NZ Herald prints article saying that taking selfies can damage your skin

June 26, 2016

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Pseudoscience, Radiation

A dermatologist at a recent anti-ageing conference has said (opens new window) that regularly exposing the face to the light and electromagnetic radiation from smartphones can speed up ageing and wrinkles. Doctors even claim they can tell which hand a person holds their phone in just by looking at which side of the face is most damaged.

Speaking before this weekend's FACE conference on aesthetics and anti-ageing, in London, Dr Simon Zoakei, medical director of the Linia Skin Clinic in Harley St, said:

"Those who take a lot of selfies and bloggers should worry. Even the blue light from our screens can damage our skin. I think there is a gap in the market for products which protect, because there are people who take lots of selfies, and bloggers who come to me. I have seen that there is damage and ageing taking place. It's a different wavelength of radiation so sunscreen will not block it."

I may be cynical, but this sounds like deliberate fearmongering to allow profit making from an unfounded scare.

The type of radiation from a phone - both electromagnetic signals and light from the screen - is unlikely to cause any kind of damage to the skin.

Thomas Lumley from StatsChat pointed out (opens new window) that there was no evidence given to back up the claims, and that there are simple ways of figuring out which hand someone picks their phone up with, such as observing them picking up a pen or looking at which pocket the phone is in.