Ruth Griffin: How your mobile phone addiction can lead to saggy jowls and acne
Forget the T-zone, the beauty industry's latest obsession is with the Y-zone.
And with good reason, it seems. Our tech obsession - Irish mobile phone internet usage is the highest in the western world! - is resulting in the creation of a new beauty zone, and along with it, new skin issues.
The Y-Zone is the area along our jaw and chin, leading down our throat into our décolletage. According to recent surveys, we each check our phones between 40-160 times a day, and this constant downward screen gazing is causing wrinkles and lack of tone in chin and jaw and a sagging neck area, as well as increased crows feet and double chins.
"Tech neck", "phone face" and "phacne" (spots from devices pressed to skin on cheek and neck) are some of the names given to the new beauty problems that sprung from our mobile phone addiction. Wrinkles in the neck and jawline - previously, only seen in women in middle age - are now most likely to happen to women from the ages 18-39.
I've actually never taken a selfie but I have seen many. As a former model I can recognise and appreciate the professionalism of the selfie pose: a carefully constructed head tilt backwards (for better bone structure), camera held high so everything on the face falls back, and a flattering face-to-camera angle. Add to this heavy digital editing, filtering apps to perfect complexions and you have an online version of ourselves that is wholly unattainable in reality.
In real life (arguably like most aspects of social media), we look quite different when actually on our phones. Observe any bus stop, café, street and you'll see people with their heads down gazing with squinted eyes into their screens, chin to chest, scrunched necks and squashed chins - the polar opposite silhouette to the online version of ourselves.
Here are some of my tips and top products on transforming your tech neck into more swan-like proportions.
(Check out Gary Turk's short but very sweet film 'Look Up' on YouTube, to see why we need to look up from our devices a bit more!)
La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluid Pure Gold, €458, Brown Thomas
A girl can dream…..With flecks of pure gold, this cream should have us glowing and glittering and looking (literally) a million dollars!
For a peachy, summery cheeky vibe, check out MAC's brand new powder blush MAC Vibe Tribe Powder Blush in Modern Mandarin, €26.50
Red Mascara... This new Giorgio Armani Eccentrico Mascara, €32, is actually a brilliant lash lengthener, but the red colour made me look like I hadn't slept in a week! Best to buy in black or brown shades. Available at Brown Thomas
Facial and Y-zone yoga
Forget Botox and check out Ball-Tox. It’s a form of facial yoga that uses therapy balls and a technique called “palming” to relax tensed facial and neck muscles and keep them toned. It really works!
Think of it as a workout for your face and neck. It’s especially beneficial to those who grind their teeth, hold a lot of tension in their jaws with resultant headaches or are constantly on devices.
Check out yoga teacher Dagmar Khan’s facial yoga workshops dagmarkhan.com or YouTube for an online facial yoga session.