X
X

Don't miss the latest SheFinds newsletter.

Get the very best deals, product reviews, trends and news right to your inbox.

beauty

Why You Should Never--Ever--Rub Your Eyes With Your Hands

November 22, 2015 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

Ever since we were children we’ve all been reminded, probably on more than one occasion, to keep our hands away from our eyes. Solid advice–until you find yourself out somewhere with itchy eyes and not a single tissue in sight. What’s the worst thing that could happen if you rub your eyelid for a second, you might think? They’re just hands, after all?

Yes, but those hands are also a breeding ground for countless germs that could lead to illnesses you never bargained for when all you wanted to do was fix a false eyelash out in public. Experts agree: rubbing your eyes is one of the worst thing you can do for your health–and it won’t do you any favors in the beauty department, either.

“Your hands are a petri dish full of bacteria,” says Dr. Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “When you rub your eyes, it may feel good for that moment, but you are transferring unwanted bacteria and exerting pressure into a sensitive and vulnerable area.”

Rubbing your eyes with dirty hands not only increases your risk of inflammation of the eye, known as conjunctivitis (or pink eye), which Ross says is caused by the contagious adenovirus, but aggressive rubbing can actually damage and tear your cornea further injuring the eye.

In addition to upping your chances of contracting localized infections like conjunctivitis, Dr. Kristine Arthur, internist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, says rubbing your eyes with your hands puts you at risk for a more widespread injection like a cold or even the flu.

“Unfortunately our hands and fingernails are a breeding ground for germs,” Arthur says. “The skin on our hands makes a good barrier to prevent germs from entering our bodies, but the eyes do not have such a tough barrier. When you rub your eyes, particularly without washing your hands, you can directly spread bacteria or viruses to your eyes.”

Anyone who wears contact lenses should exercise particular caution when it comes to how they handle their eyes. “Rubbing the eyes can be particularly bad for contact lens wearers as it may lead to more severe infections like keratitis which left untreated can cause vision loss,” Arthur says. “If you do get an infection you need to remember to throw away disposable contact lenses and eye makeup such as mascara and start new once the infection is gone.”

Since we’ll all be getting a little closer to each other this holiday season, Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse at Rapaport Dermatology of Beverly Hills, reminds us to wash our hands frequently in order to avoid falling victim to the “overlap of holiday handshaking and cold and flu season,” where she says it’s easy to transfer viruses like Rhinovirus (the common cold), influenza, and pink eye.

And your health isn’t the only reason why you should keep your hands away from your eyes–getting into the bad habit of touching and rubbing your eyes will completely thwart any other anti-aging efforts you’re making to keep your peepers young and fresh looking.

“Constant rubbing of the skin around your eyes can cause chronic irritation and thickening of the eyelid skin, not in a good way,” Shainhouse says. “It can leave the skin looking pink or purple or even brown and hyper pigmented,  especially if you have a naturally darker skin tone. Rubbing can leave your eyes looking swollen, sunken, and can accentuate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in that area.”

Bottom line: hands off your eyes and carry a small packet of tissues (and maybe even a little hand disinfectant) everywhere you go this season.

For more beauty tips, check out the one thing you should never do when popping a pimple and  5 common beauty complaints that actually signal something may be wrong with your health.

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

beauty

How To Apply Self Tanner The *Right* Way--Without Streaks, Blotches, Or Orange Hands

May 24, 2018 by Lisa Fogarty
For a natural looking glow!

beauty

The $8 Drugstore Mascara Celebrities Swear By Because It's SO GOOD

May 24, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
If J.Lo loves it, so do we!

beauty

4 Skincare Brands Every Woman Over 40 Should Be Using

May 24, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
They're the best of the best!

beauty

This Dark Spot Serum Is SO Good It’s Selling Out At Target

May 24, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
It works in just 2 weeks!

beauty

5 Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer Dupes That Will Hold You Over Until It's Back In Stock

May 23, 2018 by Jennifer Hussein
These are best-sellers.

beauty

5 Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pencil Dupes That Will Give You Perfect Brows

May 23, 2018 by Lisa Fogarty
You can save a few bucks with these.

beauty

6 Products Meghan Markle Used For Her Royal Wedding Makeup

May 23, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
It's SO easy to copy!

beauty

5 Super Affordable Eye Creams That Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger

May 23, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
Your wallet will love these!

beauty

These Are 5 Beauty Products You NEED For Memorial Day Weekend

May 22, 2018 by Brianna Peters
They're sun saviors.

beauty

Younique Just Launched A New Game-Changing Foundation

May 22, 2018 by Jeanine Edwards
Shop now!

beauty

This Is The One Hand Cream Every Woman Should Keep In Her Purse

May 22, 2018 by Jeanine Edwards
It's the best.

beauty

This Sheet Mask Is SO Good It’s Selling Out At Sephora

May 22, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
It's AH-MAZING!

beauty

4 Things Celebrities ALWAYS Eat For Clear Skin

May 22, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
They're already in your fridge!

beauty

4 Ingredients Dermatologists Swear By For Younger-Looking Skin

May 22, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
Everyone should be using these.

beauty

This Is The One Vitamin Every Woman Should Take Daily

We're all busy. So much so that if you ...

beauty

Younique Just Launched A New Game-Changing Foundation

Remember a few weeks back when we gave you the ...

beauty

This Is The One Hand Cream Every Woman Should Keep In Her Purse

Living in New York City means I wash my hands ...

LOAD MORE
+
LOAD MORE POSTS