Now that we are in lockdown, our screen time has increased tremendously in comparison to what it was. Some of the latest phones actually gives you a weekly screen time report, and I must say …
I was SHOCKED!
Our world changed, and we are adapting to it. All of a sudden many more of our daily tasks involve virtual meetings and online webinars. And this means that we are staring at our computers, laptops, tablets and phones much more than usual. Many studies reveal that screen time has damaging effects on many aspects of our lives, such as memory, sleep and eyesight. But the less known topic that gets discussed is how damaging it is for our skin.
Have you noticed your skin change at all during lockdown? Other than the obvious causes, such as stress, diets and change in routine, a big culprit here is your screen time. Here is why:
SCREEN TIME IS AGING YOU
The main culprit here is blue light. This is a topic that gets discussed often on skin forums. Many studies have been done on Blue Light and the effect it has on the skin. Here’s what you need to know about Blue Light:
WHAT IS BLUE LIGHT?
Blue light is a color in the “visible light spectrum” that can be seen by the human eye. Blue light has a wavelength of between 380nm and 500nm; making it one of the shortest, highest-energy wavelengths. Blue light is found EVERYWHERE! When we are outside, the light from the sun travels through the atmosphere. The shorter, high energy blue wavelengths collide with the air molecules causing blue light to scatter everywhere. Every wondered why the sky is blue? That is why. Blue light is not all bad, in its natural form your body uses blue light from the sun for many benefits. However the artificial blue light, found in laptops, phones, LED lights and phones, we need to limit exposure to. The main reason is that we are much closer to the actual source.
Blue light can cause havoc in your skin, after your skin has been exposed for long durations. This High Energy Visible (HEV) light, can penetrate your skin to damage valuable structures such as collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin. Some studies even reveal that HEV can worsen your pigmentation conditions such as Melasma.
We are on our phones, continuously scrolling, posting, tagging, research … you name it. Have you ever considered your posture? We tilt our chins down to look at our phones for sometimes hours on end. And this makes TECH NECK real! Wrinkles around your chin and neck becomes more evident. Next is sagging skin and drooping jowls. Why do they form so easily? Because of repetitive movement over a long period of time, these conditions form easily.
Usually this condition was more evident in women and men in their 50’s and up, but we are seeing it these days in people in their 30’s. So next time you are scrolling away on your phone, focus on your neck and lift your chin to avoid memory lines from forming.
Our phones carry many different forms of bacteria and of course these days, a well known VIRUS! By constantly pushing your phone up against your skin, you are irritating your skin physically but also transferring bacteria onto your skin. These actions can lead to inflammation, especially when the skin’s barrier is already impaired. The pores will start to clog as a result of the impaired barrier and inflammation. Dead skin cells and sebum will build up in the pores, and you will start to notice breakouts.
Nowadays we are cleaning and disinfecting our phones. Also be careful to use your phone directly after you cleaned it. You do not want to keep transferring harsh chemicals to your face. Best is to use your speaker phone or even ear phones.
FINE LINES AROUND THE EYES
While trying to read your e-book, reading through a long post or scrolling through Facebook, people often squint to see better. This is a bad habit that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles to from around your eyes.
Most of these concerns can be avoided by making changes in your habits, BUT how do we protect ourselves against the nasty blue light?
The first line of defence is going to be your BROAD SPECTRUM SPF50, applied correctly and re-applied as instructed. There are many great options available these days, which includes protection against harmful HEV.
But you must also fight this from the inside. Our skin’s barrier needs to be fully intact to be able to protect it against harmful rays such as HEV. So it is a very good idea to get an Essential Fatty Acids supplements as well as Anti-Oxidants, to reduce inflammation in your skin or even protect your skin against it.
Everyone should use an anti-oxidant rich serum or cream to help fight off damaging free radicals, and therefore protect the skin against inflammation.
Lastly: we live in a time where most of our problems have a solution to it… an APP. Consider downloading a BLUE LIGHT FILTER for your devices. This will give you added protection… You are welcome!