Why You Should Stop Drying Your Face with a Towel

In the world of skincare, every detail counts, including how you dry your face. While reaching for a towel after washing your face might seem like the most natural step, this common practice could be doing more harm than good. Here, we’ll walk through why you might want to reconsider using a towel to dry your face and what benefits await if you make the switch.

The Hidden Risks of Towel Drying

Bacteria and Germs

Towels can become breeding grounds for bacteria and germs, especially in moist environments like bathrooms. Even if you wash your towels regularly, they can still harbor microorganisms that you don’t want to transfer to your face. This can cause breakouts and aggravate skin conditions.

Skin Irritation and Damage

The texture of most towels, no matter how soft they feel, can be harsh on the delicate skin of your face. The rubbing action required to dry your skin can cause irritation, exacerbate existing skin conditions, and even lead to premature wrinkles by breaking down the skin’s collagen.

Over-drying Your Skin

Towels can be too efficient at their job, removing not just excess water but also stripping away natural oils that your skin needs. This can leave your skin feeling dry and tight, disrupting the skin’s natural moisture balance.

The Benefits of Air Drying or Using Alternative Methods

Preserves Natural Moisture

By allowing your face to air dry or gently patting it with a clean paper towel, you preserve the natural moisture and oils that are beneficial for your skin. This helps to maintain a healthy skin barrier and can prevent dryness.

Reduces the Risk of Skin Irritation

Skipping the towel means you avoid the potential for irritation caused by rubbing. This is especially beneficial for those with sensitive skin or conditions like rosacea, where the skin’s barrier is more vulnerable.

Keeps Skin Clear

By eliminating one of the potential sources of bacteria and germs from your skincare routine, you might notice a reduction in breakouts and clearer skin overall.

How to Transition Away from Using Towels

Making the switch is simple. After washing your face, instead of reaching for a towel, just let your skin air dry. If you’re in a hurry, gently pressing a clean, soft paper towel against your face to absorb excess water can be a good compromise. Ensure you’re using a fresh paper towel each time to maintain cleanliness.


While it might seem minor, the decision to stop using a towel to dry your face can have a significant impact on your skin’s health and appearance. By reducing the risk of irritation and breakouts and preserving your skin’s natural moisture, you’re taking a simple yet effective step towards better skin care.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if my skin feels too dry after air drying?

If your skin feels dry after air drying, it’s essential to apply a moisturizer while your skin is still slightly damp. This helps to lock in moisture and keeps your skin hydrated.

2. How often should I wash my face if I’m not using a towel?

You should stick to washing your face twice a day, in the morning and at night, regardless of whether you use a towel to dry it or not. The key is gentle cleansing without stripping the skin of its natural oils.

3. Can I use a specific type of towel if I really prefer towel drying?

If you insist on using a towel, opt for a clean, soft microfiber towel. Microfiber towels are gentler on the skin and less likely to harbor bacteria compared to standard towels. Ensure you wash it regularly to maintain its cleanliness.


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