Japanese Exfoliating Towels: For The Smoothest Skin


One of the products that I just keep coming across are Japanese exfoliating towels. I got to wondering, what are these magical towels and why do I need one? After doing some research, I came to wonder instead; why on earth did I not try one sooner?

What are Japanese exfoliating towels?

They are coarse cloths used in the shower for well, exfoliating! Around 35 inches (90cm) long they have a texture that creates a rich lather and polishes the skin. The towels are thought to help open pores and stimulate blood circulation. They can be used to scrub your own back, are easy to use and are very affordable. While they may not be the prettiest things in your bathroom, they get results and will leave you with unbelievably silky smooth skin all over.

Why are these towels so special?

To put it simply, they are loved the world over. They are a staple in Asian bathing cultures and one of the highest rated items on many beauty sites. They have achieved a cult status, just check out this rating based on nearly 2,000 reviews!

What are the best Japanese exfoliating towels?

Salux make the most classic and famous Japanese exfoliating towels on the market. With their iconic retro packaging and pastel-hued color range, they’ve been making these wonder-cloths since they were established in 1969. They even won The Japanese National Invention Award in 1974 for the product. They are available in two grades (or textures) and multiple colors.

Salux: Japanese Exfoliating Towels

The original Japanese exfoliating towel brand. Available in various grades (textures) and colors in mixed packs, click through to see the options.
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Please note: there are some counterfeit Salux products for sale on Amazon that are inauthentic and don’t give the same results. I recommend looking at the seller reviews for this product here. Be sure to check your items are clearly labeled ‘Made in Japan’ along the top of the package.

What are these towels typically made of?

They are usually composed of a lightweight mesh that consists of around 60% nylon and 40% polyester, though this can differ with other brands.

How to use Japanese exfoliating towels

Start by wetting your exfoliating towel with warm water. Then put bar soap or in the center of your cloth and massage it around to create a nice rich lather with foamy suds. You can also use liquid soap, but bar soap is recommended.

Use the cloth all over your body at whatever pressure feels most comfortable; you don’t need to press too hard, let the cloth do all the work. Some ways to use your Japanese exfoliating towel: 

  • Hold one end of the towel in either hand, wrap it around your body and use it to scrub up and down your back.
  • Wrap it diagonally over one shoulder, again moving it up and down your back in a back and forth motion.
  • Gently scrub your body all over by either folding the towel into a square or scrunching it up into a ball. Use gentle circular movements.
  • When scrubbing your feet, you can exert a little more pressure to help slough away dry dead skin, especially around the heel area.

How often can you use Japanese exfoliating towels?

Many bathers use them every day for a regular scrub. Others (especially those with sensitive or delicate skin) use them more intermittently, more like once a week. For some people the towels can feel a little rough at the beginning, but it is something you get used to and they soften over time.

Can I use my Japanese exfoliating towels on my face?

Nope! These products are typically made for exfoliating the body, not the face. Something gentler should be used in the facial area. 

How do I look after my Japanese exfoliating towels?

After using your towel, rinse it off in water and hang it up, they are incredibly fast drying. They are hygienic and tend not to accumulate bacteria or mildew like other similar products can. You can even throw them in the washing machine if they need a little freshen up. Just don’t put them in the dryer!

Are Japanese exfoliating towels reusable?

You bet! These towels are designed to be used more than once. Just be sure to hang them up to dry between uses. They are a sustainable exfoliating option when compared with purchasing exfoliating scrubs and so on. They are soap-efficient, a small amount of soap goes a long way.

How long do Japanese exfoliating towels last?  

Depending on how often you use your towel and how you take care of it, Japanese exfoliating towels are durable can last a long time. When you notice the texture beginning to change, it’s time to replace it. Some people report using theirs for years, while others change theirs every six months.

Can you travel with Japanese exfoliating towels?  

Yes indeed! These towels are perfect for travel as they are lightweight, compact and dry very quickly. They can even be cut down to smaller sizes if you wish to carry even less. They are perfect for using before taking an onsen, such as a relaxing yuzu bath.

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