Over the last half a decade, there’s been a huge uptick in the number and variety of cleansing contraptions on the market. For all the attention paid to silicone scrubbers and sonic brushes, I feel like we sometimes neglect the humble yet all-important washcloth.  There’s a surprising amount of variety to be found in washcloths (or flannels, as our friend across the pond say) and I’ve included a handy reference guide to help you select the best option for your needs.

Before we dive into options, there are a few key factors to remember:

  1. Don’t be too rough! Exercise some caution, especially when using a textured buffing mitt or muslin cloth. Apply minimal pressure and lightly move in small outward circles from the centerline of the face. If you feel heat or stress in your skin while cleansing, ease off and use a gentler touch.
  2. Pay attention to quality. There’s a world of difference between a facial-quality microfiber towel and the microfiber cloths you see on infomercials to clean up kitchen spills or wash your car. The same goes for muslin, which runs the gamut from smooth, dense fibers to coarse open weaves. Always choose a facial-quality fabric.
  3. Wash your new facial cloths before you use them. The benefits are twofold—first, it ensures that your washcloths are clean, sanitary, and ready for use. Secondly, that crucial first laundry cycle helps to break in the fabric for a softer, more comfortable feel. This makes your washcloth more pleasant to use and lessens your risk of over-scrubbing.

Check out the video below for even more helpful tips, as well as recommendations for some of my favorite facial cloths!