For years, I’ve struggled with clogged pores, but everyone told me that the best idea was to be extra gentle with it. But over the past couple of months, with plenty of dry heat and travel, I began to notice that my skin just looked downright rough. My dermatologist suggested using a washcloth each morning to remove dead skin cells, and though I was hesitant at first, I’m now about a month in and my skin looks and feels so much healthier. Since starting, I haven’t had to use a pore strip, and the embarrassing flaky skin I used to have on my forehead and jawline is gone.
I’ve begun reading about other people’s experiences with facial washing with washcloths, and was surprised to find that many swear by this method! Several women in their 60s testified that they had been using washcloths their entire lives, and that people continued to ask them for their skincare secrets. One woman said that, since beginning her washcloth regimen, she had gone to get a facial but the esthetician only had to focus on moisturizing and massage, since her skin was in such great shape!
Common wisdom goes something like this: a washcloth is too rough to use on your delicate facial skin, so it’s better to resort to scrubs. This is definitely true for people with extremely sensitive skin. But for most people, proper use of a washcloth is a simple, inexpensive way to exfoliate and cleanse. Before jumping in, here are a few things to consider:
Cleansers. Some people use the washcloth technique with just water. I apply a gentle cleanser with my fingers, and then I go in with my washcloth because I have oily skin. Consider your skin type when deciding whether to use a cleanser with this routine.
Cleanliness. The number one issue that causes people to be leery of using washcloths is bacteria. To combat the issue, consider buying one washcloth for each day of the week, tossing your used washcloth into the laundry after one use. When it’s time to do the laundry, wash the cloths with hot water.
Type. While some people swear by microfiber or flannel facial cloths, others simply use the terry cloth variety (present company included). If you have sensitive skin, you may want to go with something specifically made for facial cleansing, like the Pai Skincare Muslin Face Cloth.
Go in Circles. For the best exfoliation results, use your washcloth to gently make small circles over your skin. Think about other manual exfoliating tools, like the Clairsonic, which cleanse with brushes that move in small circles. The same idea is applied here.
Add a Boost. Want to give yourself a true spa experience? Add a drop of essential oil to your warm washcloth. Also, if you’re in need of some real resurfacing work, approach your dermatologist about using a chemical exfoliant like Retin-A. Since the medication causes a slow version of a chemical peel, the washcloth is helpful in taking off those dead skin cells over time.
Joy Uyeno writes daily at her blog, Frock Files, about simple ways to live a happy and beautiful life. Before succumbing to her true nature as a freelance writer and designer in her late twenties, Joy held fourteen jobs in eighteen years, which she wrote about in a Love for Thirty Project piece. She now lives and works in the woods on the North Shore of Massachusetts, and occasionally from her childhood home in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Blog: www.Frock Files.com