Everyone has their own method to maintaining clear and healthy skin – but what a lot of people don’t realize is the huge impact that microscopic germs can have on the skin. As the former President of the New York State Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery and Founder of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, Dr. David Bank elaborates, “You can take precautions to protect your skin against the elements but invisible germs do a great deal of damage, too.”
Here are some of his simple tips to avoiding hidden germs:
Don't Pick or Break Open Pimples
This may seem obvious, but let’s be honest… we have all been tempted to go down this road before! As Dr. Bank explains, “Opening up pimples not only channels the infected cells deeper into the skin, but also exposes them to bacteria and germs. This results in swelling and – even worse – permanent scarring.”
Be Wary of Dirty Phones and Other Objects
“Research out of the United Kingdom found mobile phones are a technological petri dish for tens of thousands of germs,” Dr. Bank continues. “Because of the proximity to the mouth, phones tend to pick up more germs than anything else; between that and the transference of germs from your hands, the best way to ensure that you don’t pick up anything that can affect your skin from your phone or anyone else’s, is to wipe it down with an antibacterial cloth before each use.”
Clean Glasses and Sunglasses Often
In a similar vein to phones, you’d be amazed at how much bacteria amasses on glasses and sunglasses – especially if you wear these every day during the hot summer months when your pores are open with sweat. “Besides exposing your skin to more dirt and grime that could cause pimples and outbreaks, contagious illnesses such as conjunctivitis or other eye infections can easily be spread by touching eyeglasses with unwashed hands,” states Dr. Bank. Taking a few minutes to wash glasses with soap and water or wipe them down every few days will help you and your skin in the long run.
Clean Makeup Supplies Regularly
“Your makeup products are virtual reservoirs for bacteria,” exclaims Dr. Bank. “Sponges and applicators pick up every piece of dirt you have on your face when you apply them and then build up in mounds that are swiped on the face again and again as you use them.” Dr. Bank suggests cleaning sponges with antibacterial soap and warm water after each use and replacing makeup with new products every few months to ensure all tools are clean.
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