Stop Touching Your Face

dirty handsI was reading a natural beauty book in the health store yesterday which claimed that people with acne or acne prone skin always have the problem of touching their face too much.

My immediate reaction was “Yeah, sure, whatever”, until I really thought about it and realized that perhaps there was some truth to their claim after all. Let me explain.

The formation of a pimple is really quite simple.

  1. A pore gets clogged with dead skin cells, oils and cosmetics.
  2. If toxins and bacteria then get stuck in the pore too, it creates an infection – a pimple.

These toxins and bacteria can either come from the inside-out as part of your bodies natural cleansing process, or from the outside-in from things like old bacteria-ridden cosmetics, pollution, and you guessed it – dirty hands.

Do you touch your face too much?

I’ve been monitoring myself over the last couple of days and wow do I have an annoying face touching habit. I had no idea I touched my face this much!

I’m constantly touching my face. I’m always scratching my skin, brushing my hair away from my face, or just stroking my skin with my fingers. And half the time I’m in front of my Macbook I’m not even working, I’m just staring at the screen leaning on my left cheek with my left hand. No wonder my acne was always more severe on my left side. Duh!

Since I’ve been writing this article, I’ve managed to scratch my face a dozen times. It starts unconsciously so I kind of have to kick in now and ask myself if my skin is really itchy or if I’m just scratching out of habit.

Why is there so much bacteria on our hands?

washing handsThere’s a reason why your parents told you to wash your hands before dinner. Our hands do so much work for us throughout the day that we’re constantly picking up bacteria without even realizing it.

And I don’t want you to rush out and buy a sanitary pair of gloves or get ridiculous with anti-bacterial wipes either. A little bacteria is actually very healthy for our immune system and keeps us healthy and strong. It’s just not so good rubbed all over the skin on our face where the perfect environment might already be brewing for a pimple to form.

Breaking the habit

So if you’re like me and have this face touching habit, then what you can do is just touch your face less.

And if you really do need to scratch and itch, or touch your face for whatever reason, use the back of your hand which contains significantly less bacteria.

No longer touching your face with the palm of your hand will not cure your acne, but it is a piece of the holistic puzzle for your acne cure that will make a significant difference if you touch your face a lot.

By removing all toxins and bacteria from the outside-in, then you’re preventing a bunch of new pimples from ever forming.

13 comments… add one

  • Jen

    Goodness. I never knew just how much I touch my face. Just reading this article, I counted how many times I touched my face. Over 30 times, just for itching!

    And I constantly, constantly am rubbing my chin, and adjusting my glasses, and wigging my nose with the palm of my hand to help me breath better, and I’m always rubbing my eyes so now I know where the halos of acne around my eyesockets are coming from…. Always wondered why the worst ones were at the edges of my mouth. Why? Because I’m constantly wiping my mouth in fear that I have drool or something. Jeez! Smearing my mouth juices all over the place, without even realizing it!

    And my blemishes are the worst. I have those apparently beautiful high cheek bones, and they’re always so red, but so soft, so I’m always stroking them, and that just makes them worse I guess. xD

    Eugh. So I need to wash my face more, and touch my face less. Got it.

    Thanks! < 3

  • Mi-Chu

    THANK U SOOOO MUCH 4 THIS ADVICE!!! im always unconsiously squeezing the oil off my nose or rubbing my skin but slowly, i’ve been controlling my mind n noticing when im about 2 do something with my hands. and using the back of the hand thing is genius. THANK U

  • A very big “Thank you” for the valued information on this post. Didn’t realize I was messing with my face all these years.

  • moon

    oh and talking about touching your face,i also learn about hairs too can cost the same as touching your face,let just say,sometimes your front hairs also have bacteria and dirt,when i’m learn that it’s help alot too which mean the right shampoo for my hair.a dandruff are also not good thing which i had before and i’ve been search for the right shampoo to get the dandruff away from my hair,and it’s work.i got less acne then i use to.this method is the first thing that make my face less acne then it use.and my mom got a great skin,there is this day when she bought a wrong shampoo she started to have some too and it’s go away as soon she change the right shampoo she is.
    in my case it’s what do you think fran,is it true what i’m talking about might be right?

    thanks :)

  • moon

    hi fran.

