LIFESTYLE 9 months ago
We Need to Talk About Tech Face and Blue Light
Every week, my weekly screen time report pops up on my iPhone and as much as I would looooveeeee to live in a perpetual state of denial and ignore that looming pop up notification of how many hours I’ve spent on my phone, I will generally choose to live my truth.
Confession: the average number is always really high and it gives me slight anxiety. Look, I’m not proud of it and the excuse I constantly tell myself over and over again is that I always have to check my phone for work since I’m in digital but truth be told, I actually feel shitty when it’s over 5 hours a day which *gasp* it always is and that doesn’t account for my laptop screen time. Please don’t judge me.
That’s 5 whole hours of me just scrolling and looking on my phone when I could be doing so many other things like creating/working out/hanging/cooking/baking/learning lyrics to a song – you name it! And although the average number of hours spent on my phone is an even split of work, music, podcasts, and Instagram, I feel like I need to find ways to cut that number drastically down because tech face is damaging to your skin, sleep, and overall health.
Unfortunately, many of us are addicted to our devices whether we like to admit it or not. We’re addicted to working 24/7, constantly bombarded with information/stream overload, hyperstimulated with content, addicted to the hustle, and we even source our inspiration and mood boards from social these days.
So, I’m here to give you (and myself) a nice little wake-up call to remind us that we can all afford to be more mindful of our screentime and blue light (also referred to as High Energy Visible or HEV light). For those of you who don’t fully know what blue light is – it’s essentially a range of visible light spectrum that comes from using technology like phones, computers, televisions, and lights. Translation? It’s everywhere and blue light radiation from phones and screens penetrates deeper into the skin than UVA and UVB rays combined. Whoa, right?
So, here’s what you need to know about protecting yourself from blue light because, in addition to potentially affecting overall eye health, blue light can penetrate all the way to our dermis, where our collagen and elastin live”. Read: wrinkling and sagging as a result.
Here are some ways to protect yourself:
1. 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes you’re on your computer, make sure to look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This task seems easy but we all fail to do it. Try adding a post-it note on your laptop to remind you. Or a timer.
2. Consider getting blue light protection glasses if you’re on your computer for over 8 hours a day and feel like your eyes are overly strained and dry. Talk to your optometrist to see if blue light glasses would be a good choice for you, your workload, and your lifestyle. You can usually bring any pair of glasses you like to your optometrist and they can send them out to have the lens replaced. Or, you can just buy a pair that suits your face but I’m pretty picky about glasses because it’s hard to find ones that fit my small nose. I have the Dita Mikro Eyeglasses which are pricey but are worth it and fit my face perfectly.
3. Apply a special filter/protector to your screen. This works for your phone, tablet, or laptop. They are inexpensive and absorb much of the blue light emitted.
4. No brainer, but invest in a really good eye cream. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest so get a hydrating anti-ageing one. I really like the Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream by Tatcha because it's super concentrated and moisturizes my eyes without feeling greasy. It’s made with Okinawa red algae and hyaluronic acid to provide intense, lasting moisture and feels really condensed. Celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes also taught me to always apply a little bit of eye cream throughout the day when my skin’s clean versus piling it all on once a day.
Check it out here!
5. Avoid using your phone or laptop in the dark as this increases eye strain. Put your phone on airplane mode when you’re sleeping to not disrupt your REM cycles. Phones pump out electromagnetic radiation while they’re on.
6. Lower your screen brightness to a comfortable level versus keeping the brightness on full blast. This will also save your battery life.
7. Boost your macular pigment. The primary blue light-absorbing tissue in the eye is the macular pigment and the center of your eye is made up of 3 carotenoids: lutein, zeoxanthin + meso-zeoxanthin. Boost your macular pigment with eye supplements and be sure to look for carotenoids in the ingredients.
8. Look for products that have red algae in them. The red algae in the Unseen Sunscreen from SuperGoop is a nutrient-rich marine component known for being high in vitamins and minerals, often taken as a dietary supplement to improve bone health. This sunscreen feels like a primer and I even got some men to use it and love it!
Check it out here!
10. Consider incorporating anti-pollution skincare into your routine, especially if you live in a major city. More people = more foot traffic and pollution. We’re big fans of Dr. Barbara Sturm here and love her anti-pollution serum as seen in last year's Anti-Pollution Story here. The serum contains cocoa seed extract and also helps the skin combat signs of digital aging such as dryness, oxidation, and inflammation.
Check it out here!
11. Last, but not least: be conscious and try to limit screen time when possible to avoid tech face and tech neck, and improve your overall health!
So, who’s ready to get off those URLs and live life IRL? Put your electronic devices away if you can and do something physical! Go dancing, buy tickets to see that band you love, visit the park, meet up with someone, go exercise, buy your groceries in a physical store (sorry, Amazon Pantry), read a physical book or newspaper, pick someone up in real life and not on a dating app – in essence, put your phones away and be present.
Does your daily life consist of anything protecting you from blue light? Let me know in the comments below or @ me on Instagram and let’s chat!
Until next time 👋🏼
Photography by Karla Ticas