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Is Your SCARF Giving You Spots?

Jan 11, 2019

Experts reveal how the accessory clogs pores with grime because most of us fail to wash it regularly

  • EXCLUSIVE: Your woolly scarf could be to blame for spots on your neck and chin

  • A build up of dirt and grime on the garment can clog pores, causing spots

  • Experts advise washing accessories as reguarly as washing your clothes


From freezing outside temperatures to the warmth of central heating, winter can play havoc on our skin, but there could be another reason you're experiencing breakouts.

If you've ever noticed spots appearing on your chin, neck, back or chest - experts warn it could be down to your scarf because most of us fail to wash the accessory regularly, even if worn daily, meaning there can be a build up of dirt and grime. 

Dr Meryn Patterson, Skin Expert and Cosmetic Doctor at Woodford Medical, told Femail that you should wash your scarf as often as you do your clothes to prevent breakouts. 

'If you wear tight clothing, especially if you’ve worn them before and not cleaned them, they can trap sweat and increase friction and in turn lead to spots,' he said. 

'Especially if the material is made man such as polyester. Cotton products work best since they let your skin breathe and let sweat evaporate easier.'

Seconding his opinion, Pamela Marshall, Clinical Aesthetician and Co-Founder of Mortar and Milk previously told Women's Health: 'We cling to our scarves to keep us warm in winter. I imagine that it is frequently used, and I bet, rarely washed. 

'If you're wrapping this dirty item around your neck on a daily basis, then it's pretty obvious as to why you may be experiencing neck acne.'  

Spots are formed when our pores become clogged which is often down to a mixture of sweat, oil or dirt. 

As well as ensuring your scarf goes in the wash regularly, Dr Patterson recommends extending your daily cleansing routine for your face to your neck too to beat scarf acne.

'A good skin cleansing routine is important and a good habit to get into to, since it helps to clear the skin of makeup, sweat and bacteria, even for spots that are not on your face,' he said.

'To tackle the problem, we'd recommend a good cleanser with Salicylic acid 

'This is because it doesn't just strip your skin and take away it's healthy lipids which would only create more damage and increases inflammation. Rather it repairs the skins barrier and cleanses it. 

'This can also be used not just on your face, but any where that you have spots on your body.'

black & white tartan scarf 1

*What causes acne? 

'Acne results from a build-up of sebum and dead skin cells in the entrance to the skin pore,' Dr Mervyn Patterson explained.

'The skin starts to mount an inflammatory reaction to the area which leads to a pimple forming which can then develop into a full-blown spot.'