Exfoliating Gloves Vs Washcloths: Which One Is Right For You?

The interesting thing about being a skincare enthusiast is that you’re on a never-ending roller coaster when it comes to trying out new skincare tools or products that emerge on the market.

Exfoliating is essential for every skincare routine to produce suitable results, we are all familiar with scrubs, exfoliating masks, and exfoliating gloves being the regular ways to exfoliate one’s skin, but washcloths came into the mix and people are wondering if it is a reliable or effective tool for exfoliation like the ones earlier mentioned.

You might feel some relief when you wipe your face with a washcloth but does that mean they qualify as a tool for exfoliation? What are washcloths? 

Washcloths are like mini towels, they are soft, absorbent in nature, and are usually made to imitate square shapes. They are versatile since they can be used to clean people, furniture, kitchen utensils, and several other things that might require cleaning.

Washcloths are as small as handkerchiefs and can be pocketed and carried around if you’d like. Some persons refer to it as a washrag, face cloth, dishcloth, or a flannel depending on what it is being used for.

In some cases, people are convinced that washcloths can be used as a tool for exfoliation whether it be gentle or intense.

Exfoliating Gloves Explained

Exfoliating gloves on the other hand are known as a miracle of the skincare industry, they are easy to use, affordable, effective, and reliable.

Exfoliating gloves could either be laced with chemicals or be completely void of them. They are also made of mesh or any other suitable texture that the skin will react positively to.

They can be slipped on the palms and used to massage the skin in circular motions while exfoliating the skin. Unlike washcloths that are versatile, exfoliating gloves are made for the job of exfoliation and serve just that purpose.

Exfoliating Gloves Vs Washcloths: Which One Is Right For You?

Exfoliating gloves and washcloths after being explained above both seem like worthy options for exfoliation, while they may both serve for smooth skin at the beginning, only one will continue to serve your skin the benefits of exfoliation in the long run.

Simply put, exfoliation gloves are best suited for you and washcloths should not be encouraged as a tool for exfoliation, below are reasons that prove this claim; 

1. Exfoliating gloves are gentle on the skin, while washcloths could cause irritations in the long run

Using exfoliating gloves
Image: Envato Elements

Just as exfoliating gloves are made in soft and comfortable textures that the skin adapts to easily when continuous contact is made, washcloths are actually gentle on the skin during the first few contacts and may show certain promising results after continuous usage. 

While exfoliating gloves could be used less often to avoid irritations, constant use of washcloths- whether it is lessened to fit a routine or not- is bound to result in itching or irritation from the uncomfortable friction between the washcloths and the skin.

If you also happen to be using the washcloths in a rougher way then is necessary because you think being rough would yield better results- you would end up killing the healthy skin cells alongside the dead skin cells and this could, in turn, lead to acne breakout, itching, or redness.

2. Exfoliating gloves are less likely to introduce bacteria to your skin as opposed to washcloths

Exfoliating gloves need to be cleaned right after they are used but it is done in simple steps that do the job perfectly, you just need to slather it with some soap, rinse with a generous amount of water and hang it to dry and you can be certain it will be clean and safe to use the next time you need it. 

Washcloths on the other hand are made to be absorbent and that is why they can be used in the kitchen and other areas of the house to complete simple chores, this absorbent nature makes it easy for bacteria to latch unto it and stay there till when next they are used.

If they are not washed thoroughly, washcloths end up transferring bacteria to your skin that you are trying to rid of dirt and dead skin cells and leaves in a worse condition by introducing new bacteria instead of ridding it of the ones present.

In some cases, even after properly washing your washcloths and spreading them in your bathroom, the damp nature attracts bacteria and mold, especially in hot weather. 

3. Exfoliating gloves are not cleaned with laundry products but washcloths need to be cleaned with laundry products

As earlier mentioned, some bathing soap or shower gel lather alongside a generous amount of water will have your exfoliating gloves clean and safe to be reused. Washcloths are not this easily cleaned when they have absorbed the dirt from your skin, they would need more intense cleaning to be good as new and ready for another use. 

Naturally, you would lean towards laundry products for proper cleaning and think of using loads of your bathroom products such as a soap used to bathe or a shower gel.

The problem does not arise from you wanting to keep your washcloths clean, it stems from the fact that laundry products are irritating to the skin and that is why they are used for laundry and not bathing.

Continuous contact with washcloths that have been washed with laundry products only means skin irritations are just by the corner. 


While alternatives are great, it is important to ensure that those alternatives will not cause any harm to you. Your health remains far more important than cheaper or simpler means to get certain things done.

With regards to exfoliating, people have tried using washcloths and introduced the idea to several others. As interesting as it seems, it is inappropriate and not safe in the long run.

If your reason for leaning towards washcloths is that you would like exfoliating gloves that are gentler on your skin, you can try exfoliating mitts or silk exfoliating gloves as a healthier and safer option.

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