The three-towel rule

Expert insight:

Cleansers, serums, and other facial products are made with ingredients that suit sensitive skin, says Danilo C. Del Campo, MD, Chicago-based dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

If you use only one towel, you’ll transfer the more aggressive lotions and soaps made for other body parts onto your face, he explains. This can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. Plus, towels pick up and hold onto bacteria, oils, and sweat, which can cause further irritation.

The bottom line:

Always have three fresh towels in your bathroom, each with its own purpose. Swap those for your hands and face every other day and the one you use post-shower every three to five days, Del Campo says. To minimize bacterial buildup, hang them up immediately after each use and store clean towels in a less-humid spot, such as a hallway linen closet.