Is Your Phone Messing Up Your Skin?

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
By Amy Marturana 

In a world where everyone's eyes or ears are glued to their smartphones, we find ourselves facing new skin problems we've never had before. Enter: phone acne.

The surface of your cell phone is laden with bacteria (sorry, the truth hurts). Just think about how often you touch your mobile during the day, like after opening a door or eating a slice of pizza. "Germs and bacteria can easily get transferred directly from your phone to your face when making a call," says Dr. Debra Jaliman, a leading NYC-based dermatologist and author of Skin Rules. And, with phones getting larger and larger, a greater surface area of your face is subject to that germ exposure. "This can cause your pores to become clogged with harmful materials, which can easily cause a surge in acne and blemishes," Dr. Jaliman adds. It's always good to know how to get rid of acne, but let's try to prevent it from happening in the first place!

So, what's a gal to do, when there are important phone calls to be made and a good complexion to maintain? Try these four simple tricks to keep skin clear through a full day of conversations. 

Related: How To Get Rid Of Acne Scars


1. Plug it in: Using an earpiece, headphones or speakerphone to take calls is the most efficient way to nix phone acne, as each of these options completely prevents the scenario of bacteria sitting against your face while you're on the phone.

2. Wipe it down: Use a microfiber cloth to clean your phone every single day, especially if you're already broken out. "You should do so even if your phone doesn’t look or seem to be dirty — a lot of the bacteria that your phone accumulates isn’t necessarily visible to the human eye," Jaliman notes.

3. No pressure: Pressing your phone against your face can cause something called "acne mechanica" — when pressure on your oil glands actually stimulates them, and leads to increased breakouts. If you don't have a headset handy, make sure you're holding your cell lightly against your ear and not squashing it against your face.

4. Keep it clean: Cleanse and treat your skin with products that have anti-acne ingredients, like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, concentrating on your cheeks and chin. Try a clear spot treatment that you can wear all day, like ZAPZYT Pore Treatment Gel, which has 2% salicylic acid, plus aloe and other soothing botanicals to gently get rid of acne without irritating skin.

Next: 3 Ingredients For Treating Blackheads
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