It’s rare we spend an entire day without technology—that much is obvious. But did you know that being so attached to our computers and phones may actually be wreaking havoc on our skin? According to experts, it could be contributing to acne and premature aging in specific areas.
While some of these daily habits aren’t totally avoidable (especially if you hold a 9-to-5 office job), staying in the know might give you reason to unplug more often—or even take one of those PTO days you’ve got banked. Scroll through to see three in particular that are doing some major damage.
Looking down at your phone.
“Holding your phone low and constantly looking down can cause the collagen in your neck to break down and create an undesirable turkey looking neck called ‘text neck,’” says Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank. You’ve likely heard this phrase by now, and it probably made you want to toss your phone out the window.Protecting the skin on your neck with plenty of SPF and moisturizer is key, but Dr. Frank says that you can correct this daily mistake by keeping your phone at eye level. So maybe don’t leave your phone in your lap?
But glancing down at your new text isn’t only affecting your skin. Behavior expert Vanessa Van Edwards told us that when you look down at your phone, you could be creating a communication barrier between you and another person. When you roll your shoulders in and lower your head, she explains you could be unknowingly conveying that you’re not interested in conversation or just look defeated. Not great!
Chatting on the phone.
If you’re not regularly cleaning your touch-screen, you could be setting yourself up for breakouts by just chatting on the phone. Seriously, this is one legitimate cause of adult acne. “The area from the temple to the chin, referred to as the ‘phone zone,’ is prone to breakouts,” notes Dr. Frank. “Your phone holds onto germs, and these germs can be transferred onto your skin.” The fix? Dr. Frank suggests exfoliating and regularly cleaning your phone screen. While you’re at it, give your keyboard a quick scrub, too.
Squinting at the computer.
This habit has more than one unfortunate side effect, and we know it all too well. Not only can squinting at your phone or computer screen cause crow’s feet or other wrinkles around the eyes, but it can also contribute towards what’s called “bunny lines,” which Dr. Frank says are lines around the bridge of your nose!
You can prevent this from happening in the first place by increasing your font size or lowering the brightness of your device, explains Dr. Frank. However, there are more serious approaches to actually fixing problems that have already occurred. He mentions that lasers can help resurface the skin to fight wrinkles, while “wrinkle relaxers” like Botox can help as well. “For a more intense treatment for deeper resurfacing, the Fraxel Repair Laser will smooth and resurface the area,” he says.