How to Keep Your Hands Away from Your Face

Acne is a troublesome skin condition that many people face in their teenage years, or well beyond. One of the worst habits you can have when dealing with acne is continually touching your face - or worse, picking your skin! The oils in your hands are very different from the ones on your face and can exacerbate your skin troubles, even IF you washed your hands. It's best to avoid it altogether, and here's how you can do just that!


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    Give yourself an education.
    • Do a bit of research on acne scarring. forums are a good place to start. Acne RX by James Fulton is also a good resource for information on the damaging effects of picking, as well as advice for treating acne.
    • Most types of acne will not cause scars if left untouched. It is the damage caused by picking, gouging, and irritating the skin that causes acne scarring.
    • Do a Google image search for "acne scars" to see what you may be in for if you continue to pick.
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    Identify the kind of picking you most often do.
    • Unconscious Picker - You casually touch and/or pick your face while using the computer, reading a book, or watching television. This is a very dangerous type of picking because you often won't realize you're doing it.
    • Bathroom Mirror Picker - You go in to grab the floss and end up spending fifteen minutes in front of the mirror, picking and popping.
    • Idle Picker - You pick while you're waiting for the bus, you pick while you're on the phone, and you pick while you're waiting in traffic.
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    Once you've identified what kind of face-toucher you are, then you can decide what tips and methods will help you most.
    • Keep your hands busy. Do crossword puzzles or play video games while you're waiting for the bus. Give yourself a hand massage while you watch television. Start a knitting project to keep yourself busy at night.
    • Place signs that say "NO PICKING" up on your bathroom mirror, in your compact mirror, on the TV remote, or wherever you are likely to see them when you start to pick.
    • Wear Gloves. It may sound silly, but it will be impossible to pick your face while wearing gloves. You can wear them overnight, too, if you tend to sleep with your face on your hands. Just be sure to wash the gloves regularly.
    • If wearing gloves isn't an option, consider placing bandages or narrow strips of tape over your fingertips. This is a bit more discreet, and will make it very difficult to pick your skin.
    • Get other people involved. A close friend, parent, or roommate can be a very valuable asset. Ask them to gently scold you if they notice you touching your face.
    • Don't give up. Like any bad habit, you may not be able to quit picking overnight. Try not to become discouraged.
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    Reap the Rewards
    • Now that you’re not touching and picking your face anymore, your skin will heal much faster, and there will be less excess dirt and oil to cause new acne. Congratulations!
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    Make sure your fingernails are always clean/cut. Make sure that there is NO grime under your nails because most of the bacteria is there on your hands. Hygiene is very important, as you know fingers and hands are one of the dirtiest places on human areas.
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    Make sure you always wash your hands and fingers thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap, and don't pick your nose! It's gross and there's plenty of bacteria inside your nose. Do you want those germs all over your face?
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    Avoid putting your hands on your face. To avoid this, stop using your hands, such as when sitting at the table. DO not put your hands on your face and use it for hand resting.
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    Put your hands in your pocket when you are just walking between places. While sitting down on a chair while in front of the table, lay your hands or hold your hands on the table or put your hands on your lap or put your hands right under your thighs and sit regularly on your hands. This may seem silly but it helps with the need to touch your face. You can do this during a job interview, or places like a simple restaurant.
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    Stay relaxed, don't think about touching your face, and learn how to overcome this bad habit.


  • If you must touch your face, wash your hands before AND after with anti-bacterial soap. And NEVER use your fingernails to pick.
  • When you wash your face, don't scrub too hard. This will irritate your face, and cause you to attempt rubbing the pain away.
  • Learn to stay calm. Avoid putting hands on the face or touching the forehead / face.
  • Stay focused. Don't think about your hands too much.
  • Use 100% cotton gloves. Wool will irritate the face (should you try to touch) and nylon might get a runner.
  • You actually can pick your face with gloves. Wear mittens while you're in front of the mirror.
  • If you're a fidgeter, invest in some good fidget toys such as tangles, beanbags, or beaded bracelets. Any time you notice your hands wandering towards your face, stop, and grab one of these instead.


  • Never use your fingernails to pick. Fingernails can damage skin, creating scarring.
  • Putting hands on the face causes pores to clog up due to sweat on the forehead or sweaty hands. Sensitive skin can have an unnatural or oily look.
  • Putting hands on the face leads to a break out to the face causing acne, pimples, oily skin, black heads and such from dirt or bacteria.

Things You'll Need

  • Anti-bacterial soap
  • 100% Cotton gloves
  • Something to occupy your hands
  • Supplies to make signs
  • A helpful friend

Sources and Citations

  • Acne RX by James Fulton

Article Info

Categories: Acne Treatments