Technology has quickly become a huge part of everyday life, with so many people turning to their many devices multiple times throughout the day.
While all of the technology out there may serve to make life easier and more convenient, have you ever stopped to think about what your devices are doing to your skin?
Here are five ways in which technology is damaging your skin, along with tips on how you can overcome this.
Blue Light Exposure
Everybody knows that the sun’s UV rays are so harmful to the skin, but did you know that other types of light can have similar effects too?
Blue light in particular is the biggest culprit…
What is blue light?
There are many different wavelengths of light out there, and blue light is one of these. It is a short wavelength light, which means that it produces quite a high amount of energy.
Blue light is all around you, with the sun producing the majority of the blue light you are exposed to every day.
However, blue light is also emitted by the many technological devices out there, from smartphones to laptops to TVs.
You are probably thinking…
If blue light is already all around us, why does it matter that technology also emits blue light?
Because, unlike the sun, which is millions of kilometers away from you, the blue light from your screens is physically much closer to your skin. Devices are usually held right up in front of the face and eyes, and blue light is also able to penetrate even deeper into the skin than UVA and UVB rays, making this extremely worrying.
Although research into all of this is still quite new, and ongoing too, the results that have surfaced so far all point to the fact that this constant close-up exposure to blue light is contributing to premature skin aging.
- The early onset of wrinkles
- A loss of skin elasticity
- Redness and inflammation
Blue light can also exacerbate existing skin conditions. For example, if you regularly deal with acne, those dark spots that appear afterwards will be much worse on the side of your face where you usually hold your phone.
Wondering how you can protect your skin from the damaging effects of blue light?
You have a few options:
- Blue light-protecting skin care products – these are becoming more and more common, and contain ingredients that can prevent blue light from damaging the skin to such an extent
- Physical sunscreens – also known as mineral sunscreens, these formulas can help to block blue light from affecting the skin. Those that contain iron oxide can also help to neutralize the damage that blue light has caused
- Blue light filters – these can be downloaded on just about any device. They limit the amount of blue light that a device emits, which helps to save your skin. Just make sure that you don’t allow the filters to dim your screen too much, otherwise this will only cause your eyes to squint (more on that later)
- Blue light shields – if you do not want to download a filter, you can purchase a physical shield that you place over your screens to prevent blue light from being emitted
- Keep your screen clean – dust only enhances the glare that blue light has, making it important to regularly clean all of your screens
- Take regular breaks – give your skin regular breaks from blue light, and make sure that you are frequently blinking when staring at a screen
Disrupted Sleep Cycles
Sleep is so important when it comes to the health of your skin.
For a few reasons…
Firstly, the time during which you are asleep is when your skin cells work hard to heal and regenerate. This is when the majority of your collagen and elastin is produced, and these two proteins are key when it comes to keeping the skin smooth, firm and elastic.
A lack of sleep prevents this from happening, which ends up accelerating the aging process.
Research has also found that sleep deprivation exacerbates existing skin conditions by causing inflammation in the skin and body. This means that everything from acne to eczema to rosacea becomes so much worse when you are not getting enough sleep.
The inflammation also interferes with the body’s immune system, throwing this off balance. Again, this can worsen existing skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema, since both of those conditions are strongly linked to the immune system.
You probably already know that hydration is key when it comes to healthy skin…
Well, when you are asleep, your body rebalances its hydration levels, feeding this vital moisture to your skin while sending any excess water away for elimination.
If you are not getting enough sleep, your body is not able to do this. This not only prevents your skin cells from functioning in the way that they should, but also leaves you prone to the following:
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Dark circles underneath the eyes
- Dry skin
- Fine lines and wrinkles
How does technology interfere with sleep?
In a couple of ways…
As mentioned above, all of your devices emit blue light, and this disrupts the body’s natural sleep cycle.
Your body releases a hormone called melatonin each evening, and this is what induces that sleepy feeling you experience. However, when you are exposed to blue light at night, this prevents your body from producing enough melatonin, which will make it so much harder for you to achieve a long and restful sleep.
The blue light at night also causes your skin cells to think that it is still daytime. This prevents them from triggering their healing process each night, which then accelerates the rate at which your skin ages.
One way to prevent this is by limiting your screen time in the evenings, or by using one of the blue light filters mentioned earlier.
Even without the blue light, technology can still interfere with the amount of sleep you get in a number of ways.
