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  • Writer's pictureDr Dara Seebaran Suite

Is Your Cellphone Ruining Your Selfie? : How Cellphones Are Ageing Our Skin.

Updated: Jan 6, 2019

Five billion people use a cellphone each day. The average person glances at their phone 150 times in 24 hours. We look at our phone every 10 minutes. In developed countries we spend over four hours on "smart "devices daily. So could this be having a detrimental effect on our skin?

1. Wrinkles: Every heard of tech-neck? This refers to the ache we feel in our necks after staring down at a screen for long periods of time. The prolonged bending exacerbates the horizontal wrinkles found on the neck. Furthermore, frowning due to strong light and squinting to read small print activate our frown muscles and crow's feet. These are some of the most common wrinkles seen on the face.

To combat this, hold your phone at eye level and increase the font size. Make sure to use your anti-ageing serum on your neck as this is an often forgotten area but can be a dead give away of a woman's age. Well-placed botox injections can also relax the frown and ease wrinkles around the eyes.

2. Acne: Ever noticed that one side of your face is plagued with more spots? Time to re-consider your phone habits. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine conducted a study on nearly 400 cellphones users and their phones. They found that over 90% of mobiles had bacteria on the screen. Twenty percent of phones had E coli on the screen, indicating that faecal matter was making its way onto the phones. Other studies have shown that cellphones have more bacteria than toilet seats. Pressing our face to the screen of a cellphone also covers it with dead skin cells and old makeup- the perfect breeding ground for acne.

If you are fighting acne, try wiping your phone at least once a day with a bacterial wipe and using an ear piece for calls.

3. Dark Circles and Tired Eyes: Blue light emanating from screens suppresses melatonin production, the hormone responsible for sleep. This throws off our circadian rhythm . In fact Harvard neuroscientists found that people who routinely spent time on their mobile phones before bed, took longer to fall asleep, had less high quality sleep/REM sleep, took longer to wake up in the morning and were drowsier during the day.

Cellphones at the bedside directly disturb sleep due to the notifications and buzzing that can take place through the night. In the course of a week scientists estimate that cellphone users lose 45 minutes of sleep.

To reduce the effect of cellphone sleep deprivation, have a cut-off time for cellphone use at night and leave the phone out of the bedroom overnight.

4. Sagging Skin: Cellphones, tablets and laptops emit high energy visible light which penetrates into the skin to a deeper level than UV light. At these deep levels, the light damages DNA and repeated damage can lead to long-term mutations. In the skin, this is manifested as collagen and elastin breakdown: sagging skin.

Skin creams high in Vitamin C and E mop up the free radicals that cause DNA and collagen damage. To keep your skin plump make sure to apply these creams in the morning and at night. Microneedling treatments also stimulate collagen production for those who favour a more intensive approach.

5. Uneven Skin Tone: Cellphones function by emitting invisible radiofrequency energy waves. Whilst radio waves are low energy they do cause heating of tissues. We feel this as heat on our face after a long phone call. This heat can stimulate melanin production in the skin and over a long period give rise to hyperpigmentation on the cheek.

To reduce the chance of cellphones blemishing your skin use an ear piece or speaker phone when in private.

Cellphones, tablets and laptops are key features of modern life and it's unlikely that they will go anywhere soon. As with all technology it is up to us to use them responsibly. So lather up, invest in an earpiece and switch off at night to keep your skin selfie ready.

For more information on antioxidant skin care, check out the blog The ABC's of Anti-Ageing Skincare or contact us at Cosmetic Beauty Secrets.

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