Here's Why TikTok Says You Should Never Shower With the Toilet Lid Open

We asked experts if it's legit.

<p>_LeS_/Getty Images</p>

_LeS_/Getty Images

TikTok can spit out some pretty wild stuff that’ll make you shake your head and carry on, but sometimes you can find some legit information that quite literally changes the way you do life. A recent conversation on the platform—which has spurred countless posts—sings the dangers of leaving the toilet seat up while showering, and people have opinions.

The theory is that leaving the toilet seat up while showering can cause acne breakouts due to swirling bacteria in the air. One video by Kristina Nguyen, which has been viewed nearly 1.5 million times, shows her forehead acne.

The caption reads: “When you shower with the toilet lid open, the humidity and water droplets from the shower causes the germs to float around, landing on spaces including your toothbrush, skin (can cause acne), hair, walls, and more."

But is this true? And where are the receipts for the aforementioned research?

Should You Close the Toilet Seat?

The reality is that the toilet isn’t exactly the cleanest area of our home. We also know (from bonafide research) that flushing with the toilet seat open “can cause micro-particles to be shot up into the air, causing them to land on your other bathroom surfaces,” explains Carylanne Brown, a cleaning expert for Grove Collective.

She notes that flushing with the toilet seat closed can greatly reduce the spread of germs and particles. More than that, she stresses the importance of keeping the toilet seats down when they’re not in use simply for good hygiene.

All that said, in the event that you leave it open—even while showering or washing your face—there’s no research that says you’re more apt to deal with an acne breakout.

“The microorganisms most commonly found in the toilet bowl, like E. coli, are gastrointestinal organisms that are less likely related to acne formation,” explains Brendan Camp, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York City.

If you do experience acne, the more likely culprit has nothing to do with your toilet seat being open or closed and more to do with your own individual body and skincare routine. Dr. Camp says that acne is caused by a number of factors, namely hormones, increased oil production, blocked pores, skin bacteria, and inflammation.

“Over-the-counter acne treatments, like benzoyl peroxide and hypochlorous acid, have antibacterial properties that protect skin from bacteria and acne breakouts,” he explains. “Maintaining a regular skincare routine, using non-comedogenic skincare products, and seeking the assistance of a board-certified dermatologist when at-home treatments do not help are tried-and-true approaches to addressing acne.”

Of course, it always makes sense to give your toilet seat a thorough antibacterial cleaning at least once a week, just so you can enjoy a more sanitary space overall. Brown says this can help reduce any accumulation of micro-particles and germs in your bathroom. While cleaning may not directly impact whether or not you deal with a breakout, it can help with odor control, staining, and overall hygiene.

As for your toilet lid? Maybe close it just in case.

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