Can You Moisturise Without Touching Your Face?

Guys, it’s been a week. Today was supposed to be a recipe day and I’m really not feeling it. I didn’t want to miss a regular upload day, so I’m going to whine about where my head currently is instead. Last Wednesday, I got a cold sore and this post is going to be a mini rant on the conflicting advice regarding how to treat it.  And trying to answer the question that’s been playing on my mind a lot this week, can your moisturise without touching your face?

Just a cold sore?

Now, I’d like to start by saying I don’t get them like normal people. I got my first ever one three years ago and within 10 days my entire face was covered in blisters. I looked so bad that the doctor I saw took photos of my face “just so the next doctor can see how bad it is in case they don’t see any improvement”. If I’m feeling brave enough when I post this, I’ll pop a picture in there to show you, but it really isn’t pretty.  

Fast forward three years, this is only the second time I’ve had one and the thing currently taking over my face is headed on a similar path. I went to the doctors earlier this time, so it isn’t as bad. This time, though, I’m getting all of the side effects from the anti-viral meds. Ironically, one of the common side effects is skin itching, redness and blistering. How you’re supposed to tell if that’s happening considering why I’m taking them in the first place, I’ll never know.  

How to treat it

But, getting to the actual point here, when this one first appeared and I started to work on containing it myself, I realised how conflicting the advice is.  

Obviously, you’re not supposed to touch them, that’s a given. However, they say that the likelihood of an outbreak occurring or spreading increases when your skin is exposed to the sun. And if your skin is already dry (me) it’s more likely to spread over cracked skin than it is healthier skin.  



As I sit here, having not moisturised in over a week, I’m thinking how that actually works in reality.  

Sure, if it’s a small one in the corner of your mouth, that’s not a huge deal. You apply some lip balm with SPF and you’re done. Hopefully you have one in a tub so you don’t have to touch your lips with a stick. If not, apply some to the back of your hand rather than using a stick directly. Easy.  




Can You Moisturise Without Touching Your Face?

But what happens when it’s on your actual face? I can’t moisturise the area because I’d have to rub it. The same rule applies for SPF and I don’t know what to do. As I’ve already said, I haven’t been moisturising. Because my skin is naturally dry, my entire face now hurts, not just the problem area.  



I tried using a facial spray moisturiser briefly. This idea seemed genius to me at first, just spray and there’s no need to rub it in, so it isn’t spreading anything. What I didn’t account for is the lack of control you get with a spray. While spraying the bad area doesn’t make it any worse health wise, it is painful because my naturally sensitive skin is now slightly raw and exposed. So, that idea is binned and I’m back to square one.  

No Solution?

I’d love to be able to tell you I had a lightbulb moment 10 minutes later and end this with an idea so beyond fabulous it would blow any dermatologist’s mind. But this post is ending where it started. If anyone knows how to moisturise your face without touching it, I’d really love to know. I know this post is somewhat pointless given that I’m giving you no tips or valid explanation whatsoever. But this is where my head is right now. The anti-virals are making me extremely tired and I’m struggling to keep focus. I have little to no desire to cook or eat. Which is slightly problematic, because if I ever decide I don’t want to post something I had planned (right now), my default is usually going to the kitchen and seeing what I can come up with.  

Sorry for the slightly random post today! I hope this thing disappears soon and we can be back to business as usual next week. Also, if you have any amazing remedies, spill your secrets in the comments, please. I’m getting desperate.  

Until next time, 


To see my previous recipes click here.




  1. 28th October 2018 / 9:06 am

    Love this post! It’s such a good point that we’re smothering our hands on our faces even though we aren’t meant to touch our faces. Somebody needs to invent a moisturiser brush!

    Hopefully your cold sore improves soon lovely! Hope you’re okay! <3

  2. 28th October 2018 / 9:19 am

    I hope you’re feeling better soon lovely! That’s ridiculous that the side effects to the medication are skin irritation though you’d think they’d make something that didn’t cause this considering that’s what you’re going through in the first place. Unfortunately I don’t have any solution to your problem but I really hope you find one!

