Romance Ready Skin: 6 Skin Challenges to Be Mindful Of This Valentine's Day

by Emily Linehan on February 03, 2024

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is definitely in the air. But for those of us who are acne-prone, romance can also stir up some unexpected skin troubles. So today, I wanted to share with you six surprising ways being in love can trigger skin flare-ups, as well as some tips to keep you glowing and blemish-free during this season of love.

1. The Cuddle Conundrum

As cozy as it may be, cuddling can transfer oils, sweat, bacteria, and other irritants that may trigger breakouts. Now of course I’m not going to tell you to stop cuddling altogether, but there are some tips that can help minimize the risks of skin-to-skin contact:

Consider adjusting how you cuddle slightly to reduce direct contact to the face, like your cheek touching your partner's skin. You could also introduce a thin sheet between you and your partner to reduce direct skin contact and help limit oils and ingredients exchanged. For example, if you want to rest your head on your partner's chest, placing a thin sheet in between your cheek and their chest can help!

Unfortunately, cuddling our furry friends is also something to be mindful of. So, do your best to avoid receiving kisses from your pet directly on the face and avoid touching your face to your pet's fur.

2. Intimacy Impact

Passionate moments can cause you to break a sweat. If you’re a client of mine, you’ve likely heard me stress the importance of washing your face immediately after a workout, since sweat can lead to numerous issues such as breakouts, dryness, and irritation. The same goes for post-intimacy, so be sure to cleanse your face immediately after!

3. Sleeping in Makeup

We've all been there – spending the night at our partner's place and forgetting (or intentionally skipping) our skincare routine. However, sleeping in makeup is a cardinal sin when it comes to skincare. It leads to all sorts of issues that will slowly creep up on you such as clogged pores, unexpected breakouts, and even premature aging. Be prepared for sleepovers (or whatever else life might throw your way) by keeping a travel-size skincare kit with all the essentials with you!

4. Makeout Sessions

Kissing, particularly with someone who has a beard or stubble, can cause skin irritation known as 'beard burn'. This is a type of contact dermatitis that can occur due to friction from stubble or coarse facial hair rubbing against the skin, resulting in redness, itching, and even breakouts. To minimize risk, encourage your partner to frequently wash and trim their beard. This not only maintains cleanliness but getting rid of split ends also reduces the coarseness of the hair, lessening the chance of skin irritation.

Many of my clients also try to soften their partner's facial hair with beard oils or treatments, however, most of these contain pore-clogging ingredients… which when transferred to your acne-prone skin can wreak havoc. So, be sure to opt for truly ance-safe options to ensure you don’t trade one skin problem for another!

5. Your Partners Products

As I just mentioned, your partner's choice in beard care can cause problems, but the ingredients in their skincare, shaving cream, body wash, or other products can transfer to your skin and cause problems as well. If you are noticing breakouts after close contact, consider that the products they are using may be formulated with pore-clogging ingredients and start looking for alternatives. Our pore-clogging ingredient list is a great resource for this! Additionally, if you've just had a lot of prolonged skin-to-skin contact, I recommend performing your skincare routine right after to wash away any lingering contact ingredients and oils.

6. Coconut Oil

Using coconut oil, especially as a lubricant, can be problematic for acne-prone skin since it’s highly comedogenic. If it comes into contact with your face or other acne-prone areas, it can clog the pores, resulting in breakouts. So, I recommended opting for acne-safe alternatives such as a water-based lubricant like sliquid.

You’ll also want to be mindful of other oils, like massage oils, as they can also clog the pores, especially when used on acne-prone areas like the back and shoulders. In these instances, an acne-safe body lotion may be a better choice. If you do use any oils, the key is to ensure they are thoroughly washed away to minimize the risk of issues.

With all that being said, I’m not trying to put a damper on your Valentine’s Day romance, but being mindful of these tips will ensure your skin stays just as happy as your heart!


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