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How Digitally Disconnecting Can Help Your Skin

March 17, 2018

digital detox
by Kali Kushner

Are you always turned into your digital devices? Have you ever wondered what negative consequences may come from being constantly plugged in?It's not news thattrying to keep up onfast pacedsocial media platforms likeInstagram,Facebook, and Snapchat can leave you feeling stressed andexhausted. Many peopleactuallyexperience FOMO and fear turning off or leaving their cellphonesat home, which cancause an increased feeling of anxiety orself-consciousness in social situations. Social media can really throw your emotions in a tailspin, without you even realizing its happening.

But did you know it can have along-term impact on your emotional wellbeing, and thus, your skin? By now we all know the deep connection between stress and acne. Stress causes a surge in the hormone cortisol, which in excess can make you breakout. The more youstressout, the moreyou breakout; the more you breakout, the more you stress out. It’s a vicious hard to break cycle (you can read more abouttheacne stress link here). But what if you weresubconsciously sabotagingyourself (and your skin) with social media?


body image (and other) distortions

With photoshop,face tune, angles, and filters the lines between reality and the digital worldbegin to blur. Scroll throughInstagram for just a few minutes andyou'll be bombarded with images of perfect bodies,faces,houses,food, closets, andskin. This image of perfection can cause jealously and make you feel less than when you constantly compare your everyday life to someoneelse's highlight reels. 

You may start to feel resentful or even begin shaming yourself for not having these things in your life (tiny waist, perfect skin, cute clothes, perfect boyfriend, etc.).Youcanevenstart to view your own life through a distortedlens and start believing that certain physical features about yourselfaren't good enough.When long mindless hoursare spent scrolling through social media, ittakes feelings ofself-consciousness on those who are feeling vulnerable and amplifies them.

This is especially true with facial features and skin associal media users begin touse editing apps likefacetune. These tools can shrink your nose, make your eyes brighter and bigger, minimize your pores, and smooth your skin. As a severe acne sufferer, seeingimages of flawless airbrushed skincanhave a negative impact on yourpsyche asit serves as a reminder of somethingyou long for. Oftentimes we can evenbecome jealous of these "flawless" photosand begin to dragourselvesdown by pointing outour ownphysical featureswe're unhappy with.

Newsflash, the photos are not real. They're fake you guys! Infact, one girls skin I admired for about a year came out about having cystic acne a few months ago,butdue to herediting techniquesI would have never known.Of course, I continue to follow herregardless, I follow her for her talent not her skin; but it was eye opening to realize that she too struggles with acne and made me feel a deeper connection with her struggle!


selfies can impact your psyche

Selfies can impact you eitherpositively or negatively. They have the ability to either empower you or create a false sense of social interaction, according tocosmo.com.Replacing likes and online social interaction with real life communication can have negative consequences on your wellbeing, your mental health, andthus, your skin. As we know, mental wellbeing and the health of your skin is deeply connected.Whenyou're stressed, tired, or anxious, it might show in the form of a pimple.


validation through likes


Feeling like you have to reach a certain number of likes to feel important or relevant is very commonamongyoung peopleonInstagram. I personally know a few people who will delete and repost a photo at a more popular time toreceive "x"number of likes. This constant chase of approval can be stressful and exhausting, and of courselikewe have discussed- excess stresscan show wear and tear on your skin,exasperating breakouts.

Don't get me wrong, social mediaisn't all bad. Itcan be agreat thing depending on who you follow and who/whatyou're letting influence your thoughts and opinions!It's a way to connect with people all over the world, learn new recipes, discover new fashion, and learn different makeup techniques.Unfortunately,it canalso, be toxic. This happens when we spendcopious amounts of time on our digital devices and start to play the numbers game with our photosinstead of posting things we truly care about.Seeking validation through likes will start to replace real human interaction, which can lead to a whole slew of things like anxiety and depression.Weneedface to face time, and the only one who needs to validate you- is yourself!


trying to keep up an image

Remember to stay true to yourself! There is no obligation to photoshop or edit your photos, if that’s what you want do it; and ifit's not don't. Don't feel forcedto post one way or another, just do whatever feels natural to you and makes you happy.Constantly trying to post daily or even weekly can exhaust you whenyou're trying to keep up a facade.Or ifyoure anti-social media and just don’t want to post at all, don’t.Not everyone needs to be aware of every second of your life that passes; hold onto some memories and momentsjustfor you and no one else.

Personally, I find that posting daily is too much for me mentally. On the flip side of that, when your job is social mediayou have an obligation to interact with your followers and post interesting content frequently. When you fail to post, your following, likes, and interaction can drop. This puts stress on the content creator but, for me personally one or two posts a week is the maximum I can mentally crank out.

A few other waysdigital devices can impact your skin are:

  • Dirt clogging pores from cellphone bacteria
  • Bright screens causing insomnia and keeping you awake
  • LED light can enhance wrinkles, dark spots, or cause premature aging

the solution? a digital detox

Next time your done scrolling throughInstagram orFacebook, take a second to tune in with your body. Do you feel tense, stressed, anxious, depressed, or completely wiped out? If so, it might be time to take a digital detox. Unplug from social media.

If you can, completely turn off your phone for a few days without any distraction. If youcan't- simply deleteyour apps you wish tospend less time on. You can even install a time tracking device on your phone that limits your app usage to acertain numberof hours or minutes.

Take a second to check in with yourself,rebalance, and reground. You'll feel so much more refreshed and less stressed! Because I work from social media it can be hard to take breaks often but I try to do a littleself-assessment or reset once a month where I spend at least 4 days completely off theweb. It helps me to relax, organizing, and be present in the moment. You'd be surprised! Life goes on without social media. Just because you don't take a photo while bowling or while walking your dog- it doesn't mean itdidn't happen! Reserve those special little moments for yourself to fully enjoy without any distractions.


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