Digital dependence: our worst beauty habit yet

Selfies are supposed to showcase your beauty, but in a dramatic twist of irony, they’re actually destroying it. Numerous studies have shown that regularly exposing your skin to smartphone light and electromagnetic radiation can damage skin cells and encourage early ageing.

According to some dermatologists, the light emitting from the screen you’re reading this off could be more harmful to your complexion than sunlight. Apparently, they can tell which hand a person holds their phone in judging by which side of the face is most damaged.

“You start to see dull dirty looking texture that you cannot identify on one side of the face,” Dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi of the Obagi Skin Health Institute told the Daily Telegraph.

“It’s not documented, but in my clinical observation, I can tell whether someone uses their right hand or left hand to hold their phone.”

“This magnetic field is altering the minerals in the skin. A sunscreen will not protect you. But if you saturate your skin with anti-oxidants it can help prevent DNA damage from electronic devices.”

It’s estimated that we spend more time looking at screens than what we do sleeping now, so it was just a matter of time before these issues came to light.

Speaking ahead of the Facial Aesthetic Conference and Exhibition in London, Medical Director of the Linia Skin Clinic in Harley Street, Dr. Simon Zoakei, warns that anyone who takes selfies should start worrying.

“I think there is a gap in the market for products which protect because I know there are people who take lots of selfies, and bloggers who come to me and I have seen that there is damage there and there ageing taking place. It’s a different wavelength of radiation so sunscreen will not block it.”

“Even the blue light we get from our screens can damage our skin.”

Staying indoors and slathering your skin with sunscreen and various creams may protect you from harmful sun rays and air pollution, but it’s of no help in this age of digital dependence.

“The blue light and electromagnetic radiation from screens wreaks havoc with our ageing process,” dermatologist and founder of Murad Skincare, Dr. Murad, told the Telegraph.

“The light emitted has a wavelength of 380-500nm making it one of the shortest, highest-energy wavelengths,” he says. “A type of ‘visible light’, it penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB and UVA and has been shown to generate more ROS (reactive oxygen species) than both UVB and UVA combined.”

Not only that, but excessive blue light can accelerate the oxidation process, directly impacting on the skin’s melatonin to cause hyperpigmentation and inflammation.

Wait, there’s more – your phone is also a haven for bacteria, irritator of eyes, creator of an irregular sleep pattern and a major factor behind shortened neck muscles that can increase the gravitational pull on the skin.

Anyone for a digital detox?


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