4 Scary Facts That Will Convince You to Stop Touching Your Face

You're probably doing it right now.

Touching face
(Image credit: Getty)

I sit at my computer all day, presumably like you do, and I touch my face. YES I KNOW IT'S A CARDINAL SIN. I've heard before that it can cause the breakouts I'm so annoyed by, and is generally pretty gross, but sometimes I can't help it. Sometimes it just feels natural. 

What I need is a scare tactic to get me to stop. (It's what we all need, if we're being honest with ourselves.) So, on my never-ending quest to achieve perfect skin, I reached out to Dermatology Partners founder Dr. Ruth Tedaldi for a little tough love. Here's what I learned.

1. Touching leads to picking, which leads to scarring. "When you're touching your face, there is a tendency to scan for irregularities and then a compulsion to pop or pick at anything undesirable. By picking at blemishes, you run a very high risk of worsening it. You can even cause acne scarring, which carries lifelong damage that can only be treated with special remedies like Bellafill."

2. It can cause acne breakouts. "As reported by the US National Institutes of Health, people touch their faces an average of 3.6 times per hour. Our hands come in contact with millions of germs via smartphones, doorknobs, shoelaces, and more. Don't let these germs make it to your face, as this can lead to an unwanted acne breakout."

3. You can catch the flu. "One of the best ways to prevent catching a virus, such as the flu, is to not touch your face. Your hands may be laden with influenza, but if you're not touching your eyes, nose and lips, you are not transmitting the virus to yourself."

4. We're wasting too much time obsessing. "Women are known to stand in front of a mirror for long stretches of time assessing their skin. This is when temptation grows, willpower dwindles, and you begin to touch, pop. and scratch. Avoid lengthy bathroom routines and try to keep it short and to the point. This will not only free up more time, but it will help ensure your skin doesn't look aggravated as you head out the door."

You should also check out:

The 8 Worst Things You Can Do to Your Skin

Forget a Facialist: All You Need for Flawless Skin Are These 8 Foods

10 Ways to Wake Up Prettier Than You Went to Sleep

Why the Same Pimple Keeps Rearing Its Ugly Head on Your Face Over and Over Again

Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.