As if there weren't enough out there already that can cause damage to your skin, along comes cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, with word that your cell phone can help bring on signs of skin aging.
In a recent release, Dr. Frank highlighted four ways (yes, four) in which talking and texting can inadvertently contribute to fine lines, dark spots, and even breakouts. And, according to Dr. Frank, it's normal everyday use of our phones that brings on the damage--so we're not talking about damage that could only happen to the text-obsessed.
Four Ways Cell Phones Can Damage Skin
1. Phone Zone. Dr. Frank shares that the area from the temple to the chin--the area that's usually flush up against the phone when you're on a call--is highly susceptible to breakouts. After all, who disinfects their phone after every call? Germs that land on the face of the phone can remain there and later be transferred to your skin. Dr. Frank suggests cleaning your phone frequently, and also ensuring that you exfoliate to help keep skin clear and avoid clogged pores. A lotion with salicylic acid or alpha-hydroxy acid can help exfoliate skin. Yes to Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes contain salicylic acid and are easy to take along with you to keep skin clean. (25 towelettes, $5.99)
2. Text Neck. You've heard of turkey neck, well now there's text neck. According to Dr. Frank, holding your phone low while texting causes you to continually look down. That, in turn, can cause the collagen in your neck to begin to break down, leading to the texting version of 'turkey neck'. To reduce text neck, Dr. Frank says to try to hold your phone at eye level and to try to use different collagen building products for day and night. (Dr. Frank suggests his own Lifeline Stem Cell Skin Care Defensive Day Moisture Serum, SPF 15 (1 oz., $160), and Lifeline Stem Cell Skin Care Recovery Night Moisture Serum (1 oz., $190).)
3. Early Wrinkles. While everyone is thrilled at how wonderfully small all of our smart phones have become, going smaller means everything goes smaller--including the text you have to read. Add to it that texting often happens outdoors in bright light and it's a surefire set-up for squinting. And, if Botox has taught us nothing else, we know that repetitive facial movements lead to fine lines. So, just as you wear sunglasses to help avoid squinting, Dr. Frank first suggests increasing the font size and brightness on your phone. He then also suggests being more diligent about using an eye firming product--such as Lifeline Stem Cell Skin Care Eye Firming Complex (.5 oz., $97).
4. Dark Spots. Everyone knows that after you've been on your phone for a longer period of time, the phone gets hot. But according to Dr. Frank, the heat that radiates from your phone can have the similar effects as the sun, causing development of dark spots on your face along the 'phone zone'. Your first line of defense is a hands-free device--which everyone should have already to avoid distracted driving--and Dr. Frank suggests using a product that helps to diminish skin discolorations, such as Yes to Grapefruit Dark Spot Correcting Serum (1 oz., $19.99), twice a day.