Technology is all around us – cellphones, TVs, laptops and computers are such a huge part of our daily lives that it’s hard to imagine life without them. But all of this extra tech could be taking its toll on the health of our skin.
One major skin concern dermatologists are seeing is ‘Tech Neck’. This is where the skin on the lower parts of the face and neck starts to sag and wrinkle, aging prematurely. It is caused by the increased gravitational force acting on our skin when we tilt our heads downwards to look at our phone or computer screen.
Screen-time can also accelerate another sign of aging – crow’s feet. The small fonts on our devices coupled with the bright light given off by screens causes many of us to squint or furrow our brow. This repeated movement causes crinkles and wrinkles to start forming around the delicate eye area and between the eyebrows.
You’ll notice the light given off by your devices has a blue tinge to it – this is a High Energy Visible light, which penetrates deep into the skin layers (even deeper than UV light). Blue light is found in natural sunlight too, but the high concentrations we are exposed to with increased tech use are linked with an upsurge in free radical damage, degrading the collagen and elastin in our skin. This can then lead to hyper-pigmentation, sagging, wrinkles, and other premature signs of aging.
Using your devices before you go to bed also has a negative effect on your skin – this blue light exposure throws out your natural circadian rhythms, diminishing the quality of your sleep. This is a problem, as good-quality sleep is essential for cell rejuvenation and regeneration.
Our world is only getting more tech-heavy, so what can we do to minimise these effects and keep our skin healthy and happy?
Experts suggest setting a reminder on your phone every hour or so to remind you to look away from your screen – focus on a tree outside, or something on the other side of the room to give your eyes (and mind) a short break. Adjusting the font size on your phone or computer also helps, as does turning down the brightness of your screen – some phones and computers even have a Blue Light Filter option to limit the amount of blue light that your skin is exposed to. Limiting screen time before bed (about an hour before you want to go to sleep) will help regulate your circadian rhythms. If you’re worried about poor sleep, you can also incorporate the Meder Beauty Science Circa-Night Cream into your evening skincare routine – it epigenetically aligns your cell metabolism with healthy circadian rhythms, essentially ‘bio-hacking’ them into thinking you’ve had sufficient time to snooze.