You’ve heard of all the ways your cell phone is harming your mental health, creating FOMO and social media addiction. And you’ve heard by now how cell phone use makes us less active and disrupts our sleeping patterns. We’re actually spending on average five hours per day on our cell phones. But what does cell phone use have to do with your beauty regimen? Well, it turns out, quite a lot.
The spread of bacteria
Think about all of the places you take your cell phone—including the bathroom. Multitasking is pretty gross when you think of all of the daily activities you do in between typing away on your phone. Invisible microbial build up quickly accumulates on your phone screen and can lead to the spread of pretty nasty germs. Even if you clean your phone screen from time to time, make sure you’re cleaning out the phone case too. What happens when these germs spread to our skin? Contact dermatitis is a common consequence—a sensitive rash that appears on the skin, particularly where you may be holding your phone up to your cheek. Clogged pores is another major result of phone use.
Grab a toothbrush or washcloth that you can use to clean your phone case with dish soap. Use a cleaning wipe or screen-specific wipe to clean off your phone. Do this daily if you can to prevent the spread of germs.
Don’t end up with text neck. If you experience a lot of pain on the back of your neck, pay attention to how much you’re tilting your head forward to look at your phone. It is best to keep your eyes level throughout the day as much as possible. Make sure your computer is elevated enough to be level with your eyes to prevent craning the neck forward. Did you know your neck actually has a lot to do with your skin? If your neck is tight and blocked, it is harder for lymph and blood flow to reach the skin the way it should.
Keep good posture and remind yourself to relax the muscles around your neck and jaw.
Circadian Rhythm Disruption
When you use your cell phone before going to bed, you will disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Long-term exposure to blue light affects retina sensitivity and prevents the body from releasing enough melatonin hormone. Without the proper amount of melatonin, the body can’t relax into a deep sleep. This disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm, making it think the body is awake rather than winding down. As a result, the body won’t do what it is supposed to at night—replenish the skin. This may be why you’ve been noticing your skin looking dull and tired lately. This also results in the skin being unable to heal blemishes as quickly.
If you need your phone with you at all times, try wearing blue-light glasses or set your phone on night mode. Download a blue-light blocker app for your phone and computer.
Kate Wilke is a 200-RYT yoga instructor, meditation teacher, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She teaches and works with clients in Nashville, TN. She believes in self-care in the form of colorful, healthy cooking, daily walks with her dog, and a glass of red wine. Follow her on Instagram — @meditatekate