Getting Nerdie with The Skin Nerd – How A New Year’s Kiss Could Affect Your Skin

The Skin Nerd If only every countdown ended with a big smackeroo. You’ve planned your New Year’s Eve outfit to perfection and you have a rough idea of who you may be smooching when the clock strikes midnight… But have you thought about what that very smooching may do to your skin?

Beardy Men Could Mean Skin Irritation & Spots
If you’re fond of the lumberjack look, you are asking for trouble… Skin-wise, as I’m sure they’re all lovely men. Beard hair is often coarse and sharp, especially when just trimmed. This rough facial hair causes friction and rubbing against your skin, leading to friction-related irritation, and may even impair your skin’s barrier, depending on how long you’re doing it for. If you’re fallen foul to beard rash, apply a soothing barrier cream such as Avene Xeracalm AD Lipid-Replenishing Balm. The IMAGE Ormedic Hydrating Anti-Oxidant Serum and the Environ Vita-Enriched Colostrum Gel are both also anti-inflammatory and healing, if you have them around!

Beards are also oil vacuums, as facial hair funnels sebum to the top layer of the skin to protect the skin. As far as our skin’s processes go, this is hugely beneficial, however, it means that the beardy are more prone to spots, ingrown hairs and acne. When it comes to YOU, it means that your face becomes the home to old sebum and bacteria from someone else’s face, as well as whatever products they apply. Be weary if you’re prone to breakouts and zap any incoming spots with salicylic acid ASAP.

Getting Nerdie with The Skin Nerd - How A New Year’s Kiss Could Affect Your Skin

Kissing anyone could spell cold sores
Cold sores come with a lot of stigma and misconceptions. The World Health Organization estimate that around 67% of those under 50 have HSV-1, the virus that causes cold sores, so it is incredibly normal and not something to be embarrassed about.

Regardless of the misconceptions, one totally true thing about cold sores is that you should not be kissing hoomans if you have an active one (not completely healed). Even when cold sores scab, it is the fluids seeping from the sore that are scabbing so this does not mean that it is healed and you are still infectious. You need to wait until it is completely gone (ie. dead skin has flaked off, fresh, clear, scabless skin revealed) before any kissing takes place and even so, the virus can be transmitted even when it is laying dormant without physical symptoms.

You also shouldn’t dodge out for a cheek kiss, as the virus is spread through skin-to-skin contact, not lip-to-lip contact. If you do end up getting a cold sore after your cheeky New Year’s kiss, head to the pharmacy, as cold sores require medication, and find aciclovir cream, commonly known as brand name Zovirax. When it has healed beyond scabbing, slather it in healing products like three mentioned above and apply any brightening serums you may have to tackle pigmentation.

Avoid any nibbling
Biting is a huge no-no when it comes to kissing and the effects on your skin, as it, naturally, causes trauma to the lips, leading to scabbing, soreness and broken skin. Physical trauma is additionally a trigger for cold sores if you already have the HSV-1 virus, so avoid it like the plague if you don’t want to be covered in blisters the next day.

Prolonged snogging means dryness
When you’re kissing, you’re repeatedly causing friction against each other’s lips which means they will become dehydrated. Our lips don’t have sebaceous glands to produce sebum to protect them which is why they may be the part of your skin that reacts to environmental changes the quickest. Avoid excessive kissing-related dryness by taking frequent lip balm breaks to reload, per se. The more slip, the less friction and no, saliva does NOT count.

Think about the lip balm you’re using too. Petroleum-based lip balms essentially only create a coating across the lip which has short-term benefits but doesn’t penetrate into the lips to hydrate and plump them. Additionally, many find that petroleum-based lip balms clog the pores around the lip line. Opt for a skin-friendly, non-comedogenic lip balm such as IMAGE Skincare’s Ormedic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex (€25.00, The Skin Nerd store) which contains nourishing vitamin E and avocado oil for longer-lasting plumpness and hydration.

Now get out there and start planting those smackers!

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