Are Your Glasses Making You Break Out?

During high school, I had one major problem area filled with cystic acne that was both painful and unsightly. My mother insisted I see a dermatologist to control my T-zone and even though the ingredients are things I would never put on my face today, I'm glad she did. Teens are cruel and high school is probably the worst place for cystic acne. I hadn't considered why my breakouts were so bad: My mother and sister didn't suffer from acne, I ran cross-country, and was already a vegetarian. Of course, we women of the Jackson household had no choice but to blame my father's genetics for my shameful, expensive beauty problem. Unfortunately, we were dragging my dad's good name through the mud, my glasses were causing my acne — specifically never cleaning my frames.

As an adult, my new problem area became my cheeks. They were constantly clogged and became a hot spot for cystic acne breakouts around my period. I changed my entire beauty routine around and still my cheeks stayed the center of acne's attention. When a rogue pimple popped up on my nose, I knew there was one habit left that I could change easily to avoid breakouts. Since genetics, environment, and hormones play a popular role in my own struggle with acne, I had to make some changes.

My glasses seem to always be dirty and sometimes I don't even notice when I leave the house that I can barely see out of the lenses. I've actually had the guy that owns my local deli take them off my face and clean them FOR me and then put them back on. Not my finest moment. What typically escapes us four-eyed babes is the fact that clean frames are just as important as clean lenses.

During my teens, I wore square wire and plastic frames that I was constantly pushing up on my nose and adjusting with my dirty teen hands. No wonder my T-zone was all out of control. Glasses, just like our face, are exposed to bacteria and dirt throughout the day, which means those toxins can get into your pores very easily. Putting dirty glasses on each day will only aggravate future breakouts. I've moved on to chunky, thick plastic frames that sit on my cheeks and at the edge of my nose. My cheeks are subject to the same bacteria I'm scrubbing off each night as soon as I wake up and put on my dirty ol' glasses.

A clean pair of glasses is a great way to prevent acne, but there are some popular habits of glasses-wearers that need to be ditched to truly make sure your glasses aren't giving you acne.

1. Wash Your Frames, not Just Your Lenses

Pay special attention to each earpiece (that gets exposed to oils in your hair), the bridge, and nosepads. Those are the parts of your glasses that are going to give your pores the most exposure to dirt and bacteria. According to the Wall Street Journal, the best way to clean your frames and lenses is with soap, warm water, and a dry cloth. Repeat this each morning and night, you'll definitely see results in those problem areas.

2. Watch Your Make Up and Use Blotting Pads

Boscia Green Tea Linen Pads, $16, Amazon

Since my larger frames basically take up my entire face, the days I choose to go make-up free are on days where I am not wearing my contacts. Heavy makeup can get trapped in our pores, then gets pushed down even further when you put on your hip frames. One way to keep your glasses on without ditching makeup all together is to carry blotting pads. Personally, I like the all natural green tea linen pads by Boscia. If you wear makeup daily, it's worth checking out mineral powders which are much easier on your pores.

3. Store Your Glasses in Their Case

I try to keep my glasses in my top drawer in my nightstand, completely protected in their cases. It's the pair of glasses I wear around the house at night in that gets left behind in the bathroom for the entire day or hangs out on my vanity with all my favorite oils and body sprays are. This is something that desperately needed to change since I put these glasses on after I wash my face at night, for the ENTIRE night. The bathroom is not a place for your frames to stay and chill for several hours; there are loads of bacteria living in there that are going to get on your frames and lenses. Keep your glasses in its case when you are not wearing them.

4. Pay Attention To Problem Areas On Your Face

Washing your face is the only way you are going to clean up the bacteria your glasses leave behind. Spend extra time on the areas that your glasses tend to touch and be sure to wash your face twice daily to avoid making that problem area a disaster area.

5. Clean Frames While You're Out

Even if you clean your glasses twice daily, you still may be subject to some dirt or oil buildup on your frames. Carry alcohol pads or use rubbing alcohol or witch hazel to keep them clean throughout the day. If you find your glasses sliding down your nose, that's definitely a sign that things are getting pretty oily! Personally, I don't always leave my house with witch hazel (though it does happen), so using vodka is a great way to quickly clean your frames quickly during happy hour instead of using a cotton shirt that's most likely dirty as well.

Image: Pete Prodoehl, Debs, Pieter Musterd/Flickr;; Kristin Collins Jackson