    Jess //

  3. 28th October 2018 / 9:37 am

    Oh no, I hope this gets better soon. It sounds like you are in such a tricky situation 🙁 I’ve not had a cold sore before, and touch wood, won’t get one now! A close friend of mine used to get them and she HATED them so much. I don’t think it was as bad as what you are going through, but she definitely struggled with them through school! If you do find a solution to your problem, you’ll have to share it with us all! 🙂


    • Sophie
      28th October 2018 / 3:39 pm

      I was 21 when I got my first one so I thought I’d avoided the curse. Then when it had been three years, I thought I’d had one really bad experience and that was me done! Apparently not! Haha it’s finally starting to improve a little. I’ve actually used moisturiser today!! Would love to figure out a solution in case it happens again though! x

  4. 28th October 2018 / 9:38 am

    This was such a super random post but i really liked it! now you’ve got me wondering the same question!

  5. 28th October 2018 / 10:55 am

    Coldsores are the worst! I used to get them a lot as a kid.

  6. 28th October 2018 / 12:55 pm

    Oh that’s terrible, I’m so glad you’re not feeling great and I completely see why, I’d be pretty fed up too! The only thing I can suggest is to continue using the spray but to hold over and cover the sore area with some cotton wool or soft tissue? That may be something you’ve tried and found not to work but its the only thing I can think of. I hope you see a dramatic improvement soon!

    Soph – x

  7. 28th October 2018 / 4:34 pm

    Wow, that sounds awful and I’m so sorry you’re going through that! I’ve been thinking hard about an alternative, using anything to apply would still mean rubbing it around, and spray options are out.
    The only thing I could see possibly working is using a steamer for your face that has a few essential oils in it or even just some fractionated coconut oil dropped into it, but I don’t know if that would encourage the cold sore to spread. It’s definitely a conundrum!

  8. 28th October 2018 / 8:06 pm

    I have oily skin so this is never an issue for me but….I hate when your skin is dry and it has that tight feeling. I would give a cotton pad a try or would a beauty blender work? It depends on the moisturiser I guess. I hope you find a solution!


  9. 28th October 2018 / 8:06 pm

    Oh man, I am guilty of touching my face often, which is baaaad. I love that there are so many different affordable options to treat any blemishes on your skin. Glad these products worked for you! Would using a sponge of some sort help? Instead of using it to apply foundation and stuff, use it to apply these creams? Let me know how that works out!

    Nancy ♥

  10. 28th October 2018 / 8:09 pm

    Ahh cold sores suck! I’ve only have one before and they are just so annoying. I’ve never really thought about how much we touch our faces in our routines, maybe you could apply your normal moisturiser to a cotton pad and dab it on that way! Xx

  11. 28th October 2018 / 8:12 pm

    I hope you feel better soon lovely – I can imagine how hard dealing with this must be but stay strong and I hope you find a remedy which works. I think perhaps spraying it on a cotton bud or pad of wool and then applying the moisturiser? so it’s not spread on your fingers? xx

  12. 28th October 2018 / 8:16 pm

    I have not had a cold sore in ages but I get your problem My face always ends up being super dry and read because I am too afraid i’d spread the sore all over my face if I do. So i’d love a solution too!

  13. 28th October 2018 / 8:24 pm

    Oh no- I suffer from cold sores on my lips and they are the WORST!!! The only thing I can think of is to try putting some moisturizer on a soft rag or towel and gently pressing it on your skin?? Hoping you heal quick and feel better asap!!

  14. 28th October 2018 / 8:30 pm

    Oh no! Hope it gets better soon for you! I’ve not suffered from cold sores (yet) luckily, but I know one of my friends had it go to her eye! It looked really painful.

    I have no idea how to moisturise without touching the face! Would one of those sheet moisturising masks work? You would only be placing it onto the face and not rubbing it in? I don’t know!

    Aimsy xoxo

  15. 28th October 2018 / 8:33 pm

    This is so true! I’d never really thought about this before but you’re completely right. It is such a difficult situation to get around. I’ve been trying to think of a solution but I’ve been coming up with nothing sorry! I really do hope it gets better for you soon!

  16. 28th October 2018 / 8:36 pm

    I always seem to forget the best method by the time I need it again. Thank you for sharing.

