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4 Reasons You Need to Start Using a Washcloth in the Shower, According to Doctors

Make this simple swap to upgrade your shower routine.

When you step out of the shower, you want to feel clean, refreshed, and revitalized—and there's no shortage of high-end bath and beauty products that promise to do just that. However, one of the best tools for elevating your shower is simple and inexpensive: the washcloth. Doctors say that this everyday, unsung hero of your cleansing ritual promises a handful of benefits to your skin. Read on to learn why you should start using a washcloth in the shower for healthier skin, starting now.

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They're great for gentle exfoliation.

Older woman washing her face at a bathroom sink.
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Exfoliating your skin helps to remove dead skin cells which have built up over time. Using a gentle exfoliation tool like a washcloth can give you great results, giving your complexion a smoother texture and healthier appearance.

"Washcloths can actually be more effective at exfoliating than skipping the use of a washcloth altogether" says Alpana Mohta, MD, MBBS, DNB, a certified dermatologist and medical advisor for "The gentle friction created by using a washcloth can help to remove dead skin cells and promote a healthier, more radiant complexion. Additionally, washcloths can also help to unclog pores and improve the overall health of the skin," she explains.

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They're safe for sensitive skin.

Skincare and beauty concept. Side portrait view of young woman

Though other products can be used for exfoliation, Mohta says washcloths are "gentler on the skin compared to other exfoliating tools like loofahs. The soft, absorbent material of washcloths is less likely to irritate or scratch the skin, making them a great option for individuals with sensitive skin."

However, it's important to select the right material when choosing a washcloth, says Anna Guanche, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Bella Skin Institute. "When selecting a washcloth, be mindful of your skin type. On more sensitive skin, you will want to choose a soft, nonabrasive muslin, soft cotton or hemp fabric instead of terry cloth."

They're more hygienic than some alternatives.


Another benefit of washcloths is their "hygiene factor," says Mohta. "Unlike loofahs or other shared exfoliating tools, washcloths are personal and can be washed and replaced regularly to ensure a clean, hygienic experience. This is especially important for individuals with skin conditions like acne or fungal infections, as sharing tools can easily spread bacteria and irritants from one person to another."

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They're economical and convenient.

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While single-use exfoliating pads can provide your skin with a gentle scrub, washcloths remain the more economical and environmentally friendly option. "Washcloths are reusable and much more economical than disposing of a single-use loofah or sponge every time you take a shower," notes Kellie K. Middleton, MD, MPH, an Atlanta-based orthopaedic surgeon.

However, it's important to use a clean washcloth every time you shower or bathe to avoid a buildup of bacteria and fungi, says Guanche.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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