SCREEN TIME SKINCARE
HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST BLUE LIGHT
BY LOTTIE JACKSON,
Researcher and diversity activist writing for The Times, Elle, Vogue, The Guardian & Grazia.
Whether we’re dialling into back-to-back Zoom meetings, or tuning into Instagram Live yoga sessions, our screen time has seen an astronomical rise over the past year. If your weekly phone usage reports have been displaying some scary statistics recently, you’re not alone. But this shift to virtual living could be damaging our skin, as dermatologists warn that the blue light emitted from smartphones and laptops can penetrate the epidermis to cause visible signs of ageing.
Scientific research has shown that blue light is a generator of free radicals. This means that our daily social media scrolls and FaceTime catchups are creating oxidative damage in the skin — accelerating the breakdown of collagen which leads to fine lines and wrinkles. Even exposures as short as 60 minutes may trigger these changes. Our reliance on electronic devices could also be ageing the skin by inducing pigmentation, according to another recent study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Dermatologists discovered that blue light stimulates the formation of a protein complex that causes long-lasting hyperpigmentation in the skin.
With 60% of people now spending more than six hours a day in front of a digital device, just a working week can have the same impact on the skin as spending 25 minutes in midday sun without protection. In fact, for many people, blue light will cause more redness, swelling, and hyperpigmentation than the typical UVA light from the sun. With this in mind, our simple guide is here to help you curate a skincare routine that can shield against blue light exposure. Here’s how to refresh your skin, as much as your Instagram feed…
ANTIOXIDANT RICH SKINCARE
RESTORE – NIACINAMIDE
As one of the most potent anti-inflammatories in skincare, Niacinamide is an ingredient you need on your radar, now. Not only does it restore skin surface cells from the oxidative stress caused by blue light, it also reduces the appearance of lines, improves the skin’s elasticity, rebalances uneven tone and reduces the pigmentation exacerbated by screen time. Are you sold already?
Woods_ NIACINAMIDE LIFTING MIST is a seamless way to introduce this ingredient into your skincare routine — offering natural protection against the detrimental effects of blue light in a quick spritz. We love using it as a primer before applying our makeup. The addition of hyaluronic acid in the formula acts as a magnet for moisture to hydrate and plump the skin, whilst reducing the appearance of fine lines.
REJUVENATE - VITAMIN C
This cult antioxidant was crowned the most googled skincare ingredient of 2020, garnering a staggering 1,211,000 web searches — and it’s not hard to see why. It works to rejuvenate dull skin, stimulate collagen production, improve skin tone, and rehydrate the complexion. When it comes to blue light protection, Vitamin C is your skincare saviour — it neutralises free radicals and protects the skin against excessive oxidative stress.
Woods_ DAILY MINERAL GEL is enriched with cloudberry, an ingredient that’s known to contain four times as much Vitamin C as an orange. This lightweight facial moisturizer is a clean beauty staple for screen time, ensuring the complexion is visibly brightened and the skin is protected from harmful effects of free radicals.
REPLENISH - VITAMIN E
To stabilise Vitamin C and increase its efficacy, it’s important to combine it with skincare products containing Vitamin E. Their synergistic effect will ensure your skin reaps all their benefits. By protecting the cell membranes, Vitamin E prevents water loss from the skin and helps to retain its natural moisture level — leaving your complexion hydrated and replenished. Most importantly, it has the power to shield your skin from any oxidative damage caused by blue light exposure.
Woods_ nourishing VITAMIN E SERUM provides the skin with a boost of Vitamin E to help strengthen its natural barrier. It also rehydrates the skin, prevents early signs of aging and helps to defend against free radicals.
PROTECT – ZINC OXIDE SUNSCREEN
Antioxidants will neutralise the oxidative stress caused by blue light, but they cannot physically block the emissions. This is why you should always opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that can act as a protective barrier for your face and décolleté while you’re perched in front of a screen. A formula containing blockers like zinc oxide will reflect light rays to offer broad protection against UV and high-energy visible light — ensuring your skin is shielded from any further damage caused by blue light.