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Hands Off: This Is Why You Shouldn't Touch Your Face

September 11, 2020

Touching your face is one habit that can be a struggle to leave behind. You may lean your face against your hand at the office or attempt to get rid of acne via pimple-popping, all without thinking twice about it. Basically, it’s something that most of us are guilty of. And while it may seem like second nature, there are reasons why you should learn how to stop touching your face. If you’re not sure why touching your face is the ultimate no-no, we’re here to shed some light. Read on to get the 4-1-1 on why you shouldn’t touch your face, as well as tips and tricks to learn how to stop touching your face throughout the day.


Of course, a friend or family member saying “don’t touch your face” may not be enough to stop. However, avoiding doing so is a must when it comes to the appearance of your complexion. Per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), making sure not to touch your face throughout the day is especially essential for those looking to control oily skin. Touching your face can spread dirt, oil, and bacteria from your hands to your face, which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. The AAD recommends only touching your face when cleansing, moisturizing, or applying sunscreen or makeup—and only if your hands are clean, of course!

As far as pimple-popping goes, that’s also a no-go. The AAD states that popping pimples at home can result in permanent acne scars. It can also cause more noticeable and painful acne, as well as put you at risk for infection.


Now that you know why touching your face is a bad idea, we’re sure you’re ready to break this bad habit. But, when you do something daily, it can be easier said than done to stop. Consider following our nine tips below to help you stop touching your face once and for all.

Tip #1: Substitute the behavior. Once you acknowledge you have a habit of touching your face, you can make a conscious effort to substitute the behavior. When you notice yourself about to commit the deed, find a different action to do instead. This could be as simple as folding your hands or snapping your fingers. Just be sure to replace touching your face with the same action every time you notice you’re about to do it. Over time, this new action will become a replacement habit.

Tip #2: Keep your hands busy. Keeping your hands preoccupied is one of the most foolproof ways to avoid touching your face. Try typing away a storm or playing video games. You can even practice your drawing skills. The goal is to do activities that will keep your hands on the go and leave less room for them to wander toward your face.

Tip #3: Moisturize your face. One of the main things that could tempt you to touch your face is if your skin starts to itch or feel dry. Play it safe, and stay moisturized. Try using a face moisturizer, like the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Dry Skin, L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Oily Skin, or L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Extra Dry Skin. These offerings are formulated with aloe vera water and hyaluronic acid to refresh skin and provide it with long-lasting hydration.

Tip #4: Pin your hair back. Another reason you may frequently touch your face is because of your loose locks. Reach for a scrunchie or a bobby pin to keep your strands tucked away.

Tip #5: Keep reminders in view. Sometimes a constant reminder is just what you need—especially in the beginning. Set a daily reminder on your phone and place sticky notes on items you constantly use, like your laptop, vanity, or TV remote.

Tip #6: Wear gloves. Though it may seem silly, wearing gloves is another way to make you more aware of touching your face. It will also prevent the transfer of oils and dirt from your fingers to your face.

Tip #7: Use a scented hand balm. Utilizing hand creams or lotions with a fragrance can help you notice when you’re about to touch your face. Grab an all-over balm, like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm - Face, Neck, Chest, and Hands. This nourishing moisturizer has a honey-inspired fragrance that makes for a sweet reminder when your hands are too close to your face.

Tip #8: Keep tissues nearby. If you need to wipe your nose, mouth, or eyes, use a tissue. This simple tip can help keep impurities on your hands away from your face.

Tip #9: Ask a friend for help. When in doubt, turn to your BFF. Seriously! If you let your friends know that you’re trying to avoid touching your face, they’ll act as a reminder if or when you go to touch your face subconsciously. The more eyes on your actions, the better.

Next: Not all face touching is bad. In fact, there are ways you can benefit from doing just that (with clean hands, of course). Put your hands to good use and learn How to Give Yourself a Facial Massage.

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