17:21 Grooming & Personal CareNatural Living & Health

Choose Your Lather Fighter: Washcloth or Bare Hands?

You step into the shower, rinse yourself down, and then it’s time to get to work. So, what’s your lather language? Top down? Bottom up? Wash cloth? Raw dog your body with your bare hands? It’s one of the most important debates of our time. Should you use a wash cloth or just your hands? Let’s get into it.

Are Washcloths Sanitary?
Outside of speed and convenience, the case for no washcloth really begins and ends with a fundamental question, “Are washcloths sanitary and clean?” The short answer is, it depends. Microorganisms can grow on washcloths if the material doesn’t dry completely. If you leave your wet washcloth in the bath/shower between uses instead of letting it completely dry, you're better off using your bare hands. However, if you are properly caring for your washcloth, letting it dry, and throwing it in the washer regularly, it's fine to keep using it, and your risk of dealing with something like an infection isn’t all that high, according to dermatologists. There’s an outside chance you could get an infection if a pathogen is on your cloth and enters your body through a cut or abrasion on your skin, but that’s generally pretty unlikely.

What Dermatologists Say
Dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian says, “It’s really personal preference, but from a dermatologist's point of view, using bare hands or a soft cloth or flannel is best. Ensure the cloth is washed and fully dried after each use. Leaving a damp cloth in the shower or bath is a no-no, as it could accumulate bacteria which can be transferred to your body the next time you use it.

Doctors at the American Association of Dermatologists sayUsing your hands will get your body clean and is a good option for people who have sensitive skin.”

But what about a loofah?
While those mitts of yours are plenty capable of working up a rich lather and scrubbing properly, many men choose to use a loofah. In order to take full advantage of the loofah, you want to work up a rich lather in your hands, apply it to your body and then put that loofah to work. One thing to keep in mind when opting for a loofah is that it needs to be cleaned regularly and replaced every few months to make sure it stays germ and bacteria-free. Loofahs tend to have lots of little crevices where these microorganisms can hang out, so they could potentially have more bacteria, fungi, and viruses than washcloths, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

The Final Verdict: Your Call!
Provided you’re keeping your scrubber sanitary, there’s no tried and true winner here, so lather up and scrub down (or up!) whichever way you want.

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