How your smartphone is affecting your skin (and what you can do about it)


Have you ever considered the effects of technology on your skin? 

You’re probably aware that technology, despite all its benefits, has some downsides, too — including eye strain caused by staring too long at a computer screen and neck and back problems caused by poor posture while gazing down at a smartphone. 

But what about technology’s impact on our skin’s appearance?

Read more: Your devices may be damaging your eyes a lot more than you realize

Is your computer causing wrinkles?

Emily Stoler, executive director of global marketing at StriVectin, explained to Yahoo News, ‘With our phones and tablets, as we get more tired our eyes lose focus, and we start squinting. And it’s definitely leading to increased wrinkles around the eye,’ she said.

Additionally, Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy, an aesthetic dermatologist at the Miami Skin Institute told that scruching our eyes while looking at computer screens and smartphones can lead to wrinkles.

‘Many patients come to me saying that they are constantly squinting or frowning in an effort to concentrate while reading their paper or computer work,’ she said.

So how can you combat the effects of technology on your skin without breaking the bank?

Read more: The benefits of disengaging from our gadgets

8 low-cost ways to take care of your skin

Skin care can be expensive. So expensive, in fact, that many celebrities spend thousands and thousands of dollars on dematology procedures. 


One dermotologist, Dr. Dendy Engelman told W Magazine that it’s not uncommon for celebrity patients to spend $25,000 to $50,000 annually on products and procedures to help them look their best. That’s crazy!

But you don’t have to spend that much to improve your skin’s appearance. 

Take a break

Dr. Jegasothy advises setting an alarm to remind yourself to look away from your computer and stretch your face muscles. Also, be aware of your facial expressions throughout the day to avoid furrowing your brows or squinting your eyes.

In our technology-obessed culture, we often forget how important it is to unplug once in a while and take a break. (It’s also quite healthy for you, too!) 

Drink lots of water

You might remember the story from The Daily Mail a few years back about how a woman dramatically improved her skin’s appearance by drinking three litres of water every day for 28 days. 

Though water can’t erase fine lines and wrinkles, dermatologist Kenneth Ellner explained to Web MD that it can improve the look of your skin. ‘Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration,’ he says.

Avoid stress

Stress can have a negative impact on our skin, as well as our health. Dr. Doris Day shared these words of wisdom with Real Simple magazine on the affects of stress on skin: ‘Make time to relax. Lowering stress helps your skin.’

Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables

Dr. Cheryl Karcher, a New York dermotolgist and also a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Dermatology told Web MD, ‘the skin is a reflection of your total body health.’ And Patricia Farris, author of The Sugar Detox told Prevention, ‘We’re actually learning that poor nutrition is just as bad for your skin as cigarette smoking.’

So what is good nutrition when it comes to your skin? 

According to Web MD, foods high in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C, E, and A are great for your skin. ‘I recommend going for as much variety and color as possible in your diet,’ said Dr. Doris Day. She recommends snacking on foods such as ‘blueberries, strawberries, grapefruit, kale, spinach, and different kinds of peppers.’


Additionally, foods high in  omega-3 fatty acids, including wild salmon, sardines, fortified eggs, and walnuts are a good choice. 

Read more: Seven fruits and vegetables a day make you happier

Use retinoids & a good moisturizer

Dermatologist Leslie Baumann of Miami Beach, Florida told Real Simple magazine, ‘Prescription retinoids or store-bought retinol creams are great anti-agers. Use a small amount [a pea-size dab every other night].’ These can run about $20 on Amazon.

The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends using a moisturizer every day. ‘As we age, skin becomes drier. Fine lines and wrinkles appear. Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance.’

But a good moisturizer doesn’t have to be expensive. Moisturizers with sunscreen start at about $7 on Amazon. 

Read more: 3 beauty products you can make at home

Wear sunscreen

According to the American Academy of Dermotology, (AAD) sunscreen should be worn every day of the year in order to avoid ‘wrinkles, age spots, or even skin cancer.’ 

They also advise to seek shade while outside and nix indoor tanning.

Read more: Best sunscreen for your money


Dr. Francesca Fusco told Prevention Magazine she does pilates, weights, and stretching five times a week. ‘My circulation is stimulated. I feel great. I truly notice that when I don’t exercise, my skin doesn’t look as good,’ she said.


But, avoid too much high impact exercise. 

Dermatologist Katie Rodan, MD advised, ‘The repeated jarring of high-impact cardio like running can weaken collagen and lead to sagging.’ She says she sticks to cycling and the elliptical machine.

Get enough sleep 

Another important component to good skin health is getting enough sleep. According to the AAD, ‘Sleep gives your body time to refresh and renew itself.’

Read more: 8 top-rated apps that can help you get a better night’s sleep

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