The virtual reality experience can be a truly immersive one, but for many including ourselves, it can leave the user with unwanted acne breakouts. This is typically caused by the VR headset in areas where it tends to press up against the face. But why does this happen exactly?
“When skin pores get clogged, usually by dead skin cells, oil cannot discharge and accumulates in the pore and under the skin, creating a whitehead or blackhead,” explains Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin, MD, a Kansas City dermatologist and editor at DermBoard.org. “This is a perfect environment for [the bacteria] Propionibacterium acnes, which then flourishes and causes inflammation, creating pimples.”
Because of the enclosed nature of HMD’s, they can become quite warm, causing the user to sweat and increase the risk of acne to themselves and others using the equipment.
To maintain blemish-free skin, you must first clear up your acne caused by frequent VR usage and then maintain your new, healthy skin. Here are the best dermatologist-recommended skin-care products for VR, as well as some tips and tricks to keep acne breakouts under control.
Note: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, dermatologist, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Whether you are using your VR equipment moderately or frequently, you should properly clean and maintain it in order to avoid an accumulation of bacteria that leads to acne.
Here are some tips to keep your equipment sanitary, maintained, and functioning.
You'll want to keep a supply of these items fulfilled, as most of these items are consumables that will need to be replenished periodically.
If you need a basic facial cleanser, you can’t beat this one. It contains the 2% salicylic acid formula that unclogs pores, keeping them free of acne-causing buildup. See on Amazon.
This cleanser contains salicylic acid to clean out pores and calm acne. It’s also formulated with lipo hydroxy acid to remove excess oil from the skin, leaving your complexion shine-free. See on Amazon.
This is an excellent benzoyl peroxide product. With 2.5% micronized benzoyl peroxide it’s effective yet gentle. The cleanser also contains glycerin, a hydrating ingredient. This is a great cleanser choice if you have a combination of some clogged pore type of acne with whiteheads and blackheads and some inflammatory acne with bigger pink or red pimples. See on Amazon.
This sonic cleansing brush will help you wash your face more effectively. A timer tells you when to move on to the next area of your face. It’s also waterproof, so you can use it in the shower. See on Amazon.
Charcoal and 2% salicylic acid pack a one-two punch against pimples, plus the gritty texture provides physical exfoliation to unclog pores. This is an ideal cleanser choice if you have oily skin and clogged pores with whiteheads and blackheads, without many inflammatory pimples. It’s also a good alternative to benzoyl peroxide if that’s something your skin can’t tolerate well. See on Amazon.
This cleanser contains 3.5% benzoyl peroxide and can be used as a daily cleanser or weekly mask to kill bacteria and prevent future breakouts. See on Amazon.
Toning isn’t an essential skin-care step, but it can help remove pore-clogging debris from your skin. It’s alcohol-free, meaning it won’t strip skin of essential moisture. Lactic and citric acids remove dead skin cells, while aloe soothes. See on Amazon.
A great drugstore pick that helps control oil production. The formula is fragrance-free, so even sensitive skin types can use it. See on Amazon.
Don’t think you can skip out on moisturizer if you have acne. It’s all about finding one that’s right for your skin type. This one is formulated with niacinamide to hold moisture in and prevent excess oil production. Cucumber soothes irritation. See on Amazon.
Sunscreen is a must, no matter your skin type, and this is a good pick for acne-prone skin. It contains a non-comedogenic formula, which is free of heavy moisturizers that could clog pores. Zinc oxide and niacinamide are anti-inflammatory and do not promote oil production. See on Amazon.
This no-rinse mask is gentle yet effective, with ingredients including lactic acid and glycolic acid that target pimples and heal post-inflammatory pigmentation and redness. See on Amazon.
This OTC retinoid promotes skin cell turnover and curbs inflammation to deep clean pores and prevent new pimples from forming. See on Amazon.
If you prefer cruelty-free, vegan skin-care products, check out these ones that these compassionate companies offer.
This cleanser combines the most effective, medical-grade acne treatment ingredients and natural, plant-based boosters to remove dirt and oil, protect your skin's barrier layer, and unclog pores. See on website.
This rich clay cleanser utilizes a powerful, yet non-drying blend of clays and just the right skin-protecting hydrators so skin is clean and soft, but never dry. See on website.
Formulated with zit-zapping Salicylic Acid and Willow Bark Extract, this lathering cleanser digs deep into pores to unclog the gunk, helping banish existing zits and prevent new ones. See on Walmart.
Featuring a three-step acne treatment “[c]reated by nature and powered by science,” BioClarity’s products use cleansing plant-derived ingredients such as chamomile flower extract, green tea extract, and cucumber extract. See on website.
Maximum strength 2% salicylic acid fights the zit at its source. Poet’s narcissus extract helps to lighten and brighten the appearance of your skin. Acure is 100% vegan, and can be found at Target and other drugstores. See on Amazon.
While many other factors may contribute to acne breakouts (stress, diet, sleep, hydration, etc.), cleaning your VR equipment regularly as well as maintaining a healthy skin-care routine can definitely help alleviate this problem onset by continuous VR usage. Here’s to clearer skin days ahead!
Got any other products or tips you want to share? Think we missed any? Tweet us @baserealityco !