The absolute worst thing you can do if you want clear skin is to touch it with dirty hands, brushes, fabric, or grimy makeup. Topically spreading bacteria in cosmetics (or from your hands) can lead to pimples and skin irritations.
Water-based cosmetics are a breeding ground for germs
Dark containers of liquid might as well have a sign that says, “Germs Live Here.” So don’t even consider sharing your liquid eyeliner, mascara, or lip gloss with your friend.
Strains of the herpes virus can live around two hours in lip gloss and once you have herpes, you have the potential for cold sores, forever. Why risk it?
These anecdotes about what I see in public might tell you something about how you may need to adapt your habits in private too…
Think before you touch your skin
My very German grandma (who was a nurse in WWII) was spot-on when she would yell to me entering the house after playing outside, “Go wash your hands and get the Germans off!!”
Her witty pun, drove the point home and was one I never forgot.
7:45am: Subway platform in New York City
I just witnessed a man waiting for the train apply a thick, white cream to his face. It had to have been either moisturizer or sun screen. Using the reflection of his silver aviator sunglasses as a mirror, he used typically manly strokes, pushing the cream around his skin. He then wiped his hand on his rear jeans pocket – and to my horror – continued to wipe his face.
If you are using your fingers to apply anything to your skin, think about what they have touched before you make contact with your face. Did you grab any door handles, pet the dog, type on a computer, put on your shoes?
Cradling a Red Bull under his arm, he donned the aviators, threw headphones on and jumped into the train. (Guess he had a rough morning.)
I was rather impressed that he had the forethought to do some amount of grooming to his face, but I so desperately wanted to lean forward and say, “Do you know what kind of germs just went from your butt to your face?!”
Grimy Puffs = Pimple Heaven
Where your fingers have been is important! How clean your tools are is equally as important
Almost daily, I witness a woman on the subway here in New York balancing a compact mirror while “putting on her face.” I love seeing what different women’s ritualistic making-up techniques are, and the kind of products they are using.
I can’t help but also notice that there is a lot of over-powdering going on and there’s a germ party getting started every time one of them places their well-worn, never-washed puff in from the compact to their face.
If you are prone to breakouts, touching your face with an unclean brush, puff or germ-filled hand is only going to exacerbate the problem and give you more pimples that need covering.
Have you cleaned up your makeup/skin care tactics to see positive results in your face? I’d love to know in the comments below how often you actually clean your tools each month.
Feature photo by Nina’H. Artwork created by Kristen Arnett.