Is Your Smartphone Giving You Wrinkles?
Who knew your smartphone was yet another thing to be concerned about in the war against aging skin?
There are many arguments against allowing your smartphone to rule your life 24/7. Stopping you from living in the moment, making you have a crappy night’s sleep, the lack of real-life social interaction (although that’s not happening much right now) and so on.
Well, here’s another one to add to the list: wrinkles.
If you can remember life before cell phones, chances are you’re currently in the throngs of middle age when fine lines and wrinkles are already a given. And even if you were born in the ‘90s and don’t legitimately recall a time in adult life when you didn’t own some kind of mobile device, you may still be concerned about the visible signs of skin aging. And good on you – prevention is better than cure, after all.
So, just how is your phone adding to your aging woes? Well, firstly, it’s all about the way in which you look at your phone while texting, browsing social media or playing Words With Friends etc. Constantly looking down is a repetitive movement and you all know what repetitive movements mean? Yes, fine lines and wrinkles. In this case, we're talking about those annoying creases or bands around the circumference of your neck, aka ‘tech neck.’ Similarly, squinting and frowning at your phone will do nothing for the lines on your forehead and around your eyes. Sigh.
HEV light is a high-frequency, high-energy light that sits in the violet-blue part of the visible spectrum and is basically what gives off that blue glare from your phone (as well as your computer, tablet and laptop). Studies have suggested that HEV may have similar, perhaps even more damaging effects on your skin as UV radiation, having the potential to disrupt your skin’s natural barrier function and causing inflammation, pigmentation, collagen damage, premature wrinkles and more. *Swiftly puts phone down.
It’s not all bad news though, people. You just need to think more about how you can protect your skin from your smartphone habits. And here are three simple ways to do just that...
1. Assess How & When You Use Your Phone
It's an obvious one, but take a little digital detox to limit the number of hours you spend on your phone. Put it down after 8 pm, for example, or give yourself one morning off every week. Time out will give your skin the breathing space it needs to regenerate and heal itself.
You could also invest in an earpiece and turn on your Bluetooth setting to minimize the amount of HEV light that hits your skin.
Oh, and make sure you look up (or at least straight ahead), rather than down at your phone all the time. By holding your phone at eye-level, you’ll stop your neck from becoming scrunched up and prematurely wrinkled.
2. Always Protect Your Skin
Great skincare is the foundation to awesome skin, so invest in an effective antioxidant serum that’ll help protect and heal your skin. Vitamins A and E are great options, as is niacinamide which is a winner for more sensitive skin types. Our antioxidants usually contain a combination of at least two antioxidants making them 100 percent up for the challenge of anything you throw at your skin – HEV light included. Try our best-selling Vitamin C Serum for added brightening benefits.
Next, never forget to apply sun protection. There are many sun protective products out there that shout about protecting your skin from HEV light, but in all honesty, any mineral-based broad-spectrum sunscreen (they're the ones containing ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) will do the job nicely. Apply it liberally every morning to your face and neck.
Last but not least, turn on the night or dark mode on your phone. This reduces the amount of blue light your device emits in favor of yellow light which is way less damaging.
3. Up Your Overnight Skincare Game
It's literally impossible to have your head in your phone while you’re sleeping, so this is a great time to apply hard-working skincare products to help heal any damage your phone may have caused your complexion throughout the day.
Retinol is a great shout for promoting cell renewal, as are hydroxy acids such as lactic, glycolic and salicylic. And don’t forget to moisturize both your face and neck before bed, using a combination of emollients and humectants such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, shea butter and jojoba oil.
Before we go, one final word on acne.
Cell phones are a total grime magnet, so if you’re a traditionalist and like to use your phone for actually speaking to people (shock, horror!), all that bacteria, oil and dirt will be transmitted straight to your skin where it'll clog pores and possibly lead to irritation and acne flare-ups.
If you suffer with super oily skin that has a tendency to break out, ensure you keep your phone clean. Easy.
About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.