Papercraft girl looking at her reflection in the mirror
Your Glasses Style

Glasses and acne: Essential skincare tips from our experts

Good skincare is essential for keeping your skin healthy and in tip-top condition. Your body sheds skin cells daily, so it is important to ensure to have an effective routine that keeps you feeling confident — whether that’s preventing acne, combating irritation or simply maintaining your glow.

Everybody’s skin is different, and anything from a change in skincare products, to wearing facemasks and glasses can impact your skin, causing acne and irritation. To help, our experts and resident glasses-wearers share their tips on how to manage acne and skin irritation caused by glasses and keep your skin glowing.

Why do my glasses cause acne?

As unappealing as it sounds, your face is naturally exposed to dirt and bacteria throughout the day — from pollution and makeup to sweat and excess oil. When you wear glasses, these pollutants can get trapped by your glasses against your skin. Over an extended period of time, this can irritate your skin, resulting in blocked pores and breakouts around the areas where your glasses touch your face.

This type of acne is called acne mechanica, which refers to acne caused by added pressure on the skin which prevents the normal shedding of skin cells. Instead, those skin cells can clog up your pores, leading to acne and blemishes. This can be exacerbated by daily activities we endure, such as simply being in hot weather or sweating whilst playing sport.

How can I prevent glasses-related acne?

When you experience acne, it’s even more important to keep your glasses frames and lenses clean. Think of it as an additional step to your skincare routines, simply using warm water and a soft cloth to clean your specs. 

You could also try introducing some new products to your skincare routine that include blemish-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or niacinamide. Tea tree and jojoba oils are particularly soothing for acne-prone skin, so add these natural oils (either within your moisturiser or in droplet form) into your regimen after cleansing to help nourish your skin. 

Another tip is to simply take a break from your glasses and keep them in a clean case when not in use. You could try wearing contact lenses instead, to allow your skin some time to breathe. Check out our contact lens guide for more advice on this.

If you find none of the above seem to work, you might consider investing in a lightweight pair of frames to try and relieve some of the pressure on your skin. With their slender frames, our Ultralightcollection of frames ensure long-lasting comfort as well as keeping you stylish.

Why do my glasses irritate my nose?

The weight of glasses frames mainly concentrates on the bridge of your nose and the tops of the ears, which over time can result in discomfort in these areas. Selecting a pair of glasses with a lightweight frame could eliminate the pain and be a more comfortable choice for you.

It is also possible that the nose pads can cause irritation if not positioned correctly against the nose or the material type disagrees with you. Therefore, it is important to get your glasses fitted by a professional; this is essential as not doing so is usually the most common reason why we experience discomfort from our frames. 

If you regularly experience irritation while wearing your glasses, but the skin is red and itchy rather oily or blemish-prone, it could be that you’re experiencing contact dermatitis. This is a type of eczema triggered by contact with a particular substance. Although contact dermatitis (CD) from glasses frames is uncommon, occasionally it may be encountered if you are allergic to the glasses or frame materials. This can include anything from different types of metal, plastic, rubber, or colour dyes, depending on the frames you wear.

If your glasses are irritating you and you want to check the fit, simply take them into your local store, or book an appointment with one of our opticians.

Managing “mask-ne” while wearing glasses — what can I do to help my skin?

It’s no secret that wearing glasses with a face mask has its challenges. Lens fogging can occur because as you breathe out, the air you exhale is a greater temperature than the lenses on your glasses, causing the air to cool rapidly and fog more tips on how to prevent glasses fogging here.

But it’s also been recognised that masks themselves are causing acne — a new term called ‘mask-ne’. It’s recommended to take fifteen-minute breaks from your mask every four hours (if safe to do so) to give your skin some time to breathe. It’s also important that you’re washing your re-usable face-covering regularly, or  changing them often if they are disposable. On top of this, you could try washing your face with an oil-free acne foaming cleanser after wearing your mask, and then following with glycolic acid toning pads. Limiting the amount of makeup you wear under your mask could also help, as this can clog pores further, resulting in breakouts.

Glasses should elevate your style and increase your confidence — not hinder it. With our tips above, you can still wear your stylish frames with confidence whilst combating acne and irritation. For more articles on popular glasses, trends and advice, check out our #LoveGlasses Blog.