Sep 20th, 2021 ・ Shannon Peter

From fabric softener to phone screens, these are the under-the-radar skin disruptors to look out for

From fabric softener to phone screens, these are the under-the-radar skin disruptors to look out for

Phone screens

When you’re busy scrolling Tiktok or sending memes to your group chat, it’s easy to overlook the fact that your phone could be harbouring plenty of bacteria. In fact, a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that 82% of participants’ phones had some kind of bacteria on them.That’s one thing if you keep your handset at arm’s length, but another if you use it to make phone calls, thus creating some serious screen-on-skin action.

As bacteria is one of the biggest causes of acne, subjecting your skin to even more germs won’t help. Add to that the fact that the warmth of the phone can get sebaceous glands whirring, triggering extra oil production and you’ve got a one way ticket to a breakout.

So, what should you do about it? Clean your screen regularly! Use a special screen-suitable wipe or a bit of antibacterial spray spritzed onto some kitchen roll.

Dirty hands

Same same, but a bit different. That same study mentioned above also found that 92% of participants had bacteria on their hands. It makes sense: just think of how many shared objects and surfaces you touch throughout the day. Then, if you hold your head in your hands when you’re bored, or pick at your chin while you work, this bacteria is transferred directly to your skin, causing the same issues of breakouts and acne as your phone.

The solution? Wash your hands regularly, use hand sanitiser and avoid touching your face as much as possible.

Hair products

This one’s a little less obvious. If you use products to style or treat your hair, it can lead to issues further down on your face. Heavy oil-based products can spread to the face, clogging pores and causing papules. And if you have a fringe, that could likely make the hair-on-skin contact even worse. Moreover, certain fragrances and ingredients in products like shampoo can trigger eczema. If you’ve noticed some weird stuff happening to your forehead, your products could be to blame!

Fabric Softener

We all love using fabric softener to stop towels from going crispy, but it can have detrimental effects on the skin, particularly if you use it to wash your flannels and face cloths.

Fabric softener often contains strong fragrances that cling to the fibres (thus making it soft and smell delicious) but that can also be major skin irritants. If you’ve noticed a flare up and can’t work out its cause, cut the softener and see if it helps.

Want help figuring out the root cause of your skin upset? Book a Holistic Skin Session today and your personal Skin Mentor will kick off the investigation.