Sometimes I Let My Dogs "Wash" My Face

Bad beauty director! No! Bad, bad beauty director!
Publish date:
March 22, 2013
bacteria, dogs, habits

Remember how I said I have two options for washing my face before bed? Well, I kind of forgot/lied-by-omission about an embarrassing third.

See, even if I don't shower, I'll sometimes forget to use a face wipe before I get into bed. I'll be lying there comfortably, drifting off, when suddenly I'll have a hypnic jerk that makes me think I'm falling into a vat of cleanser, making me realize there's still makeup on my face.

This isn't reason enough to get up. Once I'm in bed, only the forceful expulsion of the contents from my stomach or intestines can get my feet on the floor before morning. But that doesn't mean I want to leave the makeup on my face.

It's at this point that I may put my face in front of one of my dogs', which they immediately interpret as an invitation to "give kisses."

I know, a lot of people don't like when dogs lick them, so the thought of volunteering for it--on my face, no less--is probably grossing some of you out. Others are probably ambivalent. I suspect a few of you do exactly the same thing I do whether you're willing to admit it or not.

Rufus seems to prefer cleaning my nose and forehead. Max, on the other hand, thinks mascara tastes awesome. He has a distinct eye-cleaning system, going back and forth between the lids at different angles. (He's 13, so he's had years to develop his technique.)

I know what you're thinking (other than "Eww!" if you're not a dog person): Is that even safe?

It's safe-ish.

It's true that dogs can carry ringworm in their saliva, but this is almost exclusive to puppies. Healthy, vaccinated adult dogs who have been guarded against it can't pass it on if they don't have it. And their versions of staph and strep can't be transmitted to people.

Dogs, like us, have germs in their mouths, but their saliva is actually antibacterial/bactericidal. Although its wound-healing properties are limited to dog wounds, it's highly unlikely that it would do more harm than good.

It's not something I'd do every day, or even once a week, nor is it something I'd recommend. But when I'm dead-tired and already in bed, I'm not going to stop my dogs from licking my face, and I'm not going to judge you if you do the same.

Also, this was a good excuse to post a picture of my dogs somewhere other than my Instagram account.