Anyone who keeps touching their face with their hands runs the risk of clogging their pores and spreading bacteria that cause blackheads and pimples. This is one of the worst possible hygiene habits (and almost everyone has)! Learn to use certain mental strategies or create physical barriers between your hands and skin with the tips in this article to reduce damage.
Method 1 of 2: Resisting the urge to touch your face
Step 1. Occupy your hands when you are most likely to touch your face
If you are used to touching your face when you are waiting for the bus, bored or in class, use some other object to distract yourself: an anti-stress ball, a keychain, a bead bracelet, a rubber band, etc.
- If you touch your face while watching television, start massaging your own hands.
- You can even knit or draw (which even stimulates creativity)!
- Identify the factors that cause this bad habit to always have a good escape valve ready. For example, do you touch your face when reading, in class, or watching television? Or when you go to brush your teeth and, when you see yourself in the mirror, you can't resist and ends up touching your pimples? Is the problem in everyday stress or anxiety?
Step 2. Sit on your hands if you tend to touch your face at these times
You can put your hands under your legs if you are not using them, such as during class. This already helps to break the bad habit, especially for those who have a serious compulsion to touch their face.
If you prefer, tie your hands and rest them in your lap or on the table instead of your face
Step 3. Distribute visual reminders around places not to touch the face
Write "DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE" messages and distribute them on the bathroom mirror, car mirrors, television controls, and elsewhere. You won't be able to forget about it anytime soon.
You can even set the clock to wake up once in a while so you don't forget
Step 4. Wear gloves when at home
It sounds silly, but touching your face and popping pimples is impossible when you're wearing gloves. Sleep with these accessories to further reduce temptation. Just be sure to wash everything from time to time, as the material can accumulate bacteria.
- Wear gloves made of 100% cotton. Materials like nylon and wool can irritate your face if you don't resist and end up touching the area.
- If you don't want to wear gloves, put bandages or pieces of duct tape on your fingertips. This option is a little more discreet, but very effective.
Step 5. Ask a friend or relative to call your attention whenever you touch their face
You can count on the help of a friend, your parents or colleagues to break this bad habit altogether. Ask them to get your attention whenever necessary.
If necessary, you can also create a punishment system for every time you touch your face on impulse. For example, put a $1 coin in a piggy bank whenever you give in to temptation
Step 6. Constantly remember your reasons for stopping touching your face
Try not to get discouraged and understand all the advantages of quitting this bad habit. If need be, think about the damage you do to your own skin.
Search for images of scars caused by blackheads and pimples internet. You'll be horrified by the effects touching your face all the time can have
Step 7. Start practicing mindfulness meditation to control the emotional side
If you touch your face when you're stressed, anxious, bored, or sad, take a moment and "reset" your mind. Studies indicate that meditating helps control emotions and resist repetitive body-focused behaviors (such as constant touching the face).
- Watch guided meditation videos on the internet or join a professional studio.
- You can also download mobile apps like Meditopia or Zen to learn to meditate on the go.
Method 2 of 2: Minimizing Skin Damage
Step 1. Cut and clean your nails well
Always walk with your nails well cut so as not to accidentally scratch the skin of your face and make the situation worse. Also, clean the area as it ends up accumulating bacteria.
Hands are among the dirtiest parts of the human body! Remember this, and hopefully you will gradually lose the bad habit
Step 2. Wash your hands and fingers with an antibacterial soap
Wet your hands with warm water and rub a dab of antibacterial soap into your skin for at least 20 seconds until it blisters. Then rinse with more warm or hot water.
- Wash your hands and fingers often to reduce the risk of getting blackheads and pimples.
- If you have to touch your face for any reason, wash your hands before and after with an antibacterial soap.
Step 3. If necessary, adopt skin care habits that fight blackheads and pimples
Consult a dermatologist and ask for prescriptions for blackhead and pimple remedies. Over-the-counter products that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids may also do you good.
- If you prefer a natural option, use witch hazel and tea tree oil to dry out blackheads and pimples.
- Never exert too much force when washing your face (to the point of irritating and hurting your skin).
- Remember, the more you touch your face, the more likely you are to clog your pores and develop blackheads and pimples.
Step 4. See a doctor if you think you have the excoriation disorder
Excoriation disorder is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and, depending on the case, you may have to undergo cognitive-behavioral therapy. Look out for the following signs:
- Not being able to stop touching or scratching the skin.
- Scratching the skin to the point of opening cuts, bleeding, or bruising.
- Make lumps and scars worse in an attempt to resolve the situation.
- Don't notice you're scratching your skin.
- Scratching your skin while sleeping.
- Scratching your skin in times of stress or anxiety.
- Use tweezers, pins or scissors (in addition to your fingers) to scratch the skin.
- Like any bad habit, you're certainly not going to be able to stop touching your face all of a sudden. Even so, don't give up!
- If you touch your face when you're standing, put your hands in your pockets and fiddle around with coins or pebbles - anything that distracts your mind!