You know the drill. You wash your face with your favorite cleanser, then reach for the towel that may or may not have been hanging on that rack for a few days. Put down the towel and stop right there!
Towels are one of the most innocent-looking bacteria-harvesters. Their abrasive nature makes the perfect home for bacteria to happily nestle in. Every time you dry your face with a towel, the bacteria collected from dead skin cells, dust, and residual grime (makeup, dirt, and oil that never fully got washed off) from the previous use is rubbed deep into the pores of your freshly cleansed skin, causing irritation and encouraging breakouts. On a more serious note, harmful bacteria like staphylococcus aureus (“staph”) can fruitfully breed in a towel, and can be transferred into the bloodstream through cuts and chaffed or broken skin. At times, staph can manifest itself in the form of folliculitis or cellulitis, two conditions that can deceitfully take on the look of acne.
So, what’s a more sanitary option for drying your face?
Instead of using a towel, use toilet paper. Toilet paper is sanitary, soft to the touch, and disposable, which works as an effective drying agent and ensures each use will be free from such harvested bacteria. When I first started washing my face as a little girl, I suffered from pretty bad breakouts, and couldn’t seem to figure out why, as I was religious about washing my face twice a day and applying acne products to my breakouts, with no luck. It wasn’t until I took a close look at my towel and discovered it was soiled and damp (where bacteria thrive!) that I started using toilet paper to dry my face. Once I tossed the towel, my breakouts slowly started to disappear, and the redness on my face subsided. I then got my brother and friends to try this as well (just to make sure I wasn’t crazy), and they too all noticed a huge difference in their amount of breakouts.
It’s time to throw in the towel and make the switch. As simple as it sounds, drying your face with good-ol’ toilet paper could be the difference between persistent acne and consistently clear skin.