Acne and pimples on your cheeks? This might be the cause
Pimples in the same place at that same time each month (you know the time!) are not uncommon – it’s a frustrating recurrence for most of us. But did you know there’s a lesser known culprit that might be behind those stubborn spots repeatedly surfacing on the cheeks? And it’s not Aunt Flo!
Whether you’re up with the play sporting the latest iPhone model or you’re not too fussed (who needs face recognition anyway right?), there’s no doubt about it - we are hopelessly addicted to our phones. With over 90 percent of New Zealanders now owning a smartphone, we are almost always connected, even on our morning commute, from scrolling through Instagram, refreshing our inboxes, streaming podcasts to good old-fashioned phone calls – our phone is an extension of ourselves.
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We hate to break it to you but here’s another reason to cut back on smartphones. Too much skin to phone contact could be wreaking havoc on our skin – specifically the cheeks! Our beloved phones are a breeding ground for bacteria, more so than your bathroom. Time reports that the average phone screen boasts 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. Eeeek.
With our increasing use of devices we are now exposing our phones to dirty situations (including the toilet…eek), which we usually wouldn’t give a second thought to washing our hands after.
Also, you know ‘Phonedation’? That layer of foundation you leave on your screen after a looong phone call? Well, that layer contains a ton of acne-inducing bacteria from pollution like car fumes, factory emissions and cigarette smoke, as well as natural oils and sebum. So just like you wash your makeup off each night (well we hope so – it’s the biggest rule in the beauty bible!), you should also be washing it off your phone.tl
What actually happens when you put your phone on your face?
When your screen comes into contact with your skin, it creates friction that heats up the area. Bacteria thrive in heat, so any bacteria transferred over from your screen is likely to breed. The pressure against the oil glands from the phone also stimulates the glands to produce more oil. All of this combined creates the ideal environment for a blemish.
Tips for keeping your cheeks breakout-free:
- Keeping your phone out of the bathroom! Boys we’re looking at you…
- Regularly clean your phone: A soft microfiber cloth will do the trick and remove most germs. For a deeper clean that’s super-convenient, we like Clearwipe Lens Cleaner Soft Wipes from Life Pharmacy – they’re individually wrapped sachets (perfect for the handbag!) with pre-moistened wipes that remove dirt and grease. Bonus: they also remove those pesky fingerprints and dry super quick.
- Wash your hands throughout the day
- Use headphones and/or hands free when you can
- Avoid heavy pressure: try to hold your phone loosely against the skin to avoid transfer of bacteria
- Thoroughly cleanse each night: A double cleanse is a must! We recommend pre-cleansing with an oil or balm to remove makeup and bacteria, then again with an antibacterial cleansing milk or foam to properly clean the skin. bh loves: Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil, $34.99 ; Ultraceuticals Ultra Clear Foaming Cleanser, $65
- Apply toner to balance oil levels in the affected area. Bh loves: Avene Cleanance Mat Mattifying Toner, $37.60
- Use a spot treatment on any existing breakouts. bh loves: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $27; Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Emergency Spot Fix, $34; Murad Rapid Relief Spot Treatment, $49