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Whether you’re leaning your face against your hand at the office or attempting to get rid of acne via pimple popping, most of us are guilty of touching our faces at one point or another throughout the day. And while it may seem like second nature, touching your face is a serious skin care no-no. Not sure why? Read on to learn why you shouldn’t touch your face, as well as tips and tricks to avoid touching your face throughout the day.
While touching your face is certainly tempting—and can happen without you even realizing it—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, more noticeable and more painful acne, and infection—yikes! These side effects are likely to occur, plus popping pimples yourself means you run the risk of infection caused by the transfer of bacteria from your hands to your face.
Now that you know why touching your face is a bad idea, we’re sure you’re ready to break this bad habit. Of course, when you’re in the habit of doing something on the daily, it can be easier said than done to stop. Still find yourself reaching to touch your face midday? Below, find five tips to help you stop touching your face.
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 yourself 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. Whether you’re typing away a storm, playing video games, or practicing your drawing skills, doing activities that keep your hands on the go will leave less room for them to wander toward your face.
Tip #3: 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 #4: Wear gloves. Though it may seem silly, wearing gloves is another way to make you more aware of your actions. This will also prevent the transfer of oils from your fingers to your face, though you should still avoid touching your face to prevent the transfer of dirt and other impurities.
Tip #5: 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 up: 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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