How many times have you been woken up by your phone pinging with a notification?
Even if you put your phone on silent, research has found that Wi-Fi signals, along with electromagnetic cellular waves, are both detrimental to quality of sleep.
Technology is also quite stimulating when it comes to the mind. Whether you are watching an intense television show or are responding to work emails before you go to bed, all of this will trigger your body into releasing cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone.
This interferes with melatonin production, while also damaging the proteins within your skin.
It can definitely be difficult to cut technology out in the evenings, but your efforts will be more than worthwhile in the long run.
Have you heard of tech neck before?
It’s quite a new term to be coined, and is one that refers to an increasing problem…
It refers to the way in which people usually hunch themselves over to stare down at their phones.
This not only causes the spine to bend in an unnatural position, leading to pain, poor posture and muscular tension, but it can also affect the skin too.
Well, each time you look down, this causes wrinkles to form on the neck.
Yes, the skin usually bounces back to normal once you are looking up again, but, over time, this will not be the case. Instead, those wrinkles will become more and more pronounced, until they end up becoming a permanent part of your neck.
In addition to wrinkles, sagging skin is another common result of tech neck.
It doesn’t help that the skin on the neck is pretty thin and fragile, which is why it does not take long at all for the damage in this area to become permanent.
So, how can you prevent tech neck from affecting your skin?
Here are a few tips:
- Hold your phone at a different angle – rather than holding your phone in a way that makes you look down, hold it higher up, so that it is in-line with your face
- Neck exercises – there are specific exercises out there that target the neck. These will not only help to prevent wrinkles, but will also protect you from the spinal problems that tech neck causes
- Skin care – using plenty of anti-aging skin care products on your neck will help the skin cells in this area to function optimally, reducing your chances of experiencing the wrinkles and sagging skin that come with tech neck. Electronic devices like the Photonix-3 Neck Solution also works to reduce wrinkles and sagging skin by boosting collagen production in the skin, thanks to LED technology
Whether you are naturally prone to acne or not, this is something that you may end up experiencing quite frequently the more you use technology.
Firstly because of bacteria…
Did you know that your cell phone holds more than 10 times the amount of bacteria than the average toilet seat?
This may seem shocking, but it’s true.
Each time you hold your phone up to your face, all of that bacteria transfers over onto your skin. It then makes its way into your pores, mixing in with the oil and dead skin cells that are already in there and triggering breakouts.
Since most phones out there are now touch screen, that bacteria also ends up all over your hands. Whenever you touch your face with your fingers, that same bacteria ends up on your face.
It isn’t just your phone that causes this either…
Your computer keyboard also harbors so much bacteria, which all ends up on your hands.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to get around this problem…
The answer is to keep all of your devices as clean as possible.
Make sure that you always have some antibacterial cleansing wipes to hand, so that you can wipe your devices down a few times a day.
Try to also keep your devices away from areas that are high in bacteria, such as the bathroom.
Ever find yourself squinting at a screen?
This is so common, and is something that many people do without even realizing it.
Why is squinting so bad?
Because this causes some serious damage to the skin around the eyes.
The skin in this area is extremely thin and delicate, much more so than the skin on the rest of your face. It also contains fewer oil glands, making it prone to dryness, and, therefore, premature aging too.
The skin around your eyes is already moving so much. Think about how many times a day you blink! Any extra, frequent movements, such as squinting, can take its toll so quickly.
Even if you are careful not to squint, too much screen time puts a huge amount of strain on the eyes, which, again, accelerates the rate at which fine lines and wrinkles form in the eye area.
So, what can you do to prevent this?
For starters, try to be more aware of what your eyes are doing, so that you can stop yourself from squinting whenever this happens.
You should also make sure that your skin care routine contains some quality eye products.
An eye serum that has been formulated with a variety of antioxidants will go a long way in keeping the skin around your eyes smooth and tight, as these antioxidants will prevent and reverse so much of the damage that is caused to the skin here.
An eye cream is also essential. This will keep your skin soft, nourished and moisturized, enabling the skin cells here to really thrive.
Weekly eye masks can also help, as these will give your skin a deep and intense boost.
Technology can really play havoc on the skin, making it so important to be aware of this. From tech neck to crow’s feet to hyperpigmentation, prevention is always the best way to go when it comes to protecting your skin from the negative effects that technology can have.