Taking a shower rids the body of surface-level germs and bacteria. The squeaky-clean feeling, however, isn’t thanks to harsh loofahs. In fact, most dermatologists don’t recommend them—and would definitely not use them on their face.
Loofahs are harsh on your skin! They might look and feel like it but they aren’t the best option for clean skin. “You should avoid rubbing with a loofah or washcloth as these are too irritating and will damage the skin,” says Benjamin Garden, MD, a dermatologist practicing in Chicago. Gently use your fingers to rub the face wash on and off instead. Also, over-washing depletes the skin of the natural lipids that are an important part of its protective barrier. Hence, using gentle cleansers and avoiding vigorous scrubbing is suggested for the same.
On a germier note, Joel Schlessinger, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, and RealSelf contributor says out of all things dermatologists never put loofahs on their faces because of sheer amount of bacteria it hosts. Schlessinger elaborates, “Loofah sponges are intimate with many unclean areas of the body and then sit around allowing bacteria to multiply within the nooks and crannies of the sponge.” Organisms colonize in these spaces, particularly in the warm, moist environment of a shower. This creates the potential for serious infections, particularly in patients with weak immune systems. However, bacteria found all over the loofahs isn’t a new discovery. Research dating as far back as 1994 shows loofahs can transmit species of bacteria that may cause infection on the user’s body.