In the UK we spend more time looking at our devices than we do asleep. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the average amount of screen time a person in the UK was exposed to was estimated at a whopping 11 hours a day, and now, with the additional factors of lockdown and home working this is only set to rise.
Internet and television usage is now at a record level and health experts have issued stark and well publicised warnings about the risks this could have to our eyesight, physical wellbeing and mental health.
But what is the effect of all this screen time having on our skin?
Artificial blue light, emitted by digital devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets and televisions, penetrates the skin to its deepest layer – the hypodermis – where our levels of protection are at their weakest. The result? A phenomenon known colloquially as “Netflix Face”.
The more time we are exposed to blue light (or HEVL – “High Energy Visible Light” as it’s also known), the more damage it can cause. When blue light reaches the hypodermis it creates millions of free radicals. These unpaired molecules react with your skin causing serious damage such as breakdown of collagen and elastin, hyperpigmentation inflammation and permanent harm to the skin’s barrier function.
Diagram courtesy of ZO Skin Health
It’s terrifying to think that every time you binge watch ‘just one more episode’ of Selling Sunset it could be expediting the process of skin ageing and lead to dullness, sagging skin, wrinkles and age spots!
So what can be done?
The answer is simpler than you might think – wearing broad spectrum sunscreen, such as Heliocare 360°, every day is clinically proven to significantly reduce the damage caused by free radicals and help preserve your skin’s normal barrier function. What’s more, the unique Fernblock extract found in Heliocare topical sun protection and Heliocare Capsules, is also clinically proven to:
- Prevent the cell death of fibroblasts (the skin cells essential to prevent skin ageing)
- Prevent oxidative stress (which can induce premature skin ageing as well as other damage to the skin)
- Significantly reduce the amount of melanin produced (the source of dark spots and discolouration in the skin)
So, by adding a broad-spectrum sun protection product to your daily routine all year round, you can ensure that the only spoilers you need to worry about affect your shows, not your skin.