From tech neck to blue-light eyebags what being glued to technology does to your skin
Total internet hits have surged 70 per cent since lockdown began, says research firm Informa Tech. And it’s not just grey roots that could be ageing you, but screen time too.
So just what can we do to avoid tech neck and blue-light eyebags?
Yasmin Harisha asks Dr Jonquille Chantrey, an aesthetic skin surgeon, and dermatologist RGN Emma Coleman about screen-time skin and how we can combat it.
Plus, with the help of experts at Change My Face, we show you here how screen-time damage might alter Yasmin’s face. The artists use their extensive anatomical knowledge and special software to digitally add filters and layers.
Staring at the screen can cause us to squint resulting in fine lines, or crow’s feet, which can become permanent.
Dr Chantrey recommends an eye test, to see if there is a root cause to your squinting.
Emma says: “The skin around the eyes is very thin. Avoid dark circles by putting your phone away before bed.
“Use a good eye product like Clinique Moisture Surge Eye (£27.50, clinique.co.uk) to keep skin conditioned. I recommend eye gels for saggy skin and creams for hollow under-eyes.”
Similar to the sun’s UV rays, blue light is emitted from our technology devices.
Dr Chantrey says: “Blue light can cause spots of age around the face as it can affect melanogenesis, the production of pigment in skin cells. The area mostly exposed to blue light can develop fine lines.”
Emma says: “Signs may include sagging and formation of creases under the eyes.
“Wearing sunscreen daily is the best way to prevent wrinkles and helps to protect against UV rays and blue light.”
Spot the phone addict
If you have tried every remedy under the sun and are still getting spots, it could be caused by your mobile phone.
Dr Chantrey says: “Often I see areas of acne exactly where my patients hold their phone to their faces as phones accumulate significant amounts of bacteria.”
Emma says: “I recommend using products with AHA or BHA acids. The Ordinary lactic acid 5% + HA 2% (£5.50, theordinary.deciem.com) helps keep pores clear and helps spots come to a head.”
Listening through headphones at high volumes can damage the ears and cause inflammation around them or on the neck.
Dr Chantrey says: “Some patients may develop contact dermatitis from some components such as nickel, which can cause inflammation around the ear and neck area.
“If you have found inflammation, or redness, contact your GP to get a full diagnosis. We must clean our ear pieces as invisible bacteria can build up, which causes skin reactions.”
Resting light face
The light from phone screens at night can delay your body’s internal clock, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
Dr Chantrey says: “The bright artificial light can supress sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. I would recommend changing the settings to a night cycle.”
Emma says: “Lack of sleep can cause lacklustre skin. I recommend the Inkey list retinol serum 30ml (£9.99, lookfantastic.com) which will gently exfoliate away pigmentation as you sleep.”
Always looking down at your phone to text or scroll through social media? You could be causing extra wrinkles on your neck.
Dr Chantrey says: “Certain types of neck movement can drag the jawline down quicker and create vertical bands on the neck.”
Emma adds: “Try to stretch and strengthen muscles in the neck regularly through the day.
“You can also apply Epionce shield lotion (£32.40, skinstore.com). It will have a tightening and brightening effect.”
Emma Coleman has her own skincare brand at www.emmacolemanskin.com
- Yasmin Harisha