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Is Everyday Technology Bad for Our Skin?

For many of us, our smartphones have come to function as an additional limb. We now rely on our phones for nearly every task and activity, from using it as an alarm clock in the morning to reading the news to staying on top of business responsibilities. Yet, this dependency spawns some potentially temporary and long-lasting physical consequences, such as acne and premature skin aging.

Our phones harbor enormous quantities of germs and bacteria. A Bacteria-ridden phone is a cyclical problem that contributes to recurring breakouts. According to Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital’s dermatology department, “The phone is held up to our face so oil, dirt and makeup can accumulate on the surface of the phone, and if you hold the phone up at another time, that can be transferred back to your face, and contribute to inflammation and blocking of the pores,” he told the Huffington Post.

Routinely cleaning your cell phone with rubbing alcohol or another skin-friendly antiseptic can curb the spreading of smartphone-related zits. If you’re wary about using liquids on your cell phone, there are products like PhoneSoap which claims to use UV light to kill off the bacteria on your screen.

High-energy visible light or blue light has been compared to UV radiation. Some experts say that excessive screen time can provoke premature aging. However, there is little research supporting these views. If you’re anxious about blue light’s possible long-term effects, Zeichner recommends antioxidants to “help neutralize free radical damage.”

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