In an era of self-care and improvement, have you ever wondered how the screen affects your skin? Let me tell you, it’s skincare versus screen time.
Digital screens, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computer monitors, have become an essential part of our daily lives. While these devices have made our lives more comfortable, we cannot ignore the impact they have on our facial skin complexion and overall skin health.
In recent times, with more and more people working and studying from home, we have become increasingly dependent on digital screens. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to these screens can result in a wide range of skin problems, including dullness, wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, and acne.
We are all aware that the time we spend on our cell phones or behind our laptops, scrolling on TikTok and responding to endless emails has a negative impact on our physical and mental wellbeing altogether. However, what goes unnoticed are the implications it has on our skin, specifically facial skin as it’s the area most exposed to screen light.
If you’ve been wearing your sunscreen every couple of hours and appropriately applying vitamin C serum, you might also want to limit your screen time for a better-looking complexion. While UVA and UVB rays emitted by the sun are proven to cause premature ageing and skin cancer, blue light- emitted by both the sun and digital devices, can be desolate for your skin texture. Blue light might even penetrate deeper into the skin than UV light, but fortunately, it is not associated with the development of skin cancer. Most of the blue light we are exposed to is from the sun and is not even comparable to the amount of exposure from screens.
The problem, however, is the long amount of time we spend on our phones and how close we bring them to our faces. The prolonged exposure to the lights emitted by cell phones latched to our hands 24/7 should not be overlooked, as it can cause premature ageing, inflammation, and photoaging of the skin. This means that it can cause wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of ageing to appear earlier than expected.
Moreover, looking at digital screens for prolonged periods can also result in digital eye strain, which can cause dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. This is because the skin around the eyes is very thin and sensitive, and constant squinting at the screen can cause the skin to lose its elasticity, leading to dark circles and eye bags.
Additionally, prolonged exposure to blue light from digital screens can disrupt our circadian rhythm, the natural biological clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. When blue light disrupts our circadian rhythm, it affects the quality of our sleep, which is essential for optimal skin health. Poor sleep quality can increase the hormone cortisol, which can cause inflammation, acne, and skin redness.
“Our computers, tablets, and phones emit only low levels of blue light. However, as we spend more and more time looking at our devices, we do need to consider the effects of long-term, low-level exposure,” says Dr Zeichner, an Associate Professor of Dermatology and the Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. To mitigate the harmful effects of digital screens on our skin, it is essential to take proactive steps.
One of the most effective ways to reduce the impact of blue light on our skin is to use screen filters and protectors. These protective shields are designed to target the blue light emitted from screens and minimize its impact on our skin. Another strategy is to take regular screen breaks. By taking frequent breaks from our devices, we can give our eyes and skin a much-needed rest.
In short: More sunscreen, fewer real screens!
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