Ask any millennial or Gen Z what they can’t live without and chances are, they’ll say it’s their phone. Heck, even we can’t live without our phones. After all, we rely on it for everything, from staying in touch with our loved ones to tagging our friends in memes. But the handy device could be a huge beauty mistake and the cause of some of our skin woes. And yes, the irony that you’re probably reading this on your handphone isn’t lost on us. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your skin clear without having to break up with your beloved phone.
The issue: Breakouts
The cause: Your phone is ridden with bacteria accumulated from your hands, handbag, desk, the table at the hawker centre—you get the idea. All of these are transferred to your skin when you hold the phone against your face when you make a call.
The solution: Regularly wipe your phone with an antibacterial wipe. Better still, avoid the mistake of willingly transferring germs to your face by using earphones each time you’re talking to your boyfriend or BFF. If you’ve already broken out, here are some products to help you tackle the pimples.
The issue: “Text neck”
The cause: You’re making a big beauty mistake each time you look down to text your friends, watch your favourite Korean drama, makeup tutorial or scroll through Instagram and Pinterest. Looking down at your phone for prolonged periods of time is causing wrinkles on your neck. The skin on your neck is just as delicate as that on your face and like laugh lines or crows’ feet, these lines are caused by the repetitive motion of looking down at your phone.
The solution: Prevention is better than cure, so it’s best to avoid looking down at your phone for long periods of time. However, if you notice the first signs of lines appearing on your neck, start using a serum like the new and improved Jurlique Herbal Recovery Signature Moisturising Cream ($102 for 50ml) that helps firm skin and improve and soften the appearance of lines.
The issue: Premature ageing
The cause: While High Energy Visible light or blue light emitted from your phone, tablet, computer and TV screens is not as dangerous as UVA and UVB rays, research suggests that prolonged exposure can cause inflammation, weaken the skin’s barrier as well as degrade collagen leading to early appearance of lines, uneven skin tone and lack of radiance.
The solution: The key is to protect the skin from damage by adding an antioxidant rich product like the Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Antioxidant Protect + Repair Moisturizer ($32 for 15g) to your routine. Vitamins C and E will help combat free radical damage and minimise the effects of blue light on your skin. But it’s best to put your phone down whenever possible.
The issue: Dark spots
The cause: Along with degrading collagen and elastin that leads to lines and wrinkles, HEV or blue light can also trigger increased pigment production that can lead to dark spots. Preliminary research has also shown heat generated from the phone can lead to hyperpigmentation for those already suffering from melasma.
The Solution: A physical (or mineral) sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide like the Supergoop 100% Mineral Matte Screen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF40 will help minimise some of the damage. And adding a brightening serum like the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution ($92 for 30ml) will help tackle dark spots and pigmentation.