Americans are growing increasingly reliant on their smartphones as a survey reveals that the average user spends about two hours and 30 minutes a day on their gadgets. Excessive smartphone use has been linked to poor sleep quality, an increased risk of getting in a road accident, and anxiety and depression. But did you know that using your mobile phone can also have a negative impact on your skin?

New evidence has shown that certain skin conditions are linked to heavy smartphone use. However, there are also some skin conditions that have nothing to do whatsoever with cellphone use. Albeit changing your mobile phone habits may be the key to improving your complexion, you need to be aware of the truths and lies about how your smartphone can be ruining your skin.

Truth: It Can Trigger Breakouts

If you’re experiencing breakouts or have stubborn acne, your phone may be to blame for your skin woes. However, it’s not the device itself that causes the problem, but the bacteria and germs that are living on it. As you go about your day to day activities, think about all the things that you touch – door handles, the buttons on elevators, money, and bathrooms are just some of the things that you may come in contact with every day. Now, think of the fact that the average phone user touches his or her phone from 60 to 150 times a day. There’s always a chance that the dirt, grime, and bacteria that your hands pick up from touching these things can make their way to your smartphone, then eventually to your face and trigger acne problems.

Dr. Debra Jaliman, an NYC-based dermatologist, told Cosmopolitan that every time a patient comes in complaining about breakouts, the first thing she asks them is what side of their face they usually hold their phone against.

“I suggest that they use earphones or a headset while they’re on the phone to see if that reduces their blemishes significantly,” said Jaliman. The expert also said that apart from using earphones, it’s important to clean one’s cellphone screen daily to keep it bacteria-free.

Truth: It Can Make Your Skin Oily

If you’re wondering why your normally clear complexion seems a little greasy these days, your smartphone use may be behind this skin problem. By repeatedly pressing the phone onto the side of your face, the pressure causes the overstimulation of the oil glands, which triggers an overproduction of oil. So even if you clean your phone regularly, the way you use your device when you’re on a call may be to blame for your shiny skin. Try using a Bluetooth headset so you can make a call without having to put your phone near your face.

Lie: It Can Burn Your Skin

It has been claimed that smartphones give off enough radiation to burn skin in the same way that the sun can damage your complexion. However, there is no truth to this myth as cell phones don’t give off enough radiation to damage human skin. And while cell phones emit radiation, the FCC regulates radiation levels to make sure that the devices are safe to use. Nonetheless, if you’re worried about your exposure to radiation, you can stash the gadget in your bag instead of keeping it in your pocket.

There are lots of ways that modern living has become easier through smartphones, but it’s important to use technology moderately and to be mindful of how we use them for our health and wellbeing. Apart from eating a healthy diet, following a skincare routine, and getting enough sleep, you can improve your complexion by keeping your phone clean and using it in such a way that it won’t harm your skin. If you suspect that your smartphone use can be causing your skin problems, try using a headset and consult your dermatologist for possible treatments or medication.


1. Smartphone Addiction Seems To Be Only Getting Stronger, Business Insider,

2. Survey: Heavy Smartphone Use Tied To Anxiety, Loneliness, Depression

3. Acne And Your Cell Phone, Health Central,

4. Is Your Smartphone Causing You To Break Out? Cosmopolitan,

5. Do Cellphones Cause Radiation? USA Today,