Raving about makeup, skincare, hair and other little obsessions... A Beauty Blog

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wicked Wednesday: Hygiene to Reduce Chances of Acne/Pimples

Source: makeupandbeauty.com

You'd be surprised to hear that a "small debate" over one of my friend's Facebook page was the inspiration for this blog post. My friend shared a photo on her wall. It was of a couple kissing and the accompanying text was something along the lines of kissing being more hygienic than handshakes. I commented that I agreed with the statement, saying that our hands have been everywhere, touching a lot of dirty things without even realising it. There were a number of other comments as well. One particular one stuck out to me. This girl commented immediately after me, contesting that kissing was less hygienic, with a 100% transfer of bacteria. She had a good point but it made me wonder if she is studying biological/medical science like I am.

Source: ladyspeak.com
Anyway, to the main point: hand hygiene, how much do you know about it? We all know that we should refrain from touching our faces with our hands because we'd be transferring more bacteria on to it. However, how many of us actually successfully reduce this pimple-inducing habit? Being in public places and using public items don't our case either for we use our hands a lot: keyboards and mice at uni computers, toilet door handles, picking up stuff that we've dropped onto the ground. We don't know how clean the previous few hundred people who have touched the object were. Studies have shown that one of the main ways bacteria are transferred is through our hands (this includes health care settings). On a side note, let's not forget that we don't go around kissing everyone and everything and that we secrete enzymes and anitbodies in our mouths to combat bacteria. So I still say it's more hygienic than handshakes.

I, for one, touch my face a lot, be it removing a strand of hair from my face, resting my forehead/cheek on my hand or covering my face in frustration. So I always have a hand sanitiser in my bag. I sanitise my hands after using a uni computer, before and after eating, before applying moisturiser/sunscreen on the bus. Even if you don't have a hand sanitiser, always wash your hands with soap; there's always a sink nearby. And please DON'T forget to dry your hands. Bacteria love moisture, they thrive in damp/wet environments (remember, life began with water). If you don't dry your hands, you're pretty much culturing bacteria on them.

Source: meishifangzhi.en.made-in-china.com
I firmly believe in drying towels straight after every use because a damp towel habours a lot of bacteria as well. Imagine using a damp towel. You'd be increasing your chances of face and body acne with all that bacteria rubbed all over you. All you have to do is hang outside where there's lots of sunlight (don't bother with the dryer), the UV rays do an excellent job of killing bacteria. You may say that your towel gets dried anyway even if you don't dry it under the sun. Well, that doesn't mean the bacteia evaporates with the moisture. Don't forget to do the same for your hands towels too (except you don't have to dry it after every use, just the next morning).

I hope you found my tips useful. If you already know all of this, great! I find that a lot of people don't. If you can't help but touch your face many times throughout the day, do your best to remember to use the back of your hands instead (because they don't come into contact with things as much). Lastly, I'd like to add that not all bacteria are evil pimple-inducing, illness-causing little buggers like the media portrays them to be. More than 90% of them are our friends, contributing to our immunity, ecosystem and various industries (think alcohol, food, cosmetics, biotech). My next post will be on hygiene and makeup.

  • Cut down on the face-touching. If you must, try to use the back of your hands
  • Have a sanitiser ready in your bag or wash your hands well and dry them. 
  • Dry your towels under the sun. Bacteria thrive in moist environments.
  • Not all bacteria are bad!
What do you think? What's your hand hygiene practice like?


  1. I always carry in my bag hand sanitisers, sometimes i think i have mild ocd lol

  2. @kerker, don't worry, you're not alone! :)