Your Smartphone Might Be Giving You Neck Wrinkles

Why hunching over its small screen can affect more than just your posture.

We’ve all heard the laundry list of reasons as to why we need to curb our smartphone addiction: it limits face-to-face conversations, prevents us from getting a good night’s sleep, and is the number one cause of tech neck. That constant craning of your head to look down at your computer or phone screen not only impacts the structure of your spine, but also may trigger the development of fine lines and wrinkles around the neck. “The horizontal creases on the neck have a lot to do with positioning,” says New York City dermatologist Dr. Jeanette Graf. “The more movement, the more you’re going to reinforce the way those lines are falling. If you’re going to always be on your phone, it’s best to bring it eye level, rather than looking downward.”

Though neck wrinkles are inevitable with age, according to Dr. Graf, her patients are coming to her younger and younger, either correcting the creases that have already developed with treatments like micro-needling, or preventing their appearance for as long as possible by injecting neurotoxins, such as Botox. “People are looking at their necks more,” says Dr. Amy Wechsler, a Manhattan-based dermatologist and an advisor for Chanel skincare. “They see pictures of themselves, and are like, ‘Oh my God. What are those wrinkles? I’ve never seen those before.’ I think the uptick is due to a side effect of too many selfies.”

Apart from lasers and injectables, the only other way to prevent neck wrinkles is through a proper skincare routine. Dr. Graf recommends gently exfoliating your neck and décolletage once a week, followed by a moisturizing algae mask and a retinol serum finished off with a targeted cream made specifically for the neck. And the way we apply the products can make a difference. “You should start at the upper chest, working your way up to the jawline with two hands in a firm upward motion, all the way to the back of the neck,” says Dr. Graf. “The neck spans 360 degrees, and you don’t want the back to age and hang forward.”