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You know that cleansing is an essential skincare step—after all, sleeping in your makeup can lead to breakouts. But if a washcloth isn’t part of your cleansing routine already, then you may want to reconsider your current skincare habits. Here’s why: “Washcloths help to exfoliate and bring a glow to the skin,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman. "Most washcloths are even gentle enough for sensitive skin."
When choosing a washcloth, Dr. Jaliman says it shouldn’t have a rough or stiff texture since that can irritate the skin. (Spoiler alert: We only picked out the soft variety.) To use a washcloth in the most effective way possible, Jaliman recommends applying cleanser with your hands to your face and massaging gently. Then, use a warm washcloth to gently rub the cleanser onto your skin and remove any excess makeup that hasn’t yet been removed.
Below, our favorite washcloths to cleanse, remove makeup, and boost your glow.
Best Overall: Uchino Air Waffle Washcloth
This washcloth, made in Japan, receives high marks from users and it's no surprise why. It's made of 100% cotton, is super fine and soft, and therefore gentle on the skin. Meanwhile, the textured waffle pattern provides exfoliation, so your skin looks glowier and feels smoother after you use it.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Monday to Sunday Bamboo Muslins
Sensitive skin needs special care—and these muslin cloths are ideal for those with skin that's easily irritated. The finely woven bamboo is antibacterial with a soft texture that won’t ever feel rough on your skin.
Use them to remove cleanser, makeup, and dead skin cells for a brighter complexion sans irritation. Pop them in the washing machine when you’re ready to clean—they’ll get softer every time you wash.
Best Bamboo: Brooklyn Bamboo Washcloths
These organic bamboo washcloths are extremely soft, meaning you don’t have to worry about it irritating your skin. Plus, bamboo is anti-fungal and hypoallergenic, meaning it doesn’t build up odors or mildew like other materials. They're formulated with babies in mind, which is exactly why celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau likes them. "Other washcloths can be a little abrasive—maybe a little too abrasive for people who use retinoids or acids and their skin is a bit sensitive," she says.
When you’re ready to clean them, just throw them into your washing machine—they’ll actually get softer with each use. Users love how soft these cloths feel and how gently they cleanse the skin.
Best Microfiber: Sinland Premium Microfiber Washcloth
Made from a microfiber blend (80% polyester, 20% polyamide), this waffle-textured washcloth has a soft, plush feel that is never abrasive on the skin. Use it to remove makeup, deeply cleanse, and exfoliate. With 12 cloths to a pack, you can even reserve a few for cleaning up around the house.
To keep your washcloth in the best shape possible, simply rinse it in water and hang it up to dry after every use.
Best Muslin: Grove Collaborative Muslin Cleansing Cloth
These muslin cloths are made from 100% organic cotton and are best used to remove facial cleansers or masks. Run one under warm water then gently sweep it across your face for light exfoliation and a deep clean. Bonus: With three to a pack at this price, these muslin cloths are a total steal.
Runner-Up, Best Muslin: Eve Lom Muslin Cloths
If you've ever used an Eve Lom cleanser, chances are you've already received one of these muslin cloths as a complimentary gift. If so, we're willing to bet you liked them so much and now want to stock up on some more. And if you've never tried them, you really should. This set includes three 100% cotton cloths to help lift away dirt, makeup, and grime from your face. They're powerful yet gentle and can be used in tandem with your favorite cleanser.
Best Exfoliating: Earth Therapeutics Super Loofah Exfoliating Washcloth
Reviewers love the fact that you can use this washcloth on the face and body. Like a loofah, this reusable cloth (made from a nylon-polyester blend) exfoliates to unclog pores, leaving you with softer, more radiant skin from head to toe.
Simply wet with warm water, apply your favorite cleanser, then gently rub the cloth in circular motions over your skin to say goodbye to dulling dead skin cells.
Best Silk: Tatcha Kinu Pure Silk Polishing Face Cloth
If you want to feel fancy, then add these luxe silk washcloths to your cleansing routine. The all-natural cloth can be used dry for gentle exfoliation or wet for deeper exfoliation.
To use dry, apply a couple of pumps of cleansing oil onto your face, then gently rub the cloth across your skin and rinse your face with warm water. To get that deeper exfoliation, wet the cloth first, and then follow the same steps. Your silk washcloth will last up to a year when hand washed.
Best Organic: Pai Skincare Exfoliating Organic Muslin Cloths
These double-sided muslin cloths (available in packs of five) not only remove cleanser post-face washing, but they also do a seriously good job of exfoliating your complexion so it feels oh-so-soft and smooth. Plus, the muslin is made from 100% organic cotton harvested from Kazakh Steppe located in the Ural Mountains between Europe and Asia. The cotton is grown without any synthetic fertilizers, so you can rest assured it’s good for your skin.
Best for Makeup Removal: MakeUp Eraser Original Makeup Remover Cloth
This pretty pink reusable cloth is tops for removing makeup (yes, even waterproof mascara—the most stubborn of all products). You can get a whopping three to five years (up to 1,000 machine washes) out of this super-soft, fluffy cloth, made from a polyester blend that is tough on makeup but gentle on skin.
All you have to do is run it under warm water then lightly rub your face to wipe away your makeup—no other products required.
Best Mitt: Sarah Chapman Professional Cleansing Mitts
A mitt isn’t just a useful tool for self-tanner application. These mitts have been specially designed to increase the effectiveness of your cleansing routine. The mitts are made from a soft cotton-terry blend with a sponge lining that traps heat and moisture. The side that’s more tightly woven is perfect for getting rid of stubborn eye makeup, while the other side should be used to clean larger areas of your face. Pair with your favorite facial cleanser for best results.
Don't forget to take care of your washcloth to prevent breakouts. Like a regular towel, you’ll want to keep it clean with regular laundering. “A washcloth can be home to bacteria if you don’t rinse and wring it out properly and hang it to dry,” warns Dr. Jaliman. “Make sure you wash it fully and get all makeup and soap off.”