Stop Smartphone Breakouts (Like The Ones I've Been Getting) In 4 Steps

I always get pimples in the same place on the side of my face and cheeks. Coincidence? I think not.
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Publish date:
February 5, 2014
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Tags:
acne, breakouts, Province Apothecary, smartphones, technology

I generally feel pretty good about my face skin. I don’t get many pimples unless I do something gross like binge drink or eat three boxes of chocolate, and it’s always soft and relatively even-toned.

Since November, though, right around the time I started a new part-time job, I’ve been breaking out more than usual. At first I thought it was being triggered by stress or junky lunches, but one day while walking to work, it clicked: maybe the breakouts are being induced by my phone.

I spend a lot of time with my phone smushed up against my face. Living across the country from my family has given me a lot of amazing opportunities and adventures, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing them. As a result, nearly every day, I call my mom for a long conversation. We usually talk for about an hour, and it’s usually when I’m speed-walking to work.

That means I’m spending somewhere close to an hour daily on my phone, with the glass right up against my face. Glass that I have never, ever cleaned. Coincidentally (or rather, not so coincidentally), the places where my phone rests are the exact spots I find getting painful and pimply time and time again.

I decided to do some investigation to see if there was, in fact, a link between the two.

Turns out, there's a link. I talked to Julie, my new facialist and founder of Province Apothecary, and she agreed the long calls could be causing the blemishes.

Over long periods of time, your phone gets warm. This, combined with sweat from walking, opens your pores, making them more vulnerable to bacteria. Unfortunately, phones also pick up bacteria both from fingers and from being set down all over the place, especially touchscreen phones with no front cover. This combination of factors results in skin irritation and pimples if the skin is exposed too long and/or too often.

I suppose it all seems rather common-sense now doesn’t it? So what can we do? Well, there are a few steps to be taken.

Use a headset.

This is the optimal solution for me. Though I don’t really like the idea of a future where everyone is walking around talking to themselves (Her much?), I do want to protect my face and get my skin back on track, so I’m going with it. Speaker phone is also a good idea if you’re at home/static.

Clean your phone.

This gets a little tricky when it comes to iPhones because Apple advises to avoid using liquid on your phone screen to clean it. However, many internet voices insist it is OK to use a very wrung-out disinfectant wipe, or a cotton ball/makeup wipe with a tiny bit of alcohol or hand sanitizer on it.

As long as you’re not dousing your phone in Windex, you should be OK, but if you’re too scared, you can also splurge on an Apple-approved cleaner or an insane futuristic UV sanitizing system.

Wash your face.

Cleanse after a long call to get those pores clean again if you must press it to your face.

Wash your hands or hand-sanitize often.

This way, you’re not carrying bacteria and germs over to your phone when you touch the screen.

Do you get pimples on your cheeks and the side of your face? Do you think cellphones are the culprit ?