using a washcloth with acne
acne, cleansing

Should you use a washcloth to wash your face if you have acne?

Washing your face is a must, but there are so many options for how to do it. Washcloths, rinsing with plain old water, fancy sponges, vibrating cleansing tools…

If you have a lot of active acne and pustules on your skin, then a washcloth may be too abrasive. It also might be too harsh if you have eczema or sensitive skin. In that case, you would be better off washing your face with just your hands and water.

However, if your acne is on the mend and you don’t have many bumps at the moment, then a washcloth can help exfoliate the skin as you wash it.

Also, you may need more than just your hands to help remove foundation. Since I have the occasional zit and acne scarring, I wear a full face of foundation almost every single day right now. I need the extra abrasiveness of a washcloth to help get all of the makeup off before I use my facial cleanser.

Other cleansing tools can also be great, but I want to talk about washcloths specifically in this post because, when used improperly, thay can cause more problems than they solve.

DO NOT reuse washcloths

Bacteria grows quickly in warm, moist environments. Sounds like your bathroom, huh?

Why do you wash your face? To clean it. Becuase it’s dirty from collecting dirt, sweat, and bacteria as well as sloughing off dead skin cells…

So you get a washcloth wet and use it to wipe all of that junk off. Now all that junk is on the washcloth.

Are you really going to want to use that again?

Especially since the washcloth gives bacteria the perfect environment to thrive AND GROW!! So then it’s not just whatever you washed off your face, but all of that multiplied over the course of several hours or a day.

And if the washcloth is hanging in a bathroom that also has a toilet in it, then it’s getting sprayed with microscopic droplets of crud every time you flush the toilet (even if the seat is down).

Nope. nope. nope.

Washcloths should go in the laundry hamper after every single use. Actually, I don’t just throw them straight in the hamper, though. I let them dry out first before tossing them in. But I definitely do not reuse a washcloth until it has gone through the washing machine.

And forget sharing a washcloth with anyone else. Just don’t. Especially if you or they have acne.

Wash them properly

Just tossing your used washcloths in the washing machine might not actually be enough to get rid of the bacteria. Washing with cold water cycles and using mild detergents might be trendy and eco-friendly, but research has shown that it might not be enough to kill the majority of the bacteria in towels.

Wash your washcloths and other towels in hot water to get them really clean. Ideally, the water temperature should be between 140 and 150 degrees. And adding bleach to the load is also ideal, though not always possible if you don’t want to ruin colored towels.

And since it can be difficult to kill all the bacteria in a wash cycle, definitely do not wash your towels (especially the ones you use on your face) in the same load as underwear. Bacteria and fecal matter from the underwear can transfer to the towels in a wash cycle and create a soupy bacterial mess.

Clean your washing machine regularly between uses. If you have a front-loader, wipe the seal out and make sure to keep it dry by leaving the door open after running a load.

How many towels should you have

I wash all of my dirty towels once a week when I regularly do laundry. (my husband and I don’t have kids yet)

It doesn’t really matter how frequently you do laundry as long as you have enough towels and washcloths to get you through between laundry days.

Since I typically wash my face once in the morning and once at night, then I keep at least 14 washcloths on hand.

That might seem like a lot if you’re into really high-end expensive towels, but I just use cheap Walmart washcloths for my face. They’re going to get discolored from my acne regimen anyways.

And think of it this way…you wouldn’t reuse toilet paper the next time you go to the bathroom, would you? So don’t reuse your washcloths.

You also don’t need to worry about your washcloths getting old. If they still clean your face, then they’re fine to continue using as long as you wash them well.

So tell me. Do you use a washcloth or something else to wash your face?

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