Hot towel in a barber shop
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A hot towel on your face is a way to deep clean your skin or prepare for a shave. The steam released from the towel helps to open up your pores, soften the hairs for a closer shave and hydrate the skin. Once the pores are open, moisturizers, shaving creams and facial cleansers are better absorbed into the skin. You don’t have to schedule an appointment with the spa or barber shop to reap the benefits of a hot towel treatment. Give your face a little extra TLC right at home – for a fraction of the cost.

Lay a hand towel flat on the counter. Apply three to five drops of essential oil to the center of the towel, then rub it into the fabric with your fingers. Choose any essential oil you like, such as peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus or sandalwood. Essential oils are not necessary, but help to provide a pleasant, relaxing scent during the hot towel treatment.

Wet the towel with water from the faucet, then wring it out well to remove excess water.

Place the towel in a microwave-safe dish. Heat it in the microwave for 20 to 40 seconds. The towel should be hot, but not so hot that it’s uncomfortable to touch.

Lay down in a comfortable position. Unfold the towel and hold it in both hands.

Place the towel on your face with the center right under your chin. Wrap each side of the towel around your face. Allow a spot for your nose to peek through and allow you to breath.

Leave the hot towel on your face for five to 10 minutes, or until the towel becomes cool. Remove the towel from and pat your face dry with a soft hand towel.


For a spa-like feel and to give your skin extra hydration, apply your favorite facial mask after cleaning your face with a hot towel. Or apply facial moisturizer or shaving cream to begin shaving immediately after the hot towel treatment.


Do not use a hot towel to cleanse your face if your skin is extra sensitive or if you suffer from rosacea, severe acne, skin trauma, inflammation or any other skin conditions that may become worsened by steam. A hot towel facial can further irritate your skin.