    you were right about touching your face,i do that myself so mush,but the habit are becoming less cause i learn so mush about hand with bacteria and dirts,i’m learn alot about that,and basicly i learn alot from it,even how hard it is to left the habits atleast keep your nails cleans or clip your nails,so the dirt won’t gather and filling in your nail which sometimes you touch your face where you nail also includ and the dirt and some bacteria.and this article are really helpful for me.

    thanks :)

  • Jen

    Ok. I’ve come up with a plan/trick that has helped me to become more conscious of my skin picking.
    As I posted before, I pick/scratch/poke/touch my skin constantly while studying and reading.
    I don’t do it consciously, and I found that trying to be more conscious of NOT touching my face was making me MORE conscious of my acne and skin.
    So, what I’ve been doing is applying Emu Oil all over my face while I’m at home on the computer or reading or studying for a course (etc.).
    As soon as my hand goes up to my face – It’s covered in gross oily stuff. This has worked as a pretty good deterrent.
    I keep a tissue near by for when I do touch, but over the past week+, it’s been happening less and less.
    I’d suggest if you’re doing the OCM, then apply those oils while you engage in an activity (in-home activities are probably the best to use this trick with) that you know causes you to pick at your skin.
    When I’m done, I just rinse it off and away I go!
    Best of all, while I study, check emails, etc., I’m using Emu Oil to HELP my skin, instead of before when I was damaging it with all my picking.
    I think I’ll also post this in the Forums section since more ppl may see it there.
    I hope this helps someone else!

  • Ooh.. I just commented about this in your post about looking in the mirror too much lol.

    Reading this has made me realise that I also touch my face without noticing quite often. I also hold my face in my left hand and sort of stroke my chin and cheek area subconsciously. I wear glasses too, which I tend to fidget with throughout the day.

    Oh, and I’ve noticed that as I’m writing this comment, when I pause to reflect on what I’ve typed so far I put my hand up to my mouth while I’m pondering over what to say next.

    I also used to be a nail-biter – even now I nibble on them when I’m thinking about something lol.

  • Jen

    I’ve always questioned whether stress causes my acne to flare up, or if it’s actually all my face touching/scratching/picking.
    I also noticed that when studying or working at the computer, I unconsciously touch and scratch and pick and poke at my face-especially when studying (and therefore stressed).

    Trying to stay conscious of it.

  • sarah

    While I was reading this I realized I was messing with my face the whole time…I was thinking to myself oh duh that why my face doesnt clear up as fast as it should. Thank you for putting this article on here :)

  • Silje

    Hi Fran :)

    Thank you for and awsome website and great blogs! I am a 27 year old girl from Norway. I had my first horrible breakout about seven weeks ago. I tried a new moisturizer, and my forehead just got crazy… Cosmetic bad bad acne. Red, unewen, pumpy, stinging and dry. I have never had oily face, but suddenly it was a problem. I overwashed in panic for days, and my forehead only got more painfull and very horrible… I felt like another person and every morning I would run to the mirror whishing it was gone… Of course nothing had happend, only twenty new spots :(
    One day after a shower I accidentely swipt the towel over my face in old habbit; Suddenly running blood went down from all over my forhead… I freaked out and run into my boyfriend, crying lik crazy. Bless him for telling me that I looked beautiful and that he couldent see anything :) I started searching the internett and there I found It changed the hole thing around! I started your mini course and STOPPED touching!!! Today my silky smooth forehead is soon to heal and return back. I am sure that if I had continued the way I started I would have ended up with cronic servere acne. And eventually scratched my forehead off in pure panic… Stopping to pick is the first, and for me the most important step ;) I also have bought my faithfull Olay moisturizer, that I used for years with no problem at all!

    Thanks again Fran, and sorry for my poor English and long response… I will keep reading your blogs forever…

  • Daniel

    Just while reading that article I had to stop myself from touching my face at least a dozen times. Woah! Now that’s a habit I really need to break.

  • Magnum

    Yeah, I know the feeling.
    I’m also a compulsive head scratcher (even doing so now :-( ) – thus more oily hands!!
    (Grr, I need to stop doing that – my hair is so oily I get pimples throughout it)
    Anyone know what to do about ‘hair/head pimples’??? Can’t exactly have a regime….

  • Ashley

    I never even noticed that either, I’ve always wondered why I got these little pimples on my chin and I noticed that any time I’m on my computer, or anywhere I can put my elbow on, I always rest my chin on my hand. I think that’s what is causing the bumps on my chin because it’s only where I put my hand.

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