Find out if it’s time to toss your beloved pouf.
We’ve all probably have one of those shower poufs hanging in our bathrooms — but have you ever considered how clean they actually are?
A study published in the Journal Of Clinical Microbiology found that these shower scrubs are in fact a haven for bacterial activity. “These sponges have gained immense popularity as exfoliative beauty aids designed to invigorate the human skin,” the study’s writers say. “As a natural product, however, loofah sponges play host to a variety of bacterial species.”
Apparently scrubbing your skin with the puff everyday can cause dead skin cells to get caught in the mesh netting. Combine this with the warm, moist conditions of your bathroom and there’s a chance for bacteria to appear.
Dermatologist Dr. Stefanie Williams talked about what we should be using in the shower. “I usually advise against the use of a mesh shower puff, as the warm moist conditions promote growth of bacteria and fungi,” she told us. “My recommendation is to choose a good cleanser and good old hands instead.”
But what if you want to continue using your beloved shower loofah? Well, we asked Birnur Aral, Ph.D., Director of the Health, Beauty, and Environmental Sciences Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, who said your loofah isn’t so bad. “A pouf aerates body wash and helps its technology to work,” she said. “Yes, your pouf will get gunky and oily, that’s true, so replace them when they start to smell.” Oh, and most importantly? “Do everything to keep it dry, and if you see obvious mold or a funky smell then definitely toss it!”
Tips for keeping shower puffs and wash cloths clean:
- Ensure you rinse them after every use.
- Let them dry completely, preferably not in the warm, damp conditions of your bathroom.
- Don’t store them away — as this can cause fungi to grow.
- Replace them every three weeks, and be aware of any mould that might be growing in them.
By Vicky Chandler