Should You Use a Loofah to Exfoliate?

August 19, 2020
Genesis Rivas
By: Genesis Rivas | by L'Oréal
Should You Use a Loofah to Exfoliate?

When it comes to your shower routine, there are many ways to exfoliate your body. One of the most common forms of exfoliation is using a loofah with your body wash to  slough away dead surface skin cells. But after speaking with board-certified dermatologist, Deanne Mraz Robinson, M.D., we learned that your traditional poofy loofah could do more harm than good. Ahead, find out why and some suggestions for alternative  exfoliating tools and methods. 

Should You Use a Loofah to Exfoliate?

According to Dr. Robinson, when you use a loofah to exfoliate, dead surface skin cells get caught in the netting and folds of the sponge. “Pair that with the humid and damp environment of the shower and you have the ideal breeding ground for bacteria to thrive,” she says. That bacteria will then get distributed back onto your skin during your next use, which may lead to other skin problems beyond a dull and lackluster complexion. “If you're using a bacteria-ridden loofah, you may provoke or exacerbate existing skin conditions,” she explains. “Furthermore if you've just shaved and nicked yourself, or scrubbed too harshly and caused microtears in the skin, you are directly introducing the bacteria into the open wound.”

What Is Another Way to Exfoliate Your Body? 

Luckily, there are other ways to help exfoliate your body that don’t involve a loofah. Dr. Robinson recommends using chemical exfoliants formulated with alpha-hydroxy acids. She also says, “look for descriptors that say polishes versus scrubs.” One of her favorites is the SkinCeuticals Retexturing Treatment, which is a body exfoliator that’s suitable for all skin types. You can use it once a day to retexturize rough and dull body surfaces to help reveal smooth and radiant skin. 


If you want to use a tool, Dr. Robinson says it’s best to use an antimicrobial sponge, like this one here, which is less likely to breed bacteria. You can also use the IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Facial Cleansing & Exfoliating Mitt, which is gentle enough to be used on both your body and face. Keep in mind that the most important part about using these tools, though, is to make sure you clean them after every use and let them air dry in an open room before using again. 



Photo: Chaunte Vaughn 


Read More: 

Is Your Skin-Care Routine Missing This Important Step?

Physical vs. Chemical Exfoliation: What's the Difference?

How to Exfoliate Your Legs for Smooth Skin This Season


Read more

Back to top