  17. 28th October 2018 / 8:47 pm

    I hope you’re feeling better soon!
    I loved this post, it has really got me thinking x

  18. 28th October 2018 / 8:48 pm

    Oh no, Sophie! That sounds horrible 🙁 I hope you feel better soon.
    I hope I have some helpful advice for you!
    Have you tried sheet masks? They’re shaped like your face with cut outs for your eyes and mouth, and you just place them on your face and leave for 10-20 mins. The great thing about them is the material (whether cotton or gel) forces the moisture and all of the good ingredients to absorb into your skin instead of evaporating!
    I know you said moisturiser is hurting because your skin is dry and cracked, so I’d say try one without alcohol (well, without bad alcohol listed as just alcohol or alcohol denat – cetearyl/stearyl alcohol is actually good for moisture!), and go for healing and antioxidising ingredients like manuka honey, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, urea, or those snail ones which sound gross but are actually awesome for moisturising!
    I really hope this helps! Let me know if it does!

  19. 28th October 2018 / 11:54 pm

    I’ve never actually had one myself but I bet they can become a real pain, for sprays I really like the body shop vitamin E mist, I have quite sensitive skin and that doesn’t irritate me at all, really nice! 🙂

    Really enjoyed reading this post, something a little different! X

    Kate |

  20. 29th October 2018 / 5:12 pm

    You know, I’ve always thought about this, moisturizing our faces without touching our face. It would be awesome if someone could invent something. I’d definitely try it because I’m one to keep touching my face if I have a break out and that doesn’t help, I know. I’m rambling.
    P. S: I love your post.

  21. 29th October 2018 / 5:16 pm

    Wow! Wasn’t expecting all this information but I’m glad I got it. Definitely hope you’re feeling better though! Great of you to share this with us❤️❤️

  22. 29th October 2018 / 5:21 pm

    Oh no! Hope you feel better soon lovely! It sounds like a tricky problem, have you tried using a sponge or cotton wool to moisturize so you don’t have to make contact with your hands? Maybe even a sheet mask, I used one at the weekend and it just absorbed without having to rub it in. Other than that, I’m not sure, sorry! Hope you find a remedy soon and it clears up <3 xx

    Bexa |

  23. 29th October 2018 / 5:23 pm

    Ahh I wish I had an answer to this for you! I have *touch wood* never had a coldsore, but they sound hellish! I am sorry that you’re having to deal with this. I also have dry skin and I have never considered how hard it must be to look after it when you can’t touch it! Hoping that you feel better soon x
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

  24. 29th October 2018 / 5:35 pm

    Maybe u can moisturize your face without touching it by using a make up brush specifically for skincare? Great post!

  25. 29th October 2018 / 5:41 pm

    Poor thing – that time of year but touch wood not had any yet!! Hope you feel better soon

  26. 29th October 2018 / 6:35 pm

    Oh no, I hope it gets better soon. I can’t offer any solutions because I’ve never had a coldsore but I hope you find something helpful soon!


  27. 29th October 2018 / 7:35 pm

    Oh, Sophie, I’m so sorry to read this, what an awful time you’re having. I don’t know if this might help you but Alan was prescribed a massive bottle of DoubleBase gel emollient when he had a patch of dermatoid eczema and it worked really well, without adding any further irritation or sensitivity. I’ve used it on occasion when I’ve had an allergic reaction and it’s amazing. Might be worth asking your doctor? I hope things improve for you soon, lovely, this is horrible for you, sending hugs xxx

    Lisa |

  28. 30th October 2018 / 2:09 pm

    Great post! I’ve never had a cold sore but I’ve heard that they’re a right pain. I’d consider maybe putting moisturiser on a cotton pad? xxx

  29. 3rd November 2018 / 9:34 am

    I hope you’re feeling better. I used to get them too so I know how terrible they could be! Great post lovely!!

  30. 9th November 2018 / 7:13 pm

    I hope you feel better soon, I would use disposable gloves to apply product or use the over the finger gloves which the Japanese use for skincare application xx

    Gemma • Gemma Etc . ❤️

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