People who suffer through regular acne breakouts are intimately familiar with the fact that the warm, humid weather of summer can make things worse. Warmer summer weather means more exposure to environmental conditions that can clog pores and create breakouts. Is it possible that something as simple as wearing sunglasses can be a contributing factor? According to a recent post on the Well and Good website, yes.
Well and Good contributor Therene Firman wrote in an April 16 (2019) piece that dirty sunglasses can be a contributor to breakouts. She spoke with a New York dermatologist who told her that “sunglasses can trigger acne” due to the combination of warm, humid weather and the dirt and sweat that sunglasses collect.
This is not to say that sunglasses are the sole cause of summer breakouts. It’s also not to say that every pimple on a person’s face is directly related to that new pair of designer sunglasses. It is merely to say that sunglasses can contribute to breakouts in the general area where they come into contact with the face.
Making Contact with the Skin
Anything that makes direct contact with the skin can irritate it. Irritation alone is enough to cause breakouts in people with especially sensitive skin. Yet even without sensitive skin, contact with dirty sunglasses can lead to clogged pores. That contact can also expose the skin to certain germs that only make things worse.
Olympic Eyewear, a company that designs and sells fashion sunglasses at wholesale prices, explains that a good pair of sunglasses never has to come in contact with the cheekbones or any other parts of the face other than the bridge of the nose and the temples. It’s all about proper fit.
For example, we generally accept that larger lenses offer more coverage and are therefore better for the eyes. But lenses that are large enough to cause the frames to actually rest on the cheekbones are too large. Olympic says that consumers should look for that sweet spot where lenses are large enough to block most of the sunlight but small enough to leave at least a little space between the frames and the skin.
Cleaning Dirty Sunglasses
The fit a pair of sunglasses offers is only one factor to consider. Firman points out that how you clean your sunglasses is also important. Just wiping them on your shirt isn’t really the best way to go. A quick wipe may get rid of large pieces of debris and greasy streaks, but it doesn’t really clean the glasses.
Both Firman and Olympic Eyewear agree that the best way to clean sunglasses is with warm water and soap. Rinse your sunglasses under warm water to remove surface debris first, then apply a bit of gentle hand soap and rub it around with your finger. Then rinse the sunglasses thoroughly.
Dry them using either a microfiber cloth or a 100% cotton T-shirt or towel. Both options will absorb water without scratching lenses. Whatever you do, don’t dry your sunglasses with a paper product. Paper is made from wood, and even the softest paper products still contain small chips of wood that can easily scratch your lenses.
And now you know. Dirty sunglasses can apparently encourage acne in areas where they come in contact with the skin. If you’re hoping to avoid breakouts this summer, choose a pair of sunglasses that fits properly. Then make sure you clean them on a regular basis. There is no need to fear the hot and humid weather of summer just because your sunglasses might be contributing to breakouts.