It’s no secret that the overuse of technology can take a toll on our minds and bodies. But did you know it can age your skin, too? If you’re someone who struggles with neck stiffness and pain — or if you’ve ever looked in the mirror and noticed deep horizontal lines across your neck — you may be experiencing something called “tech neck.” Now, you may have heard this term before. But if you aren’t sure what it means for you and your skin, we’re here to help! Keep reading to learn more about tech neck and how to support smoother, younger-looking skin.
What Is Tech Neck?
While tech neck (sometimes referred to as “text” neck) isn’t an official medical term, it’s often used to describe the discomfort you feel from regularly slumping your head forward to look at your phone, tablet, or computer.
The average American spends over four hours a day looking at a smartphone and another five hours on a laptop.
If you’re like most people who spend this much time looking down at your electronic devices, you likely experience neck stiffness, soreness, or pain. And that’s because your neck is straining itself to support your head as you look down. Along with creating general discomfort, tech neck can also cause bad posture, tension in your upper back and shoulders, and neck wrinkles. And in more intense cases, it can even result in muscle spasms, TMJ pain, and headaches.
How Does Tech Neck Age Your Skin?
Along with causing neck pain, soreness, and other physical issues, tech neck can even lead to the development of visible signs of aging. So, not only can it greatly affect the way you feel, but it can even alter the way you look. Because as you continuously lean your head down to send a text message or scroll through social media, the weight of your head can create folds in your neck that accelerate the appearance of creasing. This can result in wrinkles and deep lines across your neck.
Not to mention, as you get older, your skin begins to lose elasticity and collagen — making it thinner and more prone to visible signs of aging. And slumping your head forward for hours upon hours can actually accelerate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While preventing the effects of tech neck may seem like a lost cause, there are some ways to combat them.
How Can You Prevent Tech Neck?
Tech neck is not a life-threatening condition, but spending so many hours a day straining your neck to look at your devices is bound to create some issues. But luckily, there are some steps you can take to combat these effects. Here are just a few ways you can help prevent tech neck for an overall better look and feel:
Change Your Tech Habits
The first step to target tech neck is by changing the way you use your devices. You can do this by first and foremost limiting your screen time. If you’re like most people, you could probably benefit from cutting back on the time you spend on your electronic devices. To help limit how long you slump your head forward per day, try setting a timer to allow yourself a certain amount of time on your phone or laptop.
If you’re someone who needs to use technology for your job, you should try to take short breaks away from your devices throughout the day. This can be as simple as taking a short 5 minute walk around your house or office. You should also be sure to limit the time you spend looking at screens outside of your workday. Because cutting back on screen time will not only help reduce any discomfort you might feel, but it can help diminish the appearance of neck lines, too.
When you do use your electronic devices, try to keep them at eye level. This can be as simple as elevating your computer screen by placing it on top of a stack of books or raising your phone to your face while texting or sending an email. Keeping your devices at eye level helps diminish some of the physical and visible effects of tech neck, like bad posture and wrinkled skin.
Exercise Your Neck Area
Another way to help prevent tech neck is by stretching and exercising your chin and neck area. One simple technique you can try at home is “chin tucks.” To do this exercise, simply tuck your chin inward like you’re making a double chin. Then, move your head backward in a straight line, keeping your whole head level (you can use your fingers to help gently guide your chin). Once you’re in the correct position, hold it up to 5 seconds and repeat the exercise 15 times. This method should only take a couple of minutes but will work wonders to help stretch your neck and, in turn, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Use Targeted Skin Care Products
Finally, if you’re someone who suffers from the visible effects of tech neck, you know how frustrating it is to look in the mirror and see lines and wrinkles across your neck. To help combat these visible signs of aging, you should use skin care products designed to promote an overall firmer look.
One effective method is by using a dry oil that helps “lift” the look of the skin on your neck and décolletage area. Not only does a powerful oil formula promote an overall more youthful appearance, but it also hydrates skin for a smoother, more supple look. When shopping for a new product, you should look for plant-derived ingredients that help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (our favorite is Acmella flower).
Another skin care product you should try is a concentrated water-based serum designed to visibly tighten and deeply hydrate your neck. If you’re in need of a new serum to add to your routine, you should go for a formula designed to “re-energize” skin. This is a foolproof way to help diminish visible signs of aging fast. You can also try looking for a serum packed with hydration-boosting ingredients (like naturally-derived peptides) for a smoother look and feel.
As I’m sure you know, the use of smartphones, computers, and other electronics can be addictive. And as we continue to use these devices, chances are, we will continue to see the effects of tech neck. Spending such a large amount of time looking down can greatly affect the way you look and feel, but taking the proper steps to combat tech neck will have things looking up in no time! As long as you continue to change your tech habits, keep stretching your neck area, and start using effective skin care products, your neck will not only feel better, but it will look better, too.