When it comes to things that people do to pass the time or when they’re nervous, face-touching ranks right up there. But unfortunately, it also ranks high as a way to spread germs from your hands into your body where they can manifest into an illness. One study showed that medical students at the University of New South Wales touched their faces an average of 23 times per hour, with almost half of those touches involving a mucous membrane.
Whether it’s conscious or not, here are some ways to help avoid touching your facial features as part of an overall hygiene strategy.
Use Some Scents
While you may not even be looking at your hands when you touch your face, your nose can’t ignore a strong scent. That’s why Well+Good.com suggests applying something smelly to your hands to cue your brain that you’re touching your face, even if your eyes aren’t interested.
It can be something pleasant such as a scented lotion or perfume, strong enough to get your attention before you make contact, it notes. A scented soap could also work, and help remove germs from your hands in the first place.