With COVID19 and lockdowns meaning we are are evermore connected to our screens, The Skin Edit looks at how our screen time could be causing premature ageing and how we can help to prevent it.
According to a 2017 survey (1), the average person in the UK checks their phone an astounding 28 times a day. This equates to more than 10,000 times a year and likely to have increased dramatically now we are using them for all of our communication needs. So with all of this self-inflicted head-bobbing, email swiping and instagram checking we are guilty of, we have overlooked the effects our social media obsession is having on our faces and necks. I wonder how many of you lovely beauty-obsessed readers are reading this Skin Edit article from your mobile telephones?!
Caring for our skins, whilst occasionally time consuming is today recognised as part of our essential self-care and daily routines – say together now, “cleanse, moisturise, SPF” – our necks are often the most overlooked parts of our bodies and alarmingly one of the first areas to show signs of premature ageing. Whilst ageing is a natural process and one which we should never be afraid of, there is no reason as to why we can’t keep our skins looking and feeling healthy for as long as humanly possible, without the need for adopting more dramatic measures.
‘Tech-Neck’ as it has now been coined, develops from the endless scrolling, zooming and typing we have willingly become party to; contributing to increased complaints of back problems, jaw tension and ultimately ageing of the neck and jawline.
How does tech-neck happen? Simply, it is caused by the increased contraction and activation of the neck muscles which are engaged when we are looking downward at our devices. Combine this with a dose of gravity and you have the starting point for horizontal lines to appear on the neck.
“Skin is thinner around the neck than the face, causing it to lose elasticity and firmness much quicker than anywhere else on the face”
Now that you know what tech-neck is, how can we slow the process and prevent it from happening? As always, prevention is better than cure. Pick your home care wisely and always try to opt for products which are designed for the neck and décolleté. These formulations will be carefully curated to ensure that the molecules and textures are not too heavy to cause further drag and irritation on the skin. The neck has fewer sebaceous glands than the rest of the face which can make the skin on the neck sometimes feel dry and more prone to irritation (this is why you often see retinoid reactions at the onset of using Vitamin A on the neck); using a product which will overload the skin will have the reverse effect to that which you are trying to achieve. Search for products which are packed with peptides rather than retinol for the neck.
Application of your products also play a part in the process. Like the eyes, the neck is very sensitive to drag and pull. When applying any product on the neck, use the fingertips only. Apply to both the décolleté and neck (sides and centre) in quick, light and upward moving strokes.
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