No offense, but your hands are filthy. Everyone’s are! Hands are one of the primary ways we interact with the world. Every door handle, pen, handrail, remote, phone, and key you touch is covered in bacteria that is then transferred to the fingers you use to prod, press, and pick at your face. Unfortunately, bacteria isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. Not only are your hands dirty, but they are also one of the oiliest parts of the body. This mix of oil and bacteria can be a major catalyst for breakouts when it comes in contact with your face.
But I need to pop those zits…
We’ve all been there: the temptation of popping and picking at pimples can be difficult to resist. However, irritating the skin is a big contributing factor for long-term and permanent scarring (we don’t think it’s worth it). Leave the popping to professional aestheticians and dermatologists who know how to do it in a way that keeps your skin happy and healthy.
Fine, but how do I break this habit??
1. Keep your hands occupied: You’re most likely to touch your face when you and your hands are idle. Think of when you’re watching TV, waiting for a bus, or scrolling social media. At these times try playing a game on your phone, solving a puzzle box, or squeezing a stress ball. Anything that keeps your hands busy will work!
2. Remind yourself: Maybe you find yourself squeezing your skin while looking in the mirror. If this is the case, place a note next to the mirror to remind you not to pick. It’s not weird if it works.
3. Mindfulness: Many times we pick absentmindedly. You can bring mindfulness to your touching by taking a moment to bring your hands down and register your picking every time you catch yourself. This will help you become more aware of the times you are touching your face.
4. Cover your hands: Sometimes willpower alone can’t break a habit. In these instances, gloves are your best friend. It’s virtually impossible to pick your acne with gloves on and the fabric will shield your face from the oil on your hands.
Once you cease the squeezing and popping, you will be avoiding the spread of oil and bacteria and you will see a decrease in inflammation and in the severity of your breakouts. Less bacteria + less inflammation = more healthy skin!
Do you have any other tips or tricks for breaking the face-touching habit? Leave a comment below, or tag us on Twitter at @hi_apostrophe!