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Does Touching Your Face Cause Acne? (Everything You Need to Know)

Most of us, at some point, have encountered acne or pimples. The cause of acne is a subject that has been dissected and discussed from various angles. A common query often surfaces: "Does touching your face cause acne?"

This comprehensive blog will delve into the complex relationship between acne and the habit of touching your face and uncover the role played by your hands in the story of your skin health. Let’s dive in.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Touching your face frequently with unwashed hands can exacerbate acne by transferring bacteria and other irritants from your hands to your face.
  • Breaking the habit of touching your face is key to managing acne effectively. Avoiding resting your chin in your hand or brushing your fingers across your face can significantly reduce breakouts.
  • Keeping your hands clean reduces the chances of transferring harmful bacteria or dirt to your face. It's essential in the overall fight against acne.
  • Incorporating a potent skin care regimen, such as Exposed Skin Care, can help manage acne by targeting it from multiple angles, controlling oil production, and preventing skin from breaking out.

Adult woman touching her face lookin at mirror

Unmasking Acne: What's the Real Cause?

To understand the role of face touching in acne development, we first need to comprehend what acne really is. Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when your skin's oil glands produce too much oil. This excess oil and dead skin cells can clog your pores.

When these clogged pores become infected with bacteria, it results in inflammation, causing what we commonly refer to as a pimple or a breakout. Various factors can contribute to acne, including hormonal changes, stress, diet, and the bad habit of touching your face often.

Does Touching Your Face Cause Acne?

While it’s critical to avoid generalizations, it's fair to say that touching your face often can contribute to acne. You may unintentionally transfer bacteria, dirt, and oil from your hands to your skin when you touch your face. This germ transfer can lead to clogged pores and, eventually, breakouts.

While touching your face occasionally may not cause a skin catastrophe, frequent and excessive face touching can aggravate existing skin conditions and potentially lead to more significant problems, such as acne mechanica.

This type of acne is caused by friction, heat, and pressure against the skin, often triggered by behaviors like resting your chin in your hand.

Young woman with acne

The Sneaky Acne Triggers You May Overlook

While the relationship between face touching and acne is crucial, there are other sneakier triggers that can make acne worse.

  • Dirty Hands: Our hands are not always the cleanest things in the world. Bacteria, dirt, and oil from everything we touch throughout the day stick to our hands. When you touch your face with dirty hands, these impurities can transfer to your skin.
  • Picking and Popping: As a picker, it can be hard to fight the urge to pick at a pimple. However, popping pimples or picking at acne can lead to scarring, and the bacteria from your hands can further infect the area, causing more breakouts.
  • Phone Screens: Your smartphone is a breeding ground for bacteria. When you hold your phone against your face, you're pressing those germs onto your skin, which can clog your pores and cause acne.
  • Hair Products: Residue from hair products can drip onto your face, clogging your pores and causing breakouts, particularly along your hairline.

Skincare Strategies to Reduce Face Touching and Acne

Adopting a good skin care regimen can reduce acne, but what about strategies to stop touching your face, thus tackling the issue at its roots? Here are some effective ways to avoid touching your face and reduce acne:

  • Cleanse Regularly: Regularly washing your face removes excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells that can clog your pores. Washing your hands before touching your face is also a good idea.

Woman cleansing face with toner

  • Avoid Temptation: It's much easier to avoid temptation altogether by not touching your face in the first place. To help you stop touching, try substituting the behavior with something else, like snapping your fingers or sitting on your hands.
  • Hands Off: Keeping your hands away from your face can be difficult, especially if it's a deeply ingrained habit. However, keeping your hands busy with activities such as doodling, knitting, or playing with a stress ball can be helpful.
  • Secure Your Hair: If your hair constantly touches your face, it can lead to skin irritation and increased oil production. Try keeping your hair back and tucked away to keep your skin clear.
  • Mindful Practices: Engaging in mindful practices can make you more aware of your face-touching habit, helping you break it over time. Activities like yoga and meditation can cultivate mindfulness and control over your actions.

The Acne Myth: Touching Your Face Always Causes Acne

Although touching your face can cause acne, it's crucial to remember that it's not the sole cause of acne. Multiple factors contribute to acne, such as your diet, stress levels, and hormonal changes. Therefore, while reducing face touching can help manage acne, it's also essential to consider these other contributing factors.

Harnessing the Power of Exposed Skin Care to Manage Acne

One of the most effective ways to manage acne is by incorporating a powerful skin care regimen like Exposed Skin Care.

Exposed Skin Basic Kit

Here's why it can help:

  • Comprehensive Care: Exposed Skin Care targets acne from all angles, making it less likely you'll need to touch your face to deal with a breakout. With a clean face, you'll feel less of an urge to rest your chin in your hand or brush your fingers across your cheek, habits that can cause acne.

  • Prevention Focused: This skin care range is designed to prevent your skin from breaking out. When you don't feel a pimple emerging, you won't be tempted to touch your skin, keeping dirty hands that can spread things like bacteria away.

  • Controls Oil Production: It also regulates sebum production, reducing the grease your fingers could spread across your face. This might be the reason you have acne in the first place.

  • Eliminates Bacteria: The antimicrobial properties of some products in this range can combat acne-causing bacteria. This way, even if you accidentally touch your face with your hands, the chances of causing acne are reduced.

Breaking the habit of face touching is a journey, but with Exposed Skin Care, you'll have a trusty companion to help you.


Navigating the landscape of skin health can feel daunting, but the link between touching your face and causing acne is clearer now. Resting your chin in your hand or brushing your fingers across your cheek last week could be the unsuspected culprits behind your breakouts.

While it might be a challenge to completely rid yourself of acne, reducing the habit of bringing your hands to your face is a beneficial starting point. Breaking this habit can seem like an uphill battle, especially when dealing with acne already feels overwhelming. You may not want to accept that something as innocent as touching your face with your hands causes acne. But, as we have seen, dirty hands can spread things like bacteria, leading to breakouts.

The mantra to remember is simply, "Don't touch your face." It's a straightforward guideline, but it can make a difference in your skin health journey. The challenge lies in resisting the urge to touch your face, even if you like to rest your chin in your hand or feel a pimple surfacing.

We encourage keeping your hands clean and practicing mindful habits that discourage face-touching. With the right skincare routine and a mindful approach, you're on the right path to managing acne effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Does touching your mouth or eyes with dirty hands cause acne?

A: Not directly, but touching your mouth or eyes with dirty hands can spread bacteria, leading to skin infections or worsening existing skin conditions, including acne.

Q: Can using aloe vera help reduce acne caused by face touching?

A: Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness and inflammation caused by acne. However, it's not a cure-all and won't necessarily prevent acne caused by face touching.

Q: What is cystic acne?

A: Cystic acne is a more severe type of acne where cysts form beneath the skin. Like other types of acne, cystic acne can be exacerbated by touching your face, especially if you have dirty hands.

Q: Why is washing your hands before touching your face important?

A: Washing your hands before touching your face helps to remove dirt, bacteria, and oil that could potentially clog your pores and lead to acne.

Q: Does touching your face a ton lead to acne scars?

A: Constant touching, picking, or scratching at your face can lead to skin damage and scars, including acne scars.