How a Dirty Phone Affects Your Skin (and What to Do About It)

We hate to burst your bubble, but the hard truth is that our cellphones are littered with germs—25,127 bacteria per square inch, to be exact. Over the past decade, journalists and scientists have revealed that our phones are even more filthy than common surfaces like toilet seats and door knobs. These facts are startling, especially once you consider how often your hands and face touch your phone. And if you're anything into skincare like we are, then cleaning your phone regularly and taking steps to protect your skin from this grime is crucial.


How Your Phone's Bacteria Affects Your Skin

Our phones are magnets for dirt, oil, bacteria, pollutants, and makeup debris that accumulate on the surface every day, often unseen by the naked eye. Because of this, holding your phone to your face for a call or even touching your phone continually throughout the day and then touching your face can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.

Bacteria is one of the leading causes of acne, which means that taking the time to clean your phone and avoid touching your face as much as possible can significantly reduce the appearance and frequency of breakouts.


What to Do:

Cleaning your phone regularly with alcohol-based cleansing wipes will remove much of the dirt, oil, and bacteria off of the surface [we'll walk you through the best way to clean your phone down below]. But even the cleanest phone can cause irritation and clogged pores through repeated friction, as pressing your phone into your cheek pushes oil, dirt, makeup, and bacteria into the pores, all while your oil glands are being encouraged to secrete more oil.

One of the easiest ways you can avoid face to phone contact is by turning on your Bluetooth and popping in some wireless headphones when answering a call. Using acne-fighting skincare products is also an essential step to preventing full-blown breakouts. Whether this comes from your cleanser, toner, serum, or mask—active, anti-acne, antibacterial ingredients are a must. What are our picks?


Maskne Skincare Routine:

We recommend using a face mask at least once a week to deeply clean pores, treat and prevent breakouts, and prep the skin for your other products. Using bentonite and kaolin clay—which have been used for centuries to remove excess oil, reduce and prevent pimples, and heal skin—are two ingredients to consider when choosing your face mask. 

After you've finished masking, we love following with our Hydrating Rose Toner to remove any excess clay and prep the skin with cleansing and hydrating ingredients. Our toner, which features detoxing organic apple cider vinegar and witch hazel, cleanses the pores and targets acne while adding necessary hydration to the skin. Ingredients such as rose water, aloe vera, and glycerin heal, calm, and nourish the skin—an essential step to preventing and treating acne!

To use, simply spritz onto the face while the skin is still slightly damp (this helps the ingredients penetrate better!) and, using a cotton pad, gently rub into the skin using circular motions. This toner is safe to use daily and benefits all skin types.


How to Keep Your Phone (and Skin) Clean

You can't use any ol' household cleaning product to wipe down your phone and screens since you want to avoid over-saturating your phone or cleaning it with anything too abrasive like pure bleach. Below, you'll find our easy guide on keeping your phone (and inevitably your skin) clean. Ideally, you could do this phone cleaning ritual every day, but experts believe that doing it even just twice a week is enough to stay sanitary. 

  1. Remove your phone from its case and turn it off.
  2. Polish your phone with a gentle, microfiber cloth to remove surface dust and debris.
  3. Use a disinfecting wipe to clean the entire surface, except for the ports.
  4. Air dry for up to 5 minutes.
  5. Wipe down with the microfiber cloth.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 with your phone case.

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