Ask the Expert: Can Your Glasses Make You Break Out?
Battling a breakout? Your first move—even before you reach for the spot treatment—should be taking a look at where the zits in question are cropping up. If they’re on your cheeks, your cellphone could be the culprit. Along your jawline? Hormonal fluctuations may be to blame. However, blemishes get a little trickier to decode when they are on your T-zone—the nose and forehead area—since a number of factors, including stress and diet, could be at play. But if you notice pimples on your temple area in addition to your T-Zone, all fingers may point towards your glasses. Wait, what?
We get it: Glasses aren’t the first thing on one’s mind when it comes to sources of acne. But according to board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, it’s not farfetched to assume that glasses can cause acne breakouts. “Some glasses can cause skin flare ups, especially those that use rubber to support them,” he says. “There is a population of people that are allergic to rubber, nickel, or similar products.” In addition, “some younger patients with oily skin can get breakouts over the nose due to the occlusion of glands,” Bhanusali says. For those of us that aren’t doctors, this means that glasses can block pores, leaving oil and dirt to become trapped for long periods of time, and in turn, may result in blemishes. Yikes! If you fall in this camp, do your skin a favor and go wash your glasses with soap and water immediately. Then, follow these instructions:
STEP 1: EXFOLIATE
Dr. Bhanusali recommends regular exfoliation, which can be helpful especially if your glasses are introducing additional dirt and bacteria onto your skin. Help slough away dead skin cells and clean the surface of your skin with a gentle scrub—like Kiehl’s Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub—that won’t strip its natural oils. Concentrate on your T-Zone.
STEP 2: GIVE YOUR SKIN SOME TIME TO BREATHE
If you wear glasses 24 hours a day—day in and day out—consider giving your skin a little bit of a break. Take your glasses off when you don’t absolutely need them on. If you wear glasses for reading only, Dr. Bhanusali suggests stepping away from the computer or book and going out for a walk from time to time.
If you’re unsure about whether or not your glasses-related break out is due to clogged pores or an allergic reaction, visit your dermatologist. If the latter is true, it might be time to retire your specs.