Imagine this, we are studying new beauty and makeup trends when suddenly we are hit with a factoid that makes us look at our phones with sheer disdain. To our dismay, there is a study that compares the bacteria on our phone screen to the bacteria found on a toilet seat. Guess what, the phone screen won that round. Cheeky as it sounds, your smartphone might actually be causing a lot of skin problems and might even be the predominant reason that is causing acne. This, of course, caught our interest and we decided to dig deeper.
A leading phone insurance company in the United Kingdom did a research where they swabbed the screens of various smartphones and tested them for harmful bacteria. Turns out our phones are privy to a lot of it. When bacteria are predominantly found on a certain surface in excess, that is when it starts harming us. "The screens were the filthiest part of the smartphones, filled with germs which may lead to skin problems and other health issues. The screens of the three handsets had a combined total of 254.9 colony-forming units per cm2. This means there was an average of 84.9 units on each screen," reported the research.
We take our phones everywhere, which means even in the restroom. It is known that the bacteria are moved around in the air when the loo is flushed. And most of us don't give our phones the wipe down it needs regularly. A leading international magazine further dug deeper and compared a few other studies that spoke about how the bacteria on the phone might also be the reason for some chronic ailments and severe illnesses. This is where you can read more on that.
While the skin is naturally oily and if you are suffering from regular bouts of acne, it would be a problem your dermatologist and you need to solve; if your acne is sudden and concentrated on the cheek area, your smartphone might be the culprit. Not only do your hands constantly touch your phone but so does your face. The various bacteria start causing an issue when they get mixed with the natural oils on your face and makeup. The more you use your phone, the more makeup and oil residue gets accumulated on the skin. A lot of us also have a habit of wiping the phone screen off on our t-shirts or with another cloth that. Which of course, takes off the excess residue but does nothing whatsoever to the germs. This residue then attracts more environmental toxins and with every phone call or Instagram scroll, we keep adding to the bacteria that's already on our skin.
How do you know if your phone is causing the acne issue? Determine the side of your face where you usually hold your phone. If this coincides, you've found your problem and can move towards the solution.
If you are still confused about what is causing your acne or the type of acne you have, then this handy guide could determine the difference.
I love my phone and I am addicted to it as much as the next millennial. I live by Sheldon Cooper's philosophy, 'I love everything that saves me from having actual human interactions'. I know I can't reduce the usage, so here are some practical solutions that might help...
1. Headset, headphones or Bluetooth devices
If you can't help with the amount of time you spend on calls, try and use headphones or Bluetooth headsets to go hands-free!
2. Wipe down the surface(s)
Give your phone a wipe down at least twice a day, if not more, with either a screen cleaning towelette or a microfiber cloth. Sanitise your hands as frequently as you can. Also, try not to touch your face and phone in continuous succession.
3. Cure the breakouts
If you already are suffering from breakouts and are past the prevention stage, then invest in a good skincare routine that helps you combat these issues. The Body Shop has a pre-made tea tree oil range made specifically to combat oily skin issues and rid your skin of blemishes. You can see the entire range here. My personal favourite from this range is the Tea Tree Blemish Gel, which works as a spot corrector when you need to clear your skin as soon as possible.
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