Way before I was a beauty editor—or even a person who was remotely interested in hygiene or appearance—I was a little kid in the tub being scrubbed within an inch of my life with these ridiculously bright neon mitts. It’s one of my earliest childhood memories actually. Crystalized in my mind forever.
Those memories were seared into my brain and forgotten about until many years later, when as a beauty editor who was suddenly more conscious about her hygiene and appearance, I decided to give them another try.
The Italy Towel Asian Exfoliating Mitts arrived in the mail within two days. (God bless, Prime shipping.) In the absence of a tub, I ran the hot water in the shower and prepped my skin by letting it soak while going about the other menial tasks of shampooing and conditioning my hair. Next, I slid my hand into the mitt—don’t be alarmed by the small size; they’re supposed to fit snugly so you get a better grip—and went to scrubbing. I started at my upper arms (where those pesky little bumps tend to form) and worked my way down to my heels (which are always in various stages of molting). Despite the fact that the package shows a woman putting the mitt to her face, I would advise against doing this.
The key, I’ve found, is to use vertical strokes in one direction. Circular motions are far less effective. Also, you want your skin to be damp, but not dripping wet so the mitts get enough traction. Follow with a quick lather, rinse and moisturize. As a child, this half-hour affair was pure torture. As an adult, it is straight up cathartic.
The aftermath? Well, it’s sublime. Your skin is softer than you’ve known it to be. Ingrowns are no longer an issue. Or as one reviewer so eloquently sums up the experience: “And like a snake being rebirthed, I came out with a new shell of stupidly soft skin that made me feel the most clean.”