Should You Forgo A Towel After Facial Cleansing For Another Drying Method?

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

We know that when it comes to our skincare routine, we mean business. We work hard to have healthy and clear skin, so we keep up with the latest hacks to do everything we can to achieve our goal. If you've scrolled through TikTok, then you've seen multiple skincare experts and dermatologists discuss what you should use to clear acne, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and undereye circles and improve texture, elasticity, and skin barrier. They'll recommend products left and right, from cleansers to treatments to serums, but they never tell us what to do after we've cleansed.


You might be thinking, "I use a towel to dry my face," which most of us do, but is that the best way to dry your face? Towels carry bacteria and germs you don't want to put back on your skin after cleansing, but it's the easiest and fastest way to dry your face. It gets you closer to moving on to the next steps in your routine. However, depending on how you use the towel, it could set you back on your skincare goals. Another drying method is allowing it to air-dry. But you don't want that; you want to hydrate your face as much as possible. So, even though towel drying has a downside, it's the better option; here's how to use your face towel.

Pat, don't rub

The idea of air drying seems logical until you realize it requires a waiting period to work, and during that time, water is slowly dripping down your face to your neck and chest. Regarding how this method dries out your face, Washington D.C dermatologist Adam Friedman states, "It desiccates the top layer of the skin, making it rigid, and can prevent proper skin [cell] turnover," via Allure. Additionally, if you allow your face to air dry, your products won't seep well into the skin to hydrate and give it a natural glow.


This brings us back to towel drying. While towels can carry bacteria, it's best to wash them every week in hot water to always have a fresh one on hand. In addition, it's crucial not to use your body towel for your face or share it with anyone to prevent the transfer of bacteria or infections. You want to keep your face towel just for your face. On the other hand, when towel drying your face, you want to ensure you're lightly patting the skin instead of rubbing it. Harsh rubbing can irritate your skin, so you want to pat gently. Also, if you leave your skin slightly damp, your skin will absorb your toner, serums, and moisturizers more.

Use one-time-use paper towels

If you're not a fan of using a cloth towel or air-drying, you can opt for paper towels. They're perfect for only using them once without washing them weekly. While they might not be the most practical choice, they're a better replacement for cloth towels. In addition, some brands create biobased face towels that are disposable. For example, Clean Skin Club Towels from Amazon are dermatologist-approved face towels that work on drying your face and applying your skincare products. The box has 25 towels for $11.95, and Amazon has a subscription option to give you 5% off your future packages. Other sizes, like extra large, are also available and have various quantities.


On the other hand, having paper towels is handy for cleaning up any water that splashes onto the countertop around the sink, and you won't have to use another towel to clean it up. When employing paper towels, you want to continue using them the same way as cloth towels, even though some paper towels might feel softer. Always pat rather than rub or scrub so you don't irritate your skin's barrier; this leaves your skin damp and absorbs your products better.