What is the logic behind using a different bath sponge for face and body?
Anyone who grew up in Nigeria would understand that during a body bath/shower as a young person, your entire body was meant to be scrubbed thoroughly and your face would not be left out. This regular scrubbing left the skin sparkly clean. We used the same bath sponge on our faces as we used on our bodies, then puberty visited and we had the breakouts.
Even then, we could not blame the sponges for the breakouts because we also had peers who had baby smooth skin despite using same routine.
Growing up and reading the disadvantages of using the same bath sponge on the face as one would use on the body therefore got me confused.
I have had conversations with many Nigerian men and women and found that they actually use same sponge for body and face. They do not have any issues with it.
So what then is the logic behind this rule?
I like to think that this rule was put up by someone who had tried it and had breakouts, suspected the sponge and therefore warned others to desist from it.
My thinking is that it all boils down to what skin type one has as well as how often one changes sponges.
The face is also part of the body and if we look at the entire body parts as individual children, it may be rather unfair to give more preference to the face.
The rest of the body would perhaps understand that the face is the part that is most often exposed and therefore needs extra care, but separate sponges? Nah!
Perhaps the question should be ‘what kind of bath sponges do you use?’ Some people use washcloths to replace hard sponges. Understandably the facial skin is delicate and should be treated as such.
Why are bath sponges useful?
The answer is in one word – exfoliation.
The hard nature of the sponges allows them to have that scrubby effect on the skin and therefore exfoliate the skin surface.
An experiment which I tried on my own body involved washing my face with and without a bath sponge, what I found out was that my face was cleaner and less oily when I used a sponge.
Using the sponge had the same effect on my facial skin as using an exfoliating brush and using same sponge on my face as I used on my body did not lead to my facial skin getting irritated.
This of course is not conclusive as I have one type of skin.
“The hard nature of the sponges allows them to have that scrubby effect on the skin and therefore exfoliate the skin surface.”
What then is the proper care for the face skin?
I do not think that anyone should be compelled to get new sponges for their face unless they do have very sensitive skin that reacts to sponges.
However if one is trying to be economical, it is only wise to use on your face, the same sponge that you use on the rest of your body after all the duty of the sponge is to clean.
What you are not advised to do is to consistently scrub your face too hard as the facial skin is delicate and scrubbing hard can cause breakouts as against cleaning the face.
Too frequent exfoliation will lead to the disruption of the regeneration of new skin cells.
Many people would rather not use sponges on their face and this is understandable because of the fragile nature of the skin around that area.
“What you are not advised to do is to consistently scrub your face too hard as the facial skin is delicate and scrubbing hard can cause breakouts as against cleaning the face.”
How do you avoid breakouts with sponges?
If you do opt for sponges, it is advisable to change your sponge very occasionally as, depending on the kind that you use, you do not want bacteria to breed on it.
One would understand when one is told to wash hair separate from face as the explanation is that oils and products from the hair may irritate the skin on the face. This is very understandable, but unless I have not searched deep enough, I have yet to see a valid explanation for why one should have two sponges except for the fun of it.
Do you use the same sponge on your face as your body?
Do you think that we should have separate sponges?