Your Sunglasses Might Be Making You Break Out. Here’s Why

So, the sun is out and that hot humid weather means “grab your sunglasses and head out to soak up some sun,” right? But your sunglasses may be more than just a pricey warm-weather fashion statement. 

When it comes to protecting your eyes from UV light, they are actually a necessity. As MedicineNet reports, The American Optometric Association has said that the UV protection they provide actually helps prevent cataracts. They also come in handy in order to stop squinting. Squinting can be more than just annoying — it could be an actual precursor to a long-term beauty concern.

According to California-based dermatologist Annie Chiu (via Allure), squinting can be a major contributor to wrinkles. She said, “Over time, with years of the same repeated movement, these lines can etch, causing creases and wrinkles around the eyes even when you are not squinting.”

While the sun’s welcomed appearance may be a great for increasing your Vitamin D levels and avoiding future wrinkles, it might also lead to some unwanted breakouts that could cramp your summer style.

This is how sunglasses can cause acne

According to dermatologist Ava Shamban, “Wearing glasses makes it easier for oil, dead skin, and dirt to remain on the skin and clog pores beneath the frames,” she informed Prevention. New York-based dermatologist Dendy Engleman told Well + Good, “Sunglasses can trigger acne since we tend to wear them in warm, humid weather,” which causes sweat and “occlusion” (blockage of the skin) both of which “can clog pores, leading to a breakout.”

And it gets worse, because the skin doesn’t get a chance to recover. Dermatologist Jaggi Rao explained to Well + Good that “while touching your glasses and transferring germs to your face will initially create a few pimples, these will never really get a chance to heal if you keep touching your glasses and getting them dirtier each time,” which could mean what initially might have been a few inconvenient bumps might turn into a more severe and persistent problem. So, give up looking like a celeb hiding from the photogs and just ditch the sunglasses, right? Not so fast.

Is there a way to get the protection that sunglasses provide, while also maintaining stellar skin?

How to banish acne caused by sunglasses

The answer is yes: there are ways to help minimize and even prevent these blemishes caused by spectacle wearing. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital, told HelloGiggles that one of the first steps is to “make sure that your glasses properly fit to minimize rubbing against the skin.” Laura Ferris, a dermatology professor from the University of Pittsburgh, spoke with Self — and her advice for people who are constantly finding their favorite sunnies resting on their cheeks is to try “new bridges [to] put on the nose so you spread the pressure.”

The next step is cleaning for both your skin and your sunglasses. Dr. Engleman told Well + Good, “The key is to keep your sunglasses clean and your skin dry.” She recommends basic soap and water. Another option is to take an alcohol wipe to at least the skin-contacting parts after each wear. Removing the culprit, which, in this case, is dirt and bacteria, should do the trick — though the doctor notes that they may require cleaning more than once a day to banish acne, especially if you wear makeup.

As far as cleaning your skin, dermatologist Audrey Kunin told Insider that “Daily gentle skin exfoliation is always helpful for blemish-prone skin, and will certainly be beneficial in areas where glasses touch the skin.” 

With just a little extra effort, you can keep your eyes safe without endangering your glowing summer complexion.

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