No doubt technology has made our lives quite comfortable in ways baby boomers or Gen Xers wouldn’t have imagined in their wildest dreams! However, there is also no denying that technology negatively affects our well-being, impacting functions as varied as memory, vision, hearing, and mental health. That’s not all. Many studies reveal that excessive mobile phone usage can mess with your skin, causing skin problems!
Dermatologists warn that too much time on your mobile accelerates skin’s ageing, leading to age spots, acne, and wrinkles too early in your life. The good news? You can minimise and even prevent skin damage if you consciously take precautions. So, guards on and get alert. Here are a few helpful home remedies and exercises to improve your skin health affected by excessive mobile use. Also, you can learn how to prevent mobile use from adversely affecting your skin.
Skin problems due to excessive mobile phone usage
1. Problem: Tech neck or text neck
Tech neck or text neck is a condition that results from looking down at your mobile screen for too long.
Almost everyone uses mobile phones these days. Even grandparents are getting tech-savvy, using smartphones to pay bills and browse their news feeds!
And if you are a millennial or Gen Xer, you may not part with your mobile at any minute of the day, and you are already a victim of tech neck or text neck.
Physical symptoms of tech neck vary from stiff neck and tingling in arms to neck and shoulder pain.
Does it affect your skin, you ask? Yes, it does.
Cosmetic symptoms include,
- Sagging jawline
- Double chin
- Wrinkles in the neck and chest
Tips to improve and prevent
- Hold your phone at eye level
Maintain a proper posture while using mobile phones to prevent skin problems. Sagging and wrinkles occur when your head tilts at an angle of 45 or more. Holding your phone screen at eye level prevents neck strain and damage to the skin around your neck.
Avoid drying soap. Most of us ignore moisturising the neck area. Pay attention to the skin around your neck, and moisturise the neck area like your face.
When you keep your body hydrated, your skin is happy and glows! No moisturiser can make your skin glow if you are dehydrated. So, drink adequate water and vitamin C-rich fruit juices to radiate from within.
Ensure you eat a balanced diet with skin-friendly foods like protein-rich foods, antioxidant and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, and nuts.
Doing facial yoga exercises every day shows amazing results. Some helpful yoga asanas that can reduce jowls, double chin, and fine lines in the neck include,
- Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
- Ustrasana (Camel pose)
- Matsyasana (Fish pose)
You can also check Pilates By Lisa, which has several helpful exercises to improve jowls and double chins.
- Nourishing face masks
While you indulge in facial masks, also show some love to your neck. Add moisturising and nourishing ingredients to make your beauty masks.
Some masks your skin will love include,
- Banana, orange juice, and yogurt
- Egg white, lemon, and honey
- Yogurt, pureed cucumber, and crushed mint leaves
- Oil massage
Massage with nourishing oils is often underrated. Twice a week, massaging your neck gently with a mixture of olive oil and coconut oil reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity. Blush with Me Parmita has some good videos on neck massage techniques and neck exercises to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
2. Problem: Smartphone Acne
A study at the University of Arizona found that cell phones have 10x bacteria than found on a toilet seat! So, when you talk on your phone, your skin is in contact with those germs, a potential cause of acne.
- Answer calls using headphones or earphones
This can reduce the contact between your face and your phone screen and hence prevent germs from causing skin breakouts.
- Clean your phone
Cleaning with a wet microfibre cloth daily and using a disinfecting wipe on Saturdays is usually enough unless you work at the city hospital, where you may need to disinfect every day because the pathogens your phone screen might have can cause more harm than acne!
- Good skincare
And, of course, cleansing your skin and moisturising it is necessary. Also, facial packs with turmeric, egg whites, aloe vera, cucumber, rose water, etc. can help.
- Other home remedies
Reasons for acne can be many, such as hormonal imbalances, diet, dirty pillows, and wrong skin products. If you’re sure your acne is not from any of these, then minimising contact with your phone screen will soon improve your acne. Further, add good skincare, facial masks and home remedies such as,
- Spot treating with diluted tea tree oil (1 part tea tree oil with nine parts water, and yes, use after a patch test)
- Spot treating with green tea
3. Problem: Crow’s feet
These are fine wrinkles at the end of your eyes, which is normal in ageing. But this is now seen in young people too due to squinting to read minute details on the phone screen.
- Increase text size
If you find it difficult to read small text and need to squint often, then increasing the text size on your phone screen is an effective solution. You may also use bigger screens like a tablet or a laptop when reading or typing for a long time
- Moisturise eye area
Dry skin around the eyes can aggravate wrinkles when squinting. Dab a few drops of almond oil around the eyes and gently massage. Then, wipe off gently with a wet wipe or cotton after 15 minutes.
Hydrating the body with water and other healthy fluids like fruit juices and buttermilk will naturally moisturise the skin around your eyes, thus helping prevent crow’s feet.
4. Problem: HEV light
Scientists warn that the High-Energy Visible light emitted by our phone screens has damaging effects similar to the UV rays from sun exposure. But, thankfully, they don’t cause skin cancer. However, it is not less alarming – they accelerate ageing and may cause insomnia. Insomnia may lead to many other health problems, including dull and dry skin.
Tips to prevent damage from HEV
- Install anti-blue light screen guards
This will reduce eyestrain and also prevent skin spots.
- Reducing screen time
Even better! Set a time limit for your entertainment and social media usage. And when possible, limit your phone use.
- Good skincare
As discussed in the previous sections, a good skincare routine includes cleansing your face and neck well before bedtime, nourishing facial masks twice a week and massaging with moisturising oils.
- Sleep hygiene
Lack of good sleep hygiene disrupts several bodily functions and may also cause skin damage. HEV from the mobile screen aggravates insomnia in people with poor sleep routines.
So, aim to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time to improve sleep quality. Additionally, practise mindfulness meditation and relaxing yoga poses to have a restful night.
You Might Also Like:
- Six Ways To Prevent Toxic Positivity And Who It Harms The Most
- Eight Yoga Poses That May Help Treat Mild Hypothyroidism
The bottom line
Even though excessive mobile phone use can harm skin and cause skin problems, it is impossible not to use cell phones. However, it is indeed possible to limit the usage.
Millions of YouTube shorts, hundreds of newsfeeds, and Instagram stories are delivered to your smartphone daily. They may all interest you, feed you with amazing and useful information, or give you joy and relaxation.
To consume or not consume all the digital content available at your fingertips is YOUR choice. Setting time limits to smartphone use will be the wisest choice.
So limit your phone time, practise good skincare regularly, and show some love to your skin with nourishing facials and massages. Your skin will age gracefully and not too soon 🙂