If you dread the evening ritual of makeup removal, washing and moisturizing, cleansing cloths and pillows may be just what you need.
One of the basic principles of beauty is clean, unblemished skin, and although you may be able to achieve this look with concealer and foundation, most people prefer to have the real thing. You can try to attain smooth, clear skin through regular cleansing, but you may need a number of products -- including toners, moisturizers and exfoliating tools -- to get the results you desire. However, using all these products doesn't always mean you'll have better skin. In fact, frequent washing may dry out your skin, and using multiple products means you're more likely to irritate your skin [source: PG Beauty Science].
If you want to avoid the hassle of multiple skin care products, then you may want try skin cleansing cloths and pillows. Think of it as multitasking for your face. These cloths and pillows perform a variety of functions -- including exfoliation, makeup removal, acne treatment and moisturizing -- in one easy step. Cleansing cloths are gentle, dry materials that contain cleaning agents that lather when they're held under water. Cleansing pillows are similar, but they have a thicker application pad with an exfoliating surface on one side. Both cleansing cloths and pillows are disposable, single-use products. Keep reading to learn how these cloths and pillows work and how they can benefit your skin.
Chemistry of Skin Cleansing Cloths and Pillows
Soap and water are basic elements of cleansing. Soaps are emulsifiers, which means they remove dirt and germs by making them water-soluble. Typically, oils won't rinse away in water, but soap attaches to dirt and oil particles so they can be removed with water [source: PG Beauty Science]. But the problem with many soaps is that they can deplete your skin's essential oils, which can cause dry, flaky skin.
Cleansing cloths and pillows work on a similar principle to soap without causing excessive drying. They contain moisturizers and mild soaps that are specifically designed to clean the skin and remove excess oil without overdrying [source: Mayo Clinic].
Now that you understand how cleansing cloths and pillows work, read on to learn about the different types of cloths and pillows and how to select the right one for your skin.
Types of Skin Cleansing Cloths and Pillows
Whether you have dry, oily or sensitive skin, there are a number of options available in skin cleansing cloths and pillows.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, try using cleansing cloths that contain moisturizers such as vitamin E and glycerin. Both vitamin E and glycerin will absorb water from the air and help your skin retain moisture. In addition, these products often contain fragrance-free, mild soaps, which make them ideal for sensitive skin [source: Mayo Clinic].
Skin cleansing pillows with an exfoliating side are a good choice for people with oily skin -- excess oil can increase the accumulation of dead cells on the skin's surface [source: WebMD]. The rough surface of these pillows can help loosen dead skin cells to reveal the brighter skin underneath, which can make your skin appear younger and healthier [source: Suzman].
If you have acne-prone skin, you need a cleansing cloth that not only cleans your skin, but also fights acne-causing bacteria. These cloths tend to be gentler on skin -- causing less irritation -- than a direct application of concentrated acne-fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid [source: WebMD]. In addition to acne, some prescription cleansing cloths can also help manage rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis. These medicated cloths contain 10 percent sodium sulfactamide and 5 percent sulfur, and they're gentle on the skin and cause little irritation [source: Skin and Aging].
Read on to learn more about the benefits of cleansing cloths and pillows.
Benefits of Skin Cleansing Cloths and Pillows
As you learned earlier, cleansing cloths and pillows are multitasking tools: They cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize -- and sometimes even fight acne, rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis. These products can save you time and money -- while also protecting your skin from over-washing, which can lead to dryness and irritation. And because cleansing cloths and pillows are single-use products, they contain the exact amount of cleanser your skin needs, which prevents you from applying too much soap and leaving concentrated amounts of cleanser on your skin that could cause irritation. Skin cleansing pillows are also gentle exfoliating tools that can help you loosen dead cells on the skin's surface to reveal the healthy, new skin cells underneath. Harsher exfoliating tools, such as washcloths, loofahs and peels, can cause skin irritation [source: Suzman].
To learn more about different kinds of skin cleansing cloths and pillows, see the links on the next page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Dove. "Frequently Asked Questions." (Accessed 8/27/09).http://www.doveskinvitalizer.com/faq.aspx
- Mayo Clinic. "Acne Scars: What's the best treatment?" May 22, 2008. (Accessed 8/27/09)http://mayoclinic.com/health/acne-scars/AN01835
- Mayo Clinic. "Moisturizers: Options for softer skin." June 23, 2009. (Accessed 8/27/09)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/moisturizers/SN00042
- P & G Beauty and Grooming. "Skin Cleansing." (Accessed 8/27/09).http://www.pgbeautyscience.com/index.php?id=664
- Skin and Aging. "New Prescription Cleansing Cloth. (Accessed/ 8/27/09).http://www.skinandaging.com/article/3361
- Suzman, Leesa. "Look Seven Years Younger." (Accessed 9/21/09).http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/seven-years-younger
- WebMD. "20 Common Questions About Sensitive Skin." (Accessed 9/21/09).http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/sensitive-skin-20-faqs
- WebMD. "Acne Cleansing Pads." (Accessed 9/21/09).http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-61729-Acne+Cleansing+Pads+Top.aspx?printing=true
- WebMD. "Oily Skin: Solution that Work -- No Matter Your Age." (Accessed 9/21/09).http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/oily-skin-solutions-that-work?page=3