Are you spending too much time on your smartphone?
Data suggests that we spend more than four hours a day scrolling through social media and watching videos on YouTube.
The truth is, it’s hard to put your phone down. With so much going on in the world right now, our devices keep us connected to the world. But did you know that gadgets can expose you to radiation, which could increase your chances of cancer?
And on top of the damage to our eyes, necks, and mental health, there’s another drawback: tech’s effect on our skin.
Below, we’ve rounded up some reasons why your phone could be causing you to age prematurely.
Your smartphone is causing ‘techneck’
As you sit on the sofa or on the bus flicking through Instagram, you’re keeping your gaze downward. This can lead to a condition called ‘techneck’, causing wrinkles around your neck and under the chin, encouraging you to slouch. It also places a great deal of strain on your spine, and causes tension in your neck and shoulders. Over time, it can lead to back pain, abnormal curvature of the spine, stiffness, headaches, and shoulder pain. Squinting to read if you’re too far away from your phone could also cause Crow’s Feet around the eyes.
When you’re on your phone or computer, keep good posture, consider wearing a smartwatch which helps you set stand and exercise goals, and at work, keep your monitor at eye-level. You should also stretch after long periods of technology use, spread your screen time out throughout the day, and sit in a chair with a headrest. Staying hydrated is also advisable.
High Energy Visible (HEV) rays are damaging
As we continue to research into the risks and effects of technology use, experts have warned that we should be aware of High Energy Visible (HEV) rays. HEV is a form of non-ionizing radiation, similar to those released by microwaves. Over time, as our skin is exposed to these HEV rays, it can lead to inflammation under the skin. This can slow down our skin’s natural ability to heal itself. Therefore, the innocent act of taking a selfie or catching up on the news on Twitter before bed could cause you to age prematurely.
Some dermatologists even say they can tell whether a client holds their cell phone in their right hand or left hand, as the skin’s texture is duller on the side where their phone rests.
Suffer from acne?
If you suffer from acne, you might want to reduce your screen time. That’s because phone screens are up to seven times dirtier than our toilets. The worst part is, most of the bacteria that our smartphones accumulate isn’t visible to the human eye, so whilst we think we’re hygienic, our phones are actually carrying lots of nasties that could damage our skin – and worse still, our overall health. The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the importance of good personal hygiene, and our smartphones aren’t exempt from that. Wipes at the ready!
Rather than placing your phone on your face during phone calls, wear headphones or opt for speakerphone mode. You should buy a microfiber cloth to clean your phone every day, and consider a solution designed for phone screens such as iKlear. If you’re serious about your skin, you could even buy a smartphone UV sanitiser which kills the bacteria on your device.
And though it may seem obvious, practice general hygiene. Don’t take your smartphone to the bathroom (80% of us do!) and keep your phone in your pocket when you’re eating. Be sure to regularly wash your hands and don’t share your screen with others; send them the picture or a screenshot instead to reduce the chances of dirtying your smartphone screen.
Blue light is damaging
Blue light that comes from our smartphones not only releases non-ionizing radiation, but it can damage your ability to sleep. Over time, blue light can induce oxidative stress in the skin and penetrate deeper than UVA and UVB light. This results in a loss of firmness and visible lines and wrinkles over time. Blue light can also induce pigmentation faster than UV light.
But perhaps the most damaging effect of blue light is its impact on our natural circadian rhythm. If you stare at a screen for hours before you go to bed, you’ll find it difficult to sleep. That’s because blue light affects the level of melatonin in our body, our sleep hormone. This tricks our brain into thinking it’s daylight, thus impacting the nighttime repair process. Not only does this make us tired, but results in under-eye circles and permanent skin damage.
Stress causes ageing
Finally, our smartphones are making us stressed. In today’s always-online world, our friends, families, and bosses feel like they can contact us 24/7/365. This, in turn, means we’re on our phones much more than we should be. We’ll send that email or resolve a family argument on Messenger when we’re in the middle of eating dinner. And that’s without mentioning the way social media makes us feel. One in five adults (20%) felt shame over their body image last year, fueled by influencers on Instagram, who are airbrushed to within an inch of their lives.
Research shows that higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of developing an unhealthy relationship with food. All of this unnecessary stress causes us to worry, lose sleep, and spend more time on our phone, and thus the cycle continues. Getting out of the habit of worrying about what other people think of you online can be tough. But once you do, you are able to live a more fulfilling life. That, in turn, will reduce your stress. And we all know: less stress equals fewer wrinkles!
Do you have any tips for cutting down your smartphone time? Join in the conversation over on Twitter using @Oralift. Ready to reverse the effects of your smartphone and reduce the appearance of your fine lines and wrinkles? Check out the Oralift anti-ageing device today.