Wait... Should You Be Using A Washcloth For Cleansing? Derms Weigh In

Their answers are pretty unanimous.

by Lindsay Cohn
Hagar Wirba / 500px/500px/Getty Images

Obviously, washing your face is super important. Otherwise, you’re going to bed with all that makeup, dirt, and grime from the day just sitting in your pores, causing congestion and breakouts. But, while everyone can agree that cleansing is a necessity, how you do it remains up for debate. Some swear by those electric cleansing devices, while others feel they’re too abrasive. Exfoliating cleansers are great for some skin types, but can leave sensitive complexions a bit of a mess if used on the reg. Basically, it’s not a one-size-fits-all equation. Or is it? Using a washcloth for face cleansing might just be that universal method you never knew existed.

Yes, that tiny piece of towel fabric that’s neatly folded next to the sink in every bathroom in your parent’s house might just be the secret sauce to a clear, smooth, flawless face.

Sound too good (and simple) to be true? Well, I consulted with a bunch of dermatologists, and their answers were pretty unanimous — as long as you’re doing it right.

Bustle Shop is Bustle’s shoppable guide to editor-approved buys in fashion, beauty, wellness, and lifestyle. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

The Low-Down On Washcloths For Face Cleansing

According to the expert dermatologists I spoke to, using a washcloth to help cleanse the day from your face is the way to go.

“Cleansing with a washcloth increases mild physical exfoliation, which is great for removing pore-clogging dirt, debris, pollution, and makeup,” explains NYC-based dermatologist Diane Madfes, MD.

For more sensitive skin types, a traditional terry washcloth may be too abrasive. And if that’s the case for you, Richard Bottiglione, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dermatologist’s Choice Skincare, recommends opting for a softer fabric like muslin and being more gentle in how hard you scrub and the formula you choose.

This leads to another plus of this cleansing method: Washing your face with a washcloth gives you the flexibility to pick the cleansing formula — be it gel, oil, milk, cream, or foaming — that’s right for you and your skin-care goals.

No longer relying on a scrub to get the mild exfoliation your skin needs? Yes, please.

What Else To Keep In Mind

One thing to be wary of — and I heard this from every dermatologist I spoke to — is to never use a washcloth more than once as it can harbor debris and bacteria. Rebecca Marcus, MD was especially adamant about how essential it is to always use a clean, dry, freshly laundered cloth, preferably washed with a fragrance-free detergent to further prevent irritation.

Oh, and lukewarm water is best. Refrain from turning the faucet all the way up as it can compromise the skin barrier.

Do this, and you — and your skin — will be in the clear. Literally.

The Best Washcloths For Face Cleansing

Bustle Shop is Bustle’s shoppable guide to editor-approved buys in fashion, beauty, wellness, and lifestyle. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

The muslin fabric of these cloths won’t be too harsh for sensitive skin, while still being powerful enough to provide a deep clean and promote blood circulation. This pack comes with three cloths, so you can rotate them out throughout the week.

This linen and cotton washcloth is stone-washed to make it extra soft, and the waffle weave is ideal for gently exfoliating skin. That $11 sale price is certainly a plus, too.

This baby has it all: Its organic bamboo-blend fabric is hypoallergenic and gentle enough to use even if you recently underwent a laser treatment. You can use it with just water or pair it with your favorite cleanser or oil, and it even comes with a neat little carrying bag to keep it clean while traveling.

Bustle Shop brings you the editor-approved buys we can’t get enough of and think you’ll adore, too. Best of all, you can shop all of the products above directly on this page without visiting multiple retailers. Simply click on an item to learn more, choose your size or favorite color (if applicable), and then hit “add to cart.” When you’re done, you can click over to your cart in the top right corner of your screen to purchase all your stellar selects at once. How easy is that?

Questions about shipping, returns, or your order in general? Click here for more information.

Explore more of Bustle Shop (and our fashion, beauty, and lifestyle must-haves) here.