Tech Protection: Skincare to Save Us From Screentime
“We are now seeing increasing data on the potential long-term harms of visible light, and in particular blue light, on our skin,” dermatologist Dr. Stefanie Williams recently told Bazaar.
HEV rays travel on a wavelength similar to UV rays, which are well-documented for their damaging effects on the skin, including inducing premature signs of aging, like increased visibility of fine lines and wrinkles, and more dangerous issues like sunburns and skin cancer. Experts are now concerned that HEV rays could share similarly destructive effects to the skin as UVA and UVB rays.
“Blue light has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin compared with both UVA and UVB light, and blue light can penetrate all the way to our dermis, where our collagen and elastin live,” said Dr. Williams.
“We are now seeing increasing data on the potential long-term harms of visible light, and in particular blue light, on our skin.”
Dr. Stefanie Williams
Avoiding “screen face”
“Screen face” is the term experts are using to describe the problems excessive screen time can cause to the facial skin. And some of the most unflattering and telltale signs of a screen face? A worsening in skin pigmentation, uneven skin tone, increased outbreaks of dark spots, and a faster breakdown of collagen.
While decreasing screen time is the most obvious way to reduce blue light, it’s not always the easiest or most viable. Millennials check their phones an average of 150 times a day, and most U.S. adults log more than 10 hours of screen time daily. Luckily for concerned consumers, there’s no reason to ditch smartphones or adopt a tech-free lifestyle to save the skin.
Instead, there are several simple ways to rev up a skincare regime and help boost protection against the potentially damaging effects of blue light on faces and necks.
The trendiest of blue light protection options is the newest wave of HEV-blocking personal care products, which use a variety of compounds to shield skin from HEV rays. Considered a cousin to the anti-pollution skincare trend, everyone from drugstore brands like Soap & Glory to the high-end label Dr Sebagh Supreme Day Cream are now offering up products with HEV or HEVL shields to help consumers protect their faces from blue light.
For problems like hyperpigmentation, dark spot outbreaks, and uneven skin tone, which 38% of UK women aged 16-24 years and 54% of U.S. women complain about, according to research by Mintel, the use of glycolic acid is key. Glycolic acid is the smallest of the AHAs and hyper-effective at shedding off old, discolored cells and spurring new cell turnover. Glycolic acid induced exfoliation is one of the fastest and most gentle ways to slough off discolored skin cells, and help re-create an evenly toned complexion.
Preventing “tech neck”
As for consumers concerned about “tech neck,” or the unholy trifecta of prematurely sagging skin around the throat and jaw, unnaturally early droopy jowls, and visible creases above the clavicle bone thanks to constantly glancing down at screens, the remedy is simple. Migrate the protection provided by anti-aging lotions, serums, and oils down south to include both the face and the neck.
Skincare products with collagen are especially important for combatting signs of premature aging like the dreaded tech neck. Collagen, the main structural protein that sustains skin and provides firmness and elasticity, is vital for maintaining youthful, smooth skin. And with the help of topically applied peptides like those found in certain anti-aging skincare products, collagen and elastin synthesis can be forcibly stimulated to help create maintain fresher, smoother, more youthful-looking skin over time.
As scientists continue to study the effects blue light has on our faces, necks, and skin, ramping up an anti-aging skincare routine with stalwart skincare superheroes like glycolic acid, collagen, and peptides are the perfect remedy for the concerned consumer – and provide an exciting opportunity for innovation to formulators.