Loofah vs. Exfoliating Creams

Loofahs scrub off dirt, while exfoliating creams condition the skin.

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Loofahs – along with brushes, microfiber cloths, pumice, and scrubs (micro-bead, apricot, almond, salt and sugar) – fall under the category of mechanical exfoliation. Creams, which usually contain alpha hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, glycolic acid or lactic acid, are used for chemical exfoliation. While you can get good results by using a loofah or an exfoliating cream, there are pros and cons of both and you’ll need both to achieve the best effects.

Related Searches: Advantages of Loofahs

Loofahs are cheap, clean faster and generally do not cause any kind of allergy or skin irritation if done correctly. As of October 2011, loofahs cost only around $1 or less per piece, and because they store well when kept away from moisture, you can buy them in bulk at lower prices.
The main edge that loofahs have over exfoliating creams is speed. A single, thorough loofah scrub during a shower can slough off more dead flakes than one application of exfoliating cream. Loofahs also unclog your pores and leave your skin thoroughly clean. Because they don’t have any chemicals or active ingredients, they also do not pose any allergy risks.

Advantages of Exfoliating Creams

Exfoliating creams are better than loofahs in several ways: they're more effective in acne-prone areas, they take less effort to use and they help moisturize the skin. Typical exfoliating creams have several active ingredients that moisturize the skin. These creams also help dry up existing acne, control oil, reduce whiteheads and blackheads and kill lingering bacteria. An exfoliating cream also requires less effort than a loofah, since you won’t have to give your skin a thorough scrubbing for it to work.

Disadvantages of Loofahs

Once used, you need to wash your loofah in 1 percent bleach weekly and replace it every three to four weeks. This ensures that you won’t be scrubbing yourself with a bacteria- or mold-infested loofah.
Scrubbing your skin too vigorously with a loofah, particularly one that hasn’t been broken in properly, can leave abrasions on your skin which could easily get infected. Experts recommend taking shorter showers for exfoliation, as over-hydrated skin can be easily damaged.

Disadvantages of Exfoliating Creams

Exfoliating creams may not be suitable for all skin types. Some users may experience redness, irritation and a bit of drying and peeling. Also, if not rinsed thoroughly afterward, the cream can end up clogging your pores, which can aggravate existing skin conditions.
Exfoliating creams are also more expensive when compared to loofahs. As of the date of publication, these creams can cost anywhere from $10 to over $50, depending on the target area, active ingredients and brand name.
Exfoliating daily is also not advisable save for a few rare cases (people with very oily skin, for instance). Twice a week’s exfoliation is considered sufficient for average skin. For better results, alternate between loofah exfoliation with a mild cleanser and exfoliation cream rinsed off with a washcloth or sponge.

ReferencesHealth, Beauty and Skincare Products: How to Exfoliate with a LoofahApple Me Up: The Pros and Cons Of Exfoliating ScrubsGreatest Look: ExfoliationSmart Skin Care: Basics Steps of Facial Skin Care Routine: ExfoliationPhoto Credit Hemera Technologies/ ImagesRead Next:

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