T&C Tried and True: Korean Italy Towels

Here at T&C, we pride ourselves on our discerning eye for quality. With Tried & True, our editors will give you an inside look at the pieces they simply cannot live without.

There's an age-old adage (well, age-old in the beauty world, at least) that your face starts at your hairline and ends at your nipples; essentially that, for the best looking skin possible, you need to attend to significantly more acreage than the front of your head. And while it's a sentiment that still holds true—just look at the rise in concern over tech neck and cleavage wrinkles in recent years—considering the myriad ways that we show off our epidermis nowadays, I'd say that taking things to the chest isn't nearly far enough.

T&C Tried and True: Korean Italy Towels

In fact, it's hard to imagine anyone who, given the choice, wouldn't prefer to have silky, glowing, baby-smooth skin from head to toe. Certainly I would, which is why I've become somewhat obsessed with (not to mention an evangelist over) the simplest, cheapest, and possibly most bizarre product in my extensive beauty arsenal: the Korean Italy Towel.

Known variously as Italy towels, Korean Italy cloths, and Korean exfoliating mitts, they've been a go-to in Korean spas for years. They're typically comprised of a single piece of viscose rayon (the material was originally manufactured in Italy, lending them their slightly befuddling multinational name) sewn along the sides to form a rudimentary mitt, although some versions are available as a single sheet of fabric or a more tailored hand shape.

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Though they may feel soft straight from the package, once wet they pack an almost shocking amount of exfoliating power that's guaranteed to tackle all of your driest, flakiest, bumpiest bits and leave you luxuriously smooth. I'm talking "lounging on a settee in a flowing satin gown while being fed peeled grapes" luxurious; full Roman-imperial decadence levels of smooth.

Using one is incredibly simple too, albeit slightly counterintuitive for many of us. Here's a breakdown:

Of course, like all forms of exfoliation, you don't want to overdo it and potentially compromise your skin barrier, so you'll want to limit your scrubbing sessions to once a week, and only use them on the tougher skin of your body, not your delicate facial area.

Nonetheless, whether you're prepping for a flawless fake tan, or looking to give your complexion an enviable satin-finish, the Korean Italy towel is unequivocally the way to go. And with a price tag under the $5, they're one way to treat yourself that's not a splurge at all.