Is Using A Flannel Better Than Using Your Hands? Here Are The Pros & Cons Of Using A Washcloth

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Ensuring an effective skincare routine requires great products, dedication, and occasionally, the use of some special accessories like flannels and facecloths. There are many upsides to using a face cloth when you wash your face, but is using a flannel better than using your hands? I've laid out the pros and cons of flannels and face cloths below, for you to weigh up the options for yourself.

First comes first, there's the flannel, or as the Americans call it, a washcloth. There are two main benefits to washing your face with a flannel. Firstly, exfoliation. Using a soft flannel or muslin cloth in circular motions gently exfoliates the skin as it aids in the cleansing step. Skin is left smoother and brighter. Using a flannel to exfoliate is a great alternative to abrasive manual scrubs.

Secondly, it's makes for very effective makeup removal. I've found a washcloth makes removing makeup sooo much easier, especially if you use oil or balm-based cleansers in the evening. Simply cover your face with your chosen cleanser and wipe a warm flannel over makeup to remove and cleanse. Easy peasy.

Now on to the cons of using a washcloth or flannel. This one's kinda gross, but you need to think about bacteria growth. Much like makeup brushes, flannels and washcloths are breeding grounds for bacteria, as dermatologist Dr Hadley King told Marie Claire. Just think of how many dead skin cells can build up on a moist exfoliating flannel if you don't wash it often enough. With this in mind, always wash your flannel regularly (I use mine twice on my face before throwing it in my laundry basket) and never share it with others.

Secondly, there's staining to consider. Leading on from my previous point, washing flannels is also necessary to avoid any long-term staining from makeup, especially on white cloths. Try a high temperature to blitz any makeup marks or bacteria.

So in short, there are both upsides and downsides to using a face cloth, but in my opinion they're a great addition to your skincare routine if you remember to wash them regularly and treat them with care.

Here's my pick of the best flannel and washcloth options on offer right now.

The White Company Luxury Egyptian Cotton Flannel


The White Company

Super soft and fluffy, these flannels exfoliate the skin super gently and allow you to have a taste of The White Company for under a fiver.

Votary Pack of Five Cotton Face Cloths


Cult Beauty

Stock up on these luxe flannels so you'll always have a spare. Made of 100 percent cotton, they're big enough to cover your face and remove your makeup in one go.

Liz Earle Pure Muslin Cloths — 2 per pack



If you prefer a Muslin cloth to a thicker flannel, I like the Liz Earle ones that come with their bestselling Cleanse & Polish (or you can buy them here for under a fiver separately).

Pai Skincare Exfoliating Organic Muslin Cloths



Perfect for exfoliating off dead skin cells, these cloths are slightly tougher than others for this reason.