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Is Social Media Messing With Your Skin?

Dr Josie Howard, MD, who specialises in psychodermatology, breaks down what social media can do to your skin!

It Can Age You
“Spending hours in front of a computer screen can hasten the onset of crow’s feet,” says Howard. “To minimise this effect, take frequent breaks and use an eye revitalising product to refresh your eyes and the skin surrounding them.”

It Can Cause Acne
“Your cell phone has 10 times the amount of the bacteria that you’d find on a toilet seat,” she says. “So when you press the surface of your phone up against your face, you transfer all that bacteria onto your skin, which leads to acne.”

It Can Hinder Your Sleep Pattern
The bright light of your device can mess up your sleep pattern. “Looking at your cell phone or tablet right before bed impairs melatonin production, which can lead to sleep disruption.”

Social Media Keeps You Going and Going
“There’s so much pressure to use social media professionally that it’s important to set boundaries,” she says. “So if you have to use it in your daily job, use it sporadically in your personal life. Constantly being ‘on’ adds to stress, which can affect your skin.” To keep stress from showing up on your skin, use a day and night moisturizer to keep your skin’s barrier intact.

It Can Stress You Out

“Most people have something close to a panic attack when they leave their phone at home or they’ve travelled out of cell phone range. This condition is called Nomophobia, which means the “fear of no mobile phone or being out of contact with your phone,” says Howard. And you know what happens to your skin when you’re stressed: it can trigger breakouts, develop psoriasis, and cause premature ageing.



This article was originally published in the March 2015 issue of Cosmopolitan India.