The Unexpected Ways Constant Phone Usage Is Wreaking Havoc On Your Skin

It goes far beyond bacteria.

Woman scrolling on smartphone.
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

The term ‘tech neck’ arose because people were getting neck pain, as well as causing serious damage to their spine, ligaments, tendons, and muscles—all thanks to looking down at their cellphones and other devices too frequently, and for way too long.

But look, tech neck is seemingly unavoidable in today’s society. We look down at our phones and computers day-in, day-out, and although standing desks, laptop stands and awareness about the damage that can be done to spines by hunching are becoming better known, there’s still so many issues that are caused by our addiction to smartphones that spread way beyond damage to the neck and spine.

Aside from the obvious, tech neck comes with a host of other health concerns, too. From sleep disruption and bacteria crossover to a sluggish lymph system; tech neck could also be contributing towards breakouts and other skin problems. Here’s how too much scrolling can impact your largest organ:

The bacteria is real

If you’ve ever heard a gross-sounding statistic about how the amounts of bacteria on our phones trumps the amount on a public toilet seat, you were not mis-informed.

According to the Seattle Times, your phone is literally covered in germs: 25,107 bacteria per square inch, to be precise—which makes cell phones one of the dirtiest objects we come in contact with every day. And, hate to break it to ya, but this study found that the average smartphone user touches their phone 2,617 times per day, with the most intense users touching theirs up to 5,400 times daily. This can quickly lead to pore clogging, which can (unsurprisingly, with that much bacteria swimming around) subsequently lead to intense breakouts.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

It disrupts your circadian rhythm

And ICYMI, your skin is significantly more prone to breakouts that take longer to heal, or looking tired and dull when you’re sleep-deprived. The blue light that our phones emit can lead to disregulated melatonin levels, which directly impacts someone’s ability to fall asleep.

A lack of adequate rest and sleep can really do a number on your skin, meaning that consuming a diet rich in antioxidants has never been more important. It’s also crucial to set boundaries around phone and device usage in the bedroom in order to limit the risk of sleep disruption.

It causes blockages in the lymph system

According to holistic esthetics, the neck is a funnel that connects the face’s lymphatic pathways to the rest of the body. If you’re consistently hunching to look at your device, these passageways become blocked—and it’s significantly harder for detoxification to occur. This can lead to dull skin and breakouts. Who knew?!

To keep the lymph moving, practices like jade rolling, gua sha and lymphatic drainage facial massage can all help—but being way more intentional with smartphone usage and focusing on your posture will help to remedy the root of the tech neck problem.

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