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Should You Be Protecting Your Skin From Your Phone?

We feel like you already know the answer to this, whether you want to admit it or not.

It is moments before your planned bedtime. Instead of just plainly going to sleep, you decide to grab your phone to Google something frivolous or scroll through Instagram. One thing leads to another and suddenly, bam – it’s been two hours since your head hit that pillow. You frantically chuck your phone aside and go to bed, hoping that sleep will come. It does, but only a while later. You wake up ridiculously tired the next day swearing that you’ll kick the pre-snooze phone habit for good. Starting tomorrow. Well, soon, anyway.

Sound familiar? All that basically describes us every single night. Cellphones are two-edged swords. We’re a frantic mess without them, but we also know that we should be ditching them a little bit more often – and it is not just to keep the events of Netflix’s Black Mirror as far away as possible. You probably already know this, but your phone is bad news for your skin in more ways than one. Dark circles are not your only problem.

If you find that pimples constantly sprout out on one side of your face and you can’t figure out why, your phone – specifically your phone screen – is likely the culprit. Those things go through everything – the inside of your bag, your desk, that table at Starbucks, your grimy fingers and the toilet, for example. Yet, no one really thinks twice about placing phones on their cheek to answer a call. Get this: average phone screens have been found to be dirtier than toilet seats. Yeaaaaaah. If that doesn’t scare you into wiping your screens down with alcohol more often, or making the permanent switch to headsets, nothing will.

Next, there’s the looming cloud of crow’s feet. All’s well if you have crystal clear eyesight, but if you find yourself squinting at your phone, then you better start increasing font sizes and arming yourself with anti-wrinkle creams. Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream and Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye both target fine lines, while Dior Prestige The Eye Concentrate and Lancôme Génifique Eye Light-Pearl Concentrate each come with a massaging wand, allowing you to work the serums directly into the problem areas. It helps to knead away under-eye puffiness gained from all that late-night Insta-stalking, too. If a quick moisture fix is what you’re looking for, Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate and La Mer The Illuminating Eye Gel has your back. (You already know how much we swear by their creams and masks.)

Last but not least – the “blue” light emitted from your phone. High-energy visible (HEV) light is the fancier name. While HEV rays have been said to penetrate skin deeper than regular UV rays – hence speeding up the aging process – studies so far are not conclusive and no one really knows what the effects of long-term exposure are (which may explain the lack of HEV-fighting products on the market). So, you don’t have to freak out – yet. But! If you’re all about the good old “better safe than sorry” thing, Lancôme UV Expert XL-Shield CC Cover is one of the few that combats the effects of blue light.

Though, whether you believe the whole HEV business, it is proven that fiddling with your phone late into the night messes with your sleep pattern. And we all know what poor sleep does to the skin (see earlier points). We love a late-night Netflix sesh on our phones as much as the next girl, but maybe it is time to set that phone aside and just go to sleep already. What do you say?


Photo: Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend/The CW

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