January 27, 2021 4 min read

Hey you, get your hands off your face!

Did you know that the average person touches their T-zone approximately  69 times per hour?

That’s according to a systematic review of scientific literature conducted by epidemiologists at the University of Auckland in 2020.

Common reasons people touch their face include:

  • Nail biting
    A lady touching her face
  • Eye rubbing
  • Nose picking
  • Pimple popping
  • Skin care and makeup application
  • To rest a weary head
  • As an unconscious habit

Whether you touch your face to pop pimples or to rub the tiredness away from your eyes, you might want to think about breaking this habit.

Here’s why...

Why you should stop touching your face

Not all skin touching is bad, but touching your face with unwashed hands is pretty gross.

According to Dr. Shamban, a board-certified dermatologist and author of Heal Your Skin:

“Bacteria, viruses and allergens transfer from fingertips onto the skin. Also, repeatedly rubbing the skin can do some real damage"

Dr. Shamban tells us that, although touching your face won’t cause acne, it can aggravate acne-prone skin and lead to breakouts:

"What touching can do is spread existing p. acnes -- the culprit behind red inflammatory acne papules, pustules and cysts -- on the surface and beneath the surface of the skin. Beneath the skin is where it does the most damage because it can spread to other pores and manifest in yet another pimple."

In addition, touching your face with dirty hands can lead to skin infections and self-inoculation of contagious diseases like the common cold and even COVID-19...

ARGH! How do I stop touching my face? 


How to stop touching your face

The key to breaking a habit is understanding.

And, now you understand  why  touching your face with unclean hands is a big no-no, it’s much easier to motivate yourself to stop. Now all you need to do is create new habits!

Here are 10 simple steps you can follow to help you stop touching your face and develop healthier behaviors:

Tip 1 - Create an alternative action

Instead of focusing on trying to stop touching your face altogether, you may find it easier to replace the habit with a harmless substitute action.

Try flexing your hands, snapping your fingers, or gently tapping your palms down on the desk.

Over time - and with plenty of repetition - the alternative action will replace the harmful habit.

Tip 2 - Keep your hands occupied

Many people touch their faces to give their hands something to do while thinking.

You could keep your hands busy with a stress ball or by doodling with a pen and paper.

A woman demonstrating how to stop touching your face

Tip 3 - Cleanse and hydrate your skin

We know those pimples are oh so tempting to pop and that dry skin around your nose can be so incredibly itchy!

But it’s possible to mitigate these skin care issues by implementing a consistent skin care routine, including cleansing and moisturizing your face. Remember to use  skin care products that moisturize and soothe without clogging your pores.

Another way to keep your skin hydrated is by drinking plenty of H20, so make sure you’re starting your day with a glass of water.

Try this winter skin care routine (with top tips from Yubi’s Founder) to prevent your skin from drying out, flaring up, breaking out, or getting itchy!

Tip 4 - Pin your hair back

Keep your locks tucked away and it will stop you from using your fingers to push away any loose strands.

A woman tying her hair back as a way to prevent acne

Tip 5 - Use an all-in-one makeup brush instead of your fingers

It’s time to stop using your fingers to apply skin care products and makeup.

Not only does a makeup brush give you a more  flawless finish, but it’s also one of the best ways to prevent acne. This is because using a makeup brush stops oil, dirt, and bacteria from building up in your pores - as long as you  keep it clean of course!

Check out our guide to the best makeup brushes to help you find the perfect brush for you

A woman using a makeup brush instead of her fingers to apply makeup to her face

Tip 6 - Wear gloves

Stop breakouts and infection risks by creating a barrier between your fingers and your face.

Yes, you may look silly sitting in the office with your gloves on, but it’s a great acne prevention technique!

Tip 7 - Set reminders to stop touching your face

Write it on your bathroom mirror, place a sticky note on your desk, set yourself a phone reminder, or leave a note in your vanity bag to prompt yourself to form new habits.

Tip 8 - Keep tissues and/or a clean towel handy

Keeping a pack of tissues on your desk or in your pocket will give you something to wipe your face with or sneeze into.

You can also use tissues or a clean towel to wipe away sweat when you’re stressed, hot, or working out!

A woman using a towel to wipe her face instead of her fingers

Tip 9 - Use scent to deter you from touching your face or biting nails

If you’re a nail biter, you could try one of these  Stop Nail Biting Polishes.

Using a scented hand moisturizer will also remind you when your hands get too close to your face.

Tip 10 - Ask for help

The more eyes the better!

Tell your friends, family, and coworkers that you want to stop touching your face and get them to volunteer as your hand police.

A group of friends supporting each other for healthy skin

Do you have any tips to share on how to stop touching your face?

We’d love to hear them!

Please share your suggestions in the comments below and don't forget to subscribe for more useful articles on skin care and beauty (and $5 off your first order!)

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.