Choose Your Showering Weapon
 

             Step into the shower, and the ritual begins. Rinse yourself down, letting the warm water awaken your senses. Now, it's time to get down to business. What's your lather language? Do you start from the top and work your way down? Or perhaps you prefer to begin at the bottom and move upward? And then there's the crucial decision: washcloth,loofah or bare hands?

 

Washcloth

Loofah

Bare Hands

The pros: Washcloths have stood the test of time and have a lot of advantages. Depending on texture, washcloths can help provide body exfoliation that ranges from gentle to intense. You can also easily control the amount of pressure you use to concentrate on tough areas such as the knees and elbows and a gentler touch on more sensitive areas. Washcloths are also typically a lower-cost option over other shower tools that can be easily washed by tossing them in with your regular laundry. When it comes to how to use a washcloth in the shower, you can use any mild cleanser you’d like and still receive exfoliating benefits that are similar to those achieved by a physical scrub

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The cons: While washcloths are inexpensive and versatile, they can also harbor bacteria. A moist, used washcloth that is left to air dry each day creates an ideal environment for mold and bacteria to thrive. “Certain infections such as pink eye and staph infection can be spread through sharing washcloths,” says board-certified dermatologist and LovelySkin founder Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “If you have a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, you could be especially at risk for infection and irritation.”

 

The verdict: We recommend skipping the washcloth for face cleansing. The risk of spreading acne-causing bacteria and clogging pores with debris is high, and dry areas can form from daily friction. If you love using your washcloth for showers, then Dr. Schlessinger recommends reserving it for use on the body. “The best way to wash your body with a washcloth is by using a gentle touch, don’t scrub your skin too hard and avoid rubbing body acne or other skin irritations,” Dr. Schlessinger says. “And as a rule of thumb, never share washcloths and change out your washcloth every single day.”

The pros: When it comes to comparing shower loofahs vs. washcloths, it’s true that loofahs offer many of the same benefits as washcloths. They can provide excellent body exfoliation, particularly when you struggle with dry skin in the winter months. Using loofahs in the shower can also enhance circulation and help encourage pores to expel oil and other impurities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cons: Like washcloths, shower loofahs can harbor mold, germs and bacteria, as their structure is the perfect design to effectively trap and hold moisture. In addition to various strains of bacteria, shower poofs can also harbor yeast, a form of Candida that may result in rashes and infections if loofahs are not properly cleaned. Bacterial folliculitis, a condition in which the hair follicles become inflamed, can also cultivate and spread through use of a contaminated shower loofah.

 

 

The verdict: Really, the choice of washcloth vs. loofah really comes down to your personal preference. If you choose a loofah, Dr. Schlessinger recommends reserving your shower loofah for body wash and washing your body using gentle circular motions while cleansing to avoid over-exfoliating. “Don’t share your loofah with other family members and aim to replace it every three to four weeks,” Dr. Schlessinger says. And though it’s convenient to leave your loofahs in the shower, the steamy environment can prevent it from drying quickly, making it a breeding ground for bacteria. Instead, store it in a cool, dry place so that it can properly dry after each use.

The pros: Cleansing your skin with your hands has a lot of advantages. You can cleanse your skin with your hands any time. Unless your hands are rough, you’ll receive a gentle, mild cleanse, making this method great for those with sensitive skin, have a skin condition or who are otherwise prone to irritation. In fact, LovelySkin CEO and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends cleansing skin with your hands over a shower loofah or washcloth.

 

 

The cons: There’s one thing hands don’t do particularly well, and that’s exfoliation. Because hands are not considered optimal for exfoliation, they can leave behind dirt, oil and dead skin cells. Unclean hands can also contaminate skin on the face and body by introducing acne-causing bacteria.

 

 

 

The verdict: Using your hands is perfectly fine as long as you wash them first to avoid spreading bacteria. Dr. Schlessinger also recommends using gentle circular motions when massaging cleanser onto your face or body.






 

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So, what's The Final Verdict? It's All Up To You! 

 

So, what's the final verdict? It's all up to you! As long as you're keeping your cleaning tools clean, there's no right or wrong answer. So, go ahead and lather up however you like, and scrub away to your heart's content.