We've said it a million times, and we'll say it again: Washing your face is the most important thing to do for your skin. There's just no room for shortcuts (sorry, not sorry), which is why we've broken down the 10 commandments of cleansing and the best cleansers for your skin type, and we've done our research on the best brightening, cream-based, and glycolic acid cleansers. The reality is there's a bunch of barriers that can get in the way of your quest to your best skin yet, one of those being your shower towel.
Do you dry your body with the same towel you use to dry your face? We get it. Laundry day is a drag. However, this habit could be doing your skin more harm than you think. Allure reports that the bacteria you move from your body onto your face (or vice versa) with your towel is not good. According to dermatologist Sejal Shah, "Bacteria, fungus, dead skin cells, oils and other debris can collect on the towel," which can become the culprit of skin "infections, acne flares, and irritation."
Speaking of infections, New York City–based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, points out the importance of proceeding with caution if you're dealing with that. "If you have an open or raw skin or if you have any active infections you would not want to spread bacteria from your body to your face," Zeichner advises. "In addition, if you are removing makeup from the skin that can be deposited on your towel, it should not continue to be used on other parts of the body. Also, if there is any visible soiling on a towel, be it dirt, makeup, or bodily fluids, you should clean it before reusing it."
According to Allure, it's also essential to understand that the products you apply on your body aren't all meant for your face. "The products you put on your body such as moisturizers, fragrances, and hair products are not the greatest if they end up on your face," Lily Talakoub, MD, says to the publication. "They can clog pores, increase breakouts and some could even cause irritation or rashes."
On another note, standard terry-cloth towels are rather rough on the skin. Using them can cause friction because the terry cloth acts as an exfoliant. Doing this too often can result in rough patches and stripping away your skin of good natural oils it needs. All in all, use a separate body and face towel, and wash it at least once a week. We suggest you swap out standard towels for these healthier options below. Cleansing cloths are gentle and soothing for the skin. A few of these even double as makeup removers. Now you should think twice before you let your body towel touch your face. Try out one of the below instead!