With most of us homebound—and working remotely—amidst the ongoing global pandemic, we've been compelled to turn to our mobile and laptop screens to get our lives going. The entire world—our work, our social relationships and the latest news—has seemingly shrunk into our little screens. And while the WFH norm poses to be beneficial in multiple ways, it is also damaging your skin in more ways than you think.
The high energy visible light, popularly known as the blue light which is being emitted by the screens of our gadgets, is part of the spectrum of visible light. "However, it is a high-energy, short wavelength light which onsets free radical damage on our skin, triggering oxidative stress and consequently leading to signs of premature ageing including fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. The blue light may also cause damage to your skin cells—referred to as keratinocytes and melanocytes—which can lead to textural changes and dyspigmentation of the skin," explains Dr Geetika Mittal, Isaac Luxe.
Screen time exposure up to 30-60 minutes can seriously damage your skin, as blue light possesses the capability to reach the deepest layer of our dermis—where our collagen and elastin fibres exist. "Besides, increased screen time also leads us to compromise on our beauty sleep by disrupting the natural circadian rhythm and impacting the skin's self-repair process that takes places overnight," she informs.
Wondering how to shield your skin from the harmful screen rays, while sustaining a fast-paced professional life? Dr Geetika Mittal recommends ways in which you can safeguard your skin from the inevitable:
1) It may be helpful to make use of the blue light filter or night mode setting on your devices—during the daytime as well—along with making it a habit to work on screens with minimum proximity to your skin.
2) Rethink the idea of applying sunscreen solely when you are stepping out. With smart screens emitting blue light that can cause damage to your skin, you must apply at least half a teaspoon of sunscreen, even while being indoors. It is crucial that you pick a sunscreen which is enriched with antioxidants, iron, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Besides, ensure that the sunscreen comes with an SPF of 30 or more, offering broad-spectrum protection.
3) In order to protect your skin from harmful blue light damage, make sure that your daily skincare routine is loaded with antioxidant-rich ingredients such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Topical application of antioxidants will essentially create an 'antioxidant depot' in your skin, safeguarding it from excessive damage.