We live in a digital age, which means that most of us spend more time indoors at a desk and less time outdoors getting sunlight. But that’s no reason to throw away your sunscreen just yet. Technology can affect your skin in ways you wouldn’t dream of. Thankfully, there’s always a way to protect yourself.
Too Much Screen Time
According to some dermatologists, computer and phone screens emit a type of light called high-energy visible (HEV) light, which can damage your skin and cause premature ageing in the same way sunlight can. Other studies have shown that chronic exposure to blue light from screens can cause increased pigment production which will lead to dreaded dark spots. That means avoiding the sun isn’t enough – you’ll need to protect yourself from the light of your electronics too.
Tip: If you can’t minimise screen time, keep your skin protected from harmful light with a good sunscreen. Wear it even on days when you don’t leave the house and supplement your skincare routine with antioxidant-rich products to help repair any damage.
Blue Light, Bad Sleep
Besides potentially damaging your skin, the blue light from electronic screens can also interfere with your sleep. When exposed to blue light, your body slows down its production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. The result? Much less sleep than you really need, which affects the health of your skin.
Tip: Most phones now come with an in-built option to filter out blue light during set hours of the night so make use of this. Do not look at your phone, computer or tablet an hour before bed time and learn to relax via meditation or soft music. This will improve the quality of your sleep. A rich, night mask will give skin an extra boost.
Fine Print, Fine Lines
Most of us spend hours every day staring at computer or phone screens. Squinting, along with eye fatigue and strain, can accelerate the formation of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.
Tip: Add an eye treatment to your daily skincare routine. Specially formulated for delicate under-eye skin, eye creams moisturise and soothe tired eyes, which will diminish the appearance of fine lines and puffiness.
Your mobile phone is super dirty. Studies have found that the average phone carries more germs and bacteria per square inch than a kitchen chopping board and a toilet bowl! Every time you use your phone, it picks up microbes and bacteria from the environment. Just think about all the times you brought your phone into the toilet with you. When you hold your phone against your face to make a call or touch your face after handilng your phone, there’s a breakout waiting to happen.
Tip: Unlike our hands and clothes, we rarely think of cleaning our phone screen. Wipe your phone frequently to get rid of all the germs it picks up. In some hospitals, it’s standard protocol for staff to sanitise their phones with alcohol swabs. If you’re on the go, a pack of facial wipes in your purse will do in a pinch – for your phone and your face.
Not So Cool
In our unforgiving hot climate, air conditioners are the best thing ever invented. Unfortunately, they’re not skin’s best friend. While they cool down the air, air conditioners also suck the moisture out of it. Dry air means dry skin. And when your skin is too dry, it feels flaky, irritated, and ages faster.
Tip: Quench parched skin with a hydrating facial mist. These handy mists replenish hydration levels without messing up makeup, while calming and soothing hot, irritated skin. Keep one at your desk, in your purse, by your bedside, and anywhere you think you’ll need a quick pick-me-up.