Actually, it’s more like a year of daily spa treatments for $4.95. Yes, I exaggerate, but this little nylon cloth is better than any scrubbing lotion, exfoliating cream or loofah that I’ve ever tried. Wet and primed with a little soap or shower gel, it gently scrubs away dirt and grime and leaves my skin feeling fresh, clean and smooth.
In addition to being cheap and effective, it’s also hygienic. Its nylon fibers aren’t porous, and, if you give it a good shake after rinsing, it dries completely in just a few minutes, which creates a very hostile work environment for microbes that can cause trouble for your skin. Its quick-drying properties also make it ideal for travel.
I got my first scrubbie (as we call them in my family) from my brother as a Christmas gift about 15 years ago. He gave me what I think was the original cloth of this type, the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth, a Japanese import in cheerfully lowbrow packaging that advertises “Invention Prize Awarded in Japan.” (By whom? For what? When? But, I guess, who cares?)
They used to be hard to find in the US, and my brother closely guarded his scrubbie source, doling out one or two of these little plastic gems to each of his addicted family members each Christmas. They were usually this unattractive blue, but the Salux also comes in Pepto Bismol pink, acid yellow and equally hideous shades of peach and green.
I used to live in fear of leaving my scrubbie behind in a hotel shower, wearing it out before Christmas (they seem to last for almost exactly a year and then disintegrate), or falling out of favor with my brother. But no more. The original Salux is now available online through amazon.com, usually for less than $4.00. And if you want to spend another dollar on esthetics, Muji now sells a similar pure white towel in blandly tasteful packaging for $4.95 (in stores and online at www.muji.us).
It’s a little smaller, softer and slightly less durable than the Salux, but it doesn’t hurt your eyes. Still, I’m loyal to my classic Salux scrubbies, and I hear they’re coming out in white.