacteria and fungi are everywhere, including dry, new, unused or freshly-washed washclothes as well and it’s impossible to get rid of all of them. But when they are in a damp and most environment (like that of a wet washcloth), they can thrive, grow and spread and the chances of them causing skin irritations and eye infections are much higher.

Of course, there’s no need to get all paranoid now and stop using washcloths altogether. There are a few precautionary measures to avoid irritations and infections. The most important thing to remember is never to use a washcloth when wet or even just damp. Always use a dry one and wash it after every use. Also, use a new one every few days. If you still are particularly worried about bacteria, then you can always change your washcloth daily or, once a week, boil them in hot water. In addition, you should never share your washcloths with anyone else or you may risk infections spreading around.

If you follow all the tips above, then your washcloth is safe to use, and even if there may be any bacteria still on it, they aren’t likely to cause trouble for your skin. I just don’t like to use them cause I honestly find it a bit of an hassle to always wash my washcloth after I used it and change it every few days to avoid bacteria and fungi causing problems. Being very lazy, I just find it much easier to just use my hands to wash my face and a washcloth every now and then for a gentle exfoliating action.

I have eczema. Should I use a washcloth?

While I think that using a washcloth can benfit all skin types, provided you take the right prcautionary measures mentioned above, those with eczema, should avoid using one to cleanse their face. That’s because the friction caused by the washcloth can cause a flare-up and make this condition worse. If you have eczema, using your hands to lather up your cleanser and wash your face is the best option.

The Bottom Line

Using a washcloth with your cleanser is an effective way of removing your makeup and cleaning your skin while exfoliating it as well. Using a cotton pad or your hands, though, can work just as well at cleansing your skin so whatever you use depends on your personal preference. Only those with eczema should avoid using a washcloth as it can cause flare-ups. If you decide to use a washcloth, though, remember to always wash it after every use and don’t rub it on your skin if it is not completely dry to avoid bacteria and fungi causing infections.

Do you use a washcloth to cleanse your skin?

Source: rmkoske
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  1. says

    I thought washcloth is just regular cotton cloth! As the facial wash im using act like a cleanser and exfoliator, i don’t use one.

    However, when I wipe clean my face, I would use a small cotton cloth and i change that everytime I wash my face or bath. I will never use my body towel to wipe my face.

    So you can imagine the number of face cloth i bring when I travel.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Jan, you definitely don’t need washcloths if your cleanser acts as an exfolaitors. When I use products like that, I never use washcloths either.

      And I like to change cotton cloths and towels too that I use on my face and body often too.

  2. says

    I don’t think the pros outnumber the cons when it comes to wash cloths, so I just don’t bother with them either. The only time I would use it is in a situation where there’s no shower and I have to clean my whole body with one – then I’d start with my face :) I do like the feeling of them though :)
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    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Pinch, I agree. They work but not better than my just my hands on cotton pads, so I don’t bother with them either. But they do feel nice, donìt they? That’s why I like using them once in a while, but for everyday use I just can’t be bothered with them.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Olivia, washcloths really do an amazing job at removing all makeup, especially if you’re wearing a lot of it (like thick foundation). And that’s good that you take such good care of your washcloths. I guess I’m just too lazy to do that as well. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Jeni, I love washcloths to exfoliate skin, I just can’t be bothered to use them everyday. Maybe I should buy a huge stack of them too so I can’t just use one a day and not worry about washing them. I’m too lazy for that lol. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Dao, they’re perfect for a gentle exfoliation, aren’t they? I prefer exfoliating cleansers as I’m lazy but when I don’t use them cos I’m testing something new, I like using washcloths every now and then too. :)

  3. Coconess says

    I think wash cloths are more effective when it comes to cleaning your skin and getting rid of odor. However, I do find myself scrubbing too hard. That’s why I like to switch up my routine some times. Like using a loofah, sponge or hands. Depending on how much scum is on your body. remember,No matter matter method you decide to use, there’s nothing better than feeling so fresh and so clean.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Cocones, thanks for your comment. I like to use a washcloth every now and then because it also has an exfoliating action. You do have to be careful not too scrub too hard though. The other methods are effective as well so, in the end, whatever method you use, it depends on your personal preference. The important thing is to clean skin well. :)

  4. sexybrownpyt says

    I gently wash my face with a washcloth nightly or every other day. I purchase the stacks of washcloths from Walmart. Its only $4 for a 12 stack. I use a new one each time, then rinse it and let it dry then throw it in the wash bin. When its wash day, I wash all my towels and washcloths in hot water and bleach. When my washcloths or towels get discolored/old I throw them out. All of my towels are white, which allows me to bleach and clean them in hot water effectively, to avoid mold, or any other germs.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Sexybrownpyt, that’s a great deal. And I like you’re routine. You’re cleaning your skin without the risk of getting a bacteria infection. :)

  5. Erica says

    Was just watching The Doctors and they’re saying that using your hands puts MORE bacteria on your face than a washcloth! I use a clean washcloth everytime I wash my face. There’s no totally bacteria-free method to wash your face. Just stock up and get a bunch of washcloths to last. Not too hard to do.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Erica, thanks for your comment. I think that as long as you wash your hands before touching your face bacterias aren’t a problem. But a washcloth is a very good alternative indeed, and it provides some exfoliation action too, which will make skin softer and brighter. Just make sure you let it dry completely before using it as a wet washcloth could actually harbour more bacteria.

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