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Drying face – what to look for in a towel

As different as the methods of facial cleansing or makeup removal may be, most of us reach for a towel to dry our face after washing. Yet the opinion persists in beauty blogs that the bacteria contained in the cloth could promote skin impurities. Is this really true?

Handkerchiefs as a breeding ground for bacteria

It is a fact that the terrycloth fabric of common towels provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. If there are inflammations on the body and if towels are not changed often enough, these germs can also get into the face through use and lead to skin irritations and impurities. In a study on the spread of bacteria in bathrooms, microbiologist Charles Gerba showed that 90 percent of the towels tested from conventional bathrooms were contaminated with bacteria. In particular, E. coli bacteria, which are usually found in the toilet, frequently ended up on towels – mainly because users had not cleaned their hands thoroughly enough after going to the toilet. But there are a few simple tips that can safely prevent the spread of bacteria and make handsücher more hygienic.

Don’t split your towels and change them regularly.

As a general rule, use different towels for your face and body and do not share them with others. In addition, you should change your towels regularly. According to Charles Gerba, even every two days: “If you dry your face with a towel that is two days old, more E. coli bacteria are likely to land on your face than if you put your head in the toilet and flush it once,” Time magazine quoted the scientist as saying. And a warm, damp bathroom is the ideal breeding ground for germs. To get rid of all bacteria, you should therefore wash your hands at least 60 degrees. It is also important to dry the towels properly. If the towels are still slightly damp, fungal spores and germs can develop in them. Therefore, they should be placed on the radiator after showering.

Trend: Air drying

Absolutely textile-free is this trend, which is becoming increasingly popular from Korea. In the country, which has already produced product innovations such as cloth masks or anti-pimple patches, more and more women no longer dry their faces at all, but simply let moisture evaporate. In addition to protecting against germs, this method has another advantage: skin care products are absorbed even better on slightly damp skin and retain moisture. In addition, there is also the possibility of dabbing the face with stiffer paper. This is hygienic, but anything but environmentally friendly – we therefore rely on the air-drying trend.

Dabbing instead of rubbing

There are also experts who believe that the concern about bacteria is exaggerated: In an interview with the Guardian, British dermatologist and author of the book The Skincare Bible, Anjali Mahto, explained that there is nothing to fear from a clean towel and that most bacteria on the body are completely normal and harmless.

The method of air-drying is not considered harmful, but at least much too time-consuming. If you still want to use a handy towel, she recommends dabbing your face instead of rubbing it. This can prevent skin blemishes, which are often caused by mechanical irritation.