A Real Close Call: How Your Phone is Making Your Face to Sag

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 02, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Using mobiles for long can give you sagging jowls and double chins.
  • Bending forward to look into phone can cause drooping jaw line.
  • Squinting to read small font gives crow’s feet and 11 lines.
  • Dirt and bacteria from screen can transfer to skin and cause infection.

The old joke about the horse walking into a bar — "Why the long face?" asks the bartender — has got a digital twist. Our growing reliance on smartphones and laptops is elongating our faces into jowly, sagging messes.   

Cosmetic surgeons and other beauty pundits have even come up with a suitably distressing name for this phenomenon: "Smartphone face."

Your Phone Takes a Toll on Your Skin

You feel panicked without it, but your phone is messing with your complexion. It wouldn't be the first time smartphones have been blamed for ruining our health, our sleep, and our relationships— or even for speeding us toward our death. And now, it’s the skin’s turn.

side effects of mobile on skin

Droopy Issues

Apparently coined by British cosmetic surgeon Dr. Mervyn Patterson, “smartphone face” describes a combination of sagging jowls, double chins, and "marionette lines," those vertical creases that run from the corners of the mouth towards the chin.

If you sit for hours with your head bent slightly forward, staring at your phone, you may shorten the neck muscles and increase the gravitational pull on the jowl area, leading to a drooping jaw line.

Wrinkly Problem

We usually squint to read small font on our phone screens and this can give crow's-feet and '11 lines' (the vertical furrows between the brows) to people even in their 20s- which don't usually show until you're in your 30's or 40's.

Fix it with increasing your font size to 20 point or bigger, and up the brightness of your screen. Try a moisturiser with argireline, which temporarily 'freezes' muscle movement. Studies show up to 60 percent reduction in wrinkles in just one month by following this.

side effects of mobile on skin

Phone Zone

Mobiles cause acne in the 'phone zone': chin, cheeks and temples. The dirt and bacteria on your screen transfers to your skin, and can lead to infection. Try a benzyl peroxide lotion or glycolic acid face pads to clear pores completely.

Sleep Disturbance

The high amount of blue-spectrum light emitted by these devices, especially if held up close to our eyes, can disrupt the sleep cycle. Dim the intensity of your phone's light, or making use of the invert-colours feature.


When you talk for so long that your smartphone gets hot, the prolonged heat increases melanin production resulting into uneven skin tone and brown spots. Research shows that it can even make you look up to 10 years older. A headset is your best bet to avoid this problem. Use a brightening CC cream to cover up and fade spots.

side effect of phone on skin

Text Neck

Looking down all the time gives you a text neck- a slack neck and jaw caused by a loss of collagen and elastin. The constant movement weakens the support structure. And hold your phone at eye level, and apply peptide-rich cream on your jaw and neck twice a day. Creams containing high levels of Matrixyl, can double the collagen.

Options to fix a smartphone face include a range of cosmetic "chinterventions”- like a chin implant, injections of chin-sculpting filler, special Botox treatments and liposuction/laser facelifts; all of which will burn a hole in your pocket. To save all that money and your skin, keep your chin up and stare in your phone when you text. Using the phone less often is the biggest preventive measure though.

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

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