Here's Why You Should Stop Using Your Loofah Immediately

Perhaps you like to shower in the morning to help prepare you and get you ready to take on the day. You might also enjoy an evening shower to end a long, stressful day. Either way, a shower can be something to look forward to. However, there may be one aspect of your shower that could be causing you great harm.


Loofahs have become a staple part of this routine by providing a welcomed roughness that removes dead skin cells and provides a slight massage to the skin. Even though Yahoo! Style notes that loofahs aren't a necessity, they still give a welcome relief and have become equated with a nice bath. Loofahs, like most beauty tools, are more for the atmosphere than their benefits. However, it may be best to reconsider using a loofah before your next shower.

For a few years, dermatologists have sounded the alarms against using loofahs, and there's good reason for it.

The problem with loofahs

Although relaxing, loofahs can be home to plenty of bacteria and dirt. Each day you use a loofah, you're exfoliating your skin and removing dead skin cells. Although this is one role, loofahs can also spread today's dead skin cells back to your body tomorrow when using the same loofah. This comes from a study that dates back to 1994 when dermatologists found that loofahs carry a lot of bacteria and dirt (via Self). When you combine the accumulation of bacteria and dirt with the warm, moist environment of showers, it's impossible to clean a loofah. As dermatologist Anjali Butani reports, loofahs are not cleaning your body as much as they're just redistributing old bacteria.


According to Dhaval Bhanusali, M.D., this isn't the only issue with loofahs. Besides spreading bacteria, loofahs can damage the skin through excess roughness. The abrasiveness of loofahs combined with the force you use can irritate the skin. Add to this a hot shower that dehydrates the skin, and you could be causing a harsh reaction to the skin. Dr. Bhanusali recommends steering away from any type of physical exfoliators as these can cause microtrauma to the skin (via PopSugar).

Alternatives to using loofahs

According to reports from GoodRx Health, the best alternative to a loofah isn't complicated. Using your hands can be the easiest way to lather without a loofah. When using your hands, you should continue to move in a circular motion to spread the product evenly.


If you must use a loofah, it will take a couple more steps to use it carefully. After showering, you can take your loofah outside of the wet shower and have it dry outside. This way lets the loofah dry out with no moisture around and clears out some of the bacteria trapped inside. If you are concerned about remaining bacteria, you can also bleach the loofah to remove any living bacteria before your next use. The least desirable method of cleanly using loofahs is tossing them after each use. However, this is both an expensive choice and harmful to the environment in the long run (via Bustle).