3 ways your phone is damaging your skin

Don’t worry, we also have some simple and easy fixes

If you asked me to survive a day without checking my phone at least ten times, I would fail within the first hour. Some might call my reliance a problem, but I’d simply call it a desire to constantly be in touch with my friends, family and what’s happening around me. However, the numerous claims in recent years that our phones might actually be bad for us does concern me.

To find out exactly what damage our phones are wreaking on our skin, we spoke to facialist Tilly Barnett, who unfortunately didn’t have much good news to report. Here are the top ways your phone is damaging your skin:

#1 / Acne production

Barnett said that due to the rise in popularity of smart, touch screen phones, the amount of bacteria we are transferring from our fingers to our phone screens has dramatically increased. Barnett says, “by pressing our phone onto our cheek and chin, we are pushing bacteria straight into the pores, which can cause acne.” To limit the opportunity for bacteria to spread and cause breakouts Barnett suggests using you hands free or headphones to make and receive calls as often as possible. We’d also suggest regularly cleaning your phone by wiping across the screen with a microfibre cloth or an antibacterial wipe.

#2 / Increasing dark spots

While melasma (the brown or grey patches that appear on skin) are most often caused by exposure to the sun and hormones (from pregnancy or the pill) the light that your phone screen emits can also lead to the appearance of dark spots. According to a study conducted by researchers in 2015, exposure to light from non-UV sources such as phone screens resulted in darker pigmentation that lasted longer than traditional pigmentation caused by sun exposure.

It’s not all bad news though! Incorporating glycolic and salicylic acid, and products containing pigment-correcting chemicals, sunscreens and antioxidants into your skin care routine may assist in reducing less severe forms of pigmentation. We’d recommend trying products such as Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, Aspect Pigment Punch or Dermalogica C-12 Pure Bright Serum.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector

Aspect Pigment Punch

Dermalogica C-12 Pure Bright Serum

#3 / Screen reflection

Barnett also highlighted that even if our faces aren’t exposed to the sun, the reflection from our phone screens can bounce UV rays back onto our face. This can lead to the development of additional dark spots and premature wrinkles. Barnett added, “the best form of protection is using a daily moisturiser with antioxidants, cellular DNA repair and sunscreen.” Her favourite product, which does all three simultaneously, is Elizabeth Arden Pro Triple Action Protector.

If you want to find out more about pigmentation, here are additional causes, treatments and essentials facts you need to know.

Image credit: Getty

Kate has worked for BEAUTYcrew since early 2016, first as a contributor, before being named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine.