When I was 19, I received a Clairsonic cleansing brush and my love for skincare tools was born. I am pretty up to date on what the new, buzzy tool is, so I was a bit taken aback when I heard Caroline Hirons repeatedly referring to using flannels during one of her Instagram Lives. I was a bit confused, as I tend to think of a flannel as the comfortable, oversized shirt that I wear in fall or the sheets that I pull out in the dead of a Canadian winter—two things I probably wouldn’t use to wash my face. However, after a bit of research, I realized she was just talking about a simple washcloth: that tiny square towel that I always have but never know what to use it for. I dug a few out, tried using them for a week, and then ordered enough to cover a month from Amazon. At about $2 a towel, it is one of the cheapest skincare tools I have ever purchased and has had three big impacts on how I wash my face.
1. It forces me to slow down
I have never been one of those people to be mindful while washing my face. I would just reach for my cleansers of choice, lather up, and call it a day, but the washcloth has changed that. After applying the cleanser, I run the cloth under warm water, gently wring it out, and use the wet towel to remove the cleanser. There is something about pressing that warm cloth to my face that grounds me in the moment and forces me to think about what I am actually doing or feeling.
2. At the end of the day, I know my face is clean
If I am double cleansing, I tend to use the washcloth for my second cleanse. Making sure that all my makeup has been removed has always been a worry for me, and cleansing with a washcloth gives me a pretty accurate picture of whether my face is clean. I am always so satisfied when there is not a trace of makeup on the cloth afterward.
3. It is a gentle physical exfoliant
My skin tends to turn dry and dull whenever I am stressed or spending a lot of time indoors, so the past year has done me no favors. Exfoliants are easily one of my top two skincare categories and are great for dry skin, but I try not to use them excessively as I do not want to trigger inflammation and hyperpigmentation on my darker skin tone. The washcloth provides just enough texture to gently exfoliate my face without causing any irritation. After a few days, I started to notice that products absorbed faster, my dry patches disappeared, and my skin started to glow again.
It should be noted that I use a clean towel every night. I was initially worried about adding in another load of laundry but it actually isn’t that bad. I found that keeping an extra basket beside my sink to corral all the used towels works best for me, and when the basket gets full, I just run a load. It is quick, efficient, and I will probably never go back to not using a washcloth. I mean—at about $2 a towel, you really can’t go wrong.