Loofahs, a common way to exfoliate or scrub, are permanent fixtures in many bathrooms. While there are many varieties available, the most common is the plastic one. But the plastic loofah, along with skincare concerns also raises several questions about sustainability and hygiene.
“Loofah is bad for your skin as it irritates and damages it. They may also be a source of bacteria like E. coli, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus as well as fungi, which can further damage your skin. It may also cause infections like folliculitis, tinea and can also inflame or aggravate body acne,’ said Dr Kuntal Deb Barma, MD, FAAD, and dermatologist in association with ITC Vivel.
Dr Deb Barma shared some important things you should know in case you happen to use a loofah.
High on maintenance
The expert added that loofah requires attention before and after use. “It is kept hanging for hours in a moisture-rich surrounding making it a microbe reservoir. Unless we pay careful attention to pre-and post-bath disinfection, skin infections could be regular irritants in our lives,” he said.
Time spent on loofah – the added step
Loofahs demand too much of your attention to maintain it in a space where you tend to relax – they need to be dried, washed, replaced. Bodywash baths, on the other hand, can provide effective cleaning without loofah as well.
Harsh on the skin
Often the incentive behind a loofah purchase is exfoliation. But we often overlook the fact that not all skin types can bear this daily ritual, and more importantly, this ritual is not needed every day. “These sponges can be too abrasive on sensitive skin and can cause redness or inflammation. Over-exfoliation causes the complexion to become dry and flaky. You may even develop a rash-like texture, or be subject to breakouts, especially small, rough, bumpy pimples,” the expert stressed.
But what to do about lather?
It is a long-believed myth that body washes are best used with a loofah to generate lather. One should be aware of the fact that body washes are capable of lathering up by taking a little amount in your hands and rubbing hands to lather. So, you can happily discard the loofah.
“So, it’s time to let your skin relax, breathe and heal with the goodness of using a body wash and say no to loofah,” he said.