TAKING a selfie can be as damaging to the skin as smoking, drinking and too much sunshine.
Respected clinician Sara Cheeney warned the electromagnetic rays from smart phones and tablets will speed up the ageing process, including wrinkles and brown spots.
Nurse Practitioner Sara, owner of Pure Perfection Clinic in Rossett, has seen a rise in patients who admit to being regular selfie takers suffering accelerated skin cell damage.
She can even identify the hand a person uses to hold their phone by examining which side of the face is worst affected.
“The results are quite alarming,” said Sara, a former nurse who opened her first clinic in the village, on the border of Wrexham and Chester, 10 years ago.
“I get a lot of bloggers and patients who take selfies every day coming to me and complaining about the issue, and it’s an issue which seems to be getting worse.
“The blue rays from smart phone screens can do more damage than too much sunshine, so I would urge youngsters in particular to be extra careful.”
With millions of teenagers glued to Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat and other social media platforms the risk of pre-mature skin ageing will be common in the years ahead, said Sara.
She added: “Using moisturisers and shop-bought oils and creams won’t reverse the harm that’s already been done.
“Neither will regular UV sunscreen as the radiation emitted from the phone is on a different wavelength.
“The only solutions are to rehydrate skin from within and use advanced technology and sunscreen with ingredients that protect against High Energy Visible (HEV) light and Infa Red (IR) light, such as ZO Skin Health products.”
World-renowned dermatologist Dr Zein Obagi – founder of ZO and the Obagi Skin Health Institute in Beverley Hills – agreed the selfie culture would have a long-standing and negative impact on the faces of future generations.
A mentor of Sara, he recruited the 37 year-old to become a national trainer and brand ambassador for the range, even inviting her out to the US for exclusive coaching at the Los Angeles facility.
“Your cell phone will damage your skin,” said Dr Obagi.
“It’s not documented but in my clinical observation I can tell whether someone uses their right hand or left hand to hold their phone.
“You start to see dull dirty looking texture that you cannot identify on one side of the face.”
He added: “A sunscreen will not protect you, but if you saturate your skin with anti-oxidants it can help prevent DNA damage from electronic devices.”
Other health experts say the electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones is preventing skin from repairing itself, breaking the DNA strand and causing oxidative stress on cells.
Sara, who grew her business while fighting breast cancer and raising two young children, added: “The facts are there to be seen, and I’ve already encouraged my patients to stimulate and hydrate their skin.
“Women in particular have problems with sensitive skin and tend to be the ones who use more products.
“That’s why we I would urge them to come in and see us, even for advice, to prevent their skin cells being damaged any further.”
Sara, from Llangollen, is also supporting a campaign to highlight the number of untrained and inexperienced therapists and aestheticians entering the sector without suitable accreditation.
Her vision for Pure Perfection includes a training academy and expansion of their popular HydraFacial facilities, and putting an end to the widespread rise of “non-medical unscrupulous practitioners”.
“The UK is the only country that is so unregulated and allows all sorts of people run businesses like this and do treatments,” she added.
“We get a lot of patients arriving here after going somewhere else and having a bad experience, which has to stop.
“We always look at the science and clinical trials behind a product or treatment to ensure that they are safe and give proven results. We’re a medical clinic with the patient’s health and wellbeing at the forefront of our everything we do, which is why we continue to grow.”
For more information, visit www.pureperfectionclinic.com and follow them on Twitter and Facebook at @purepclinic and Instagram @pureperfectionrossett.
As part of their mission to achieve healthier skin for life, Pure Perfection Clinic is hosting two HydraFacial events on Friday May 3 and Wednesday June 5. For further information and to book your place, call 01244 571908.