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The Pros and Cons of Different Shower Methods

A loofah, a pair of towels, and soap bar on a hanger.

As simple as a shower can be, it actually requires a lot of thought. Everyone has a different preference for how they order their shower routine, the products they use, and how they use them. This especially includes how you might choose to wash your body. This depends on personal preference, but there are pros and cons to each method.

The most popular methods for washing your body include using a loofah, washcloth, or simply using your hands. No method is necessarily “better” than the other; however, some methods require special maintenance or techniques you should know, then follow.

No matter your preferred shower method, keep these pros and cons in mind the next time you hop in the shower.

Loofah

A shower classic, a loofah is a great choice for really lathering up your body wash and exfoliating your body. In the winter months, especially, a loofah is a great choice for exfoliating your body. If your skin tends to get dry and flaky, then you might gravitate toward a loofah to exfoliate the dead skin, revealing soft, smooth skin. The unique shape and texture of a loofah can also help boost your circulation. Finally, loofahs can encourage your pores to expel impurities, keeping your skin clean and clear.

On the other hand, though, loofahs are a major culprit of harboring bacteria, germs, and mold. The structure of a loofah helps it retain moisture effectively, which is great when washing your body, but not very hygienic in the long run. The trapped moisture can begin growing mold and easily harboring other germs. Loofahs can also contain yeast, leading to irritation and infections on your body.

To preserve your loofah and keep your body clean, be sure to properly maintain it. Firstly, never share your loofah with others, even your family or significant others. Additionally, be sure to store it in a cool, dry place, so it doesn’t absorb excess moisture in-between uses. Finally, replace your loofah every three to four weeks to avoid germs.

A blue wash cloth sits on the counter in a bathroom.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Washcloth

A more basic tool, washcloths are another popular method for gentle washing and exfoliation. Unlike a loofah, you have more control with a washcloth, as the amount of pressure you use dictates how much exfoliation you’ll receive. This makes washcloths particularly popular for those with sensitive skin. Washcloths are relatively inexpensive and can easily be washed, making them very cost-effective.

Alternatively, though, washcloths do have some faults. Similar to a loofah, washcloths tend to harbor bacteria, mold, and other germs. They absorb an extreme amount of moisture, and when left to air-dry, they can quickly pick up various germs. This leads to washcloths requiring much more maintenance and care than a standard loofah.

If you choose to use a washcloth, be sure you are properly and frequently washing it. Again, reserve your washcloth for your use only.

A person running bath water into their hand.
Photo by Elly Fairytale

Hands

Hands are a great option for a mild, gentle wash. If you’re avoiding excess exfoliation, particularly if you have sensitive skin, then using your hands might be your go-to. If you’re prone to irritation, then using your hands to cleanse your body is recommended over using a rough tool, especially as those tend to harbor bacteria that could further irritate your skin.

While it can be a pro that hands are not as exfoliating, it can end up not being as beneficial for your body. You want to be sure that in some form, you are exfoliating regularly to avoid the buildup of dead skin, dirt, and grime.

If you choose to use your hands to wash your body, be sure they are clean prior to washing your body. Wash in circular motions, and find a gentle body scrub to use regularly. No matter how you choose to wash your body, be mindful that you are optimizing each method. Keep these pros and cons in mind to keep your skin soft, clean, and healthy.

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