How your computer screen could be ageing your skin


How your computer screen could be ageing your skin

Recent studies have shown that our skin is ageing a rapid ten years earlier than our predecessors – a frightening fact that I found out whilst listening to the makeup goddess herself, Charlotte Tilbury. Our skin starts to age naturally in our mid twenties, but a main concern of the noughties generation is this: “Is my computer causing me to age prematurely?”.

Along my journey of discovery, I came across the term ‘computer face’ – the name given to people who are prematurely ageing due to their computer, tablet or mobile telephone screens. According to a leading cosmetic surgeon, people who sit at computers for hours are more likely to become victims of premature ageing. Fine lines, wrinkles, frown lines, turkey neck, deep wrinkles and jowls will sadly grace our faces much earlier than intended, and it’s the younger generation who will feel the effects the most due to their heavy use of IT.

So what about the UV radiation of computer monitors too? Well, we may have a saving grace there as the newer LCD screens haven’t been found to emit the UV light that can be found on older CRT monitors. Although the older monitors emit a low level, it has been said to help to contribute to the premature ageing process.

Another factor that you might not consider when it comes to computer screens and your skin is that prolonged exposure can actually worsen pre-existing skin conditions like rosacea, and can even lead to skin blotches, rashes, allergies and discolouration.

The International Business Times reports: “According to some scientists, monitors create an electrostatic field that attracts floating dust that can then settle on the skin and cause dryness, irritation, and allergic reactions—particularly in poorly ventilated areas. Swedish associate professor at the Experimental Dermatology Unit, Karolinska Institute, Olle Johansson, agrees that in some sensitive individuals, excessive screen exposure can lead to “screen dermatitis,” in which skin cells suffer as a result of consistent exposure to light and electromagnetic fields.”

Although research on this subject area is fairly new, it’s definitely something to take heed of, and it’s never too early or too late to start taking good, proper care of your skin. Here are my top five tips for helping your skin to stay youthful, protected and feeling comfortable.

Tailored skincare is amazing to help your skin to stay moisturised and comforted1. Stay hydrated
Our bodies are largely made up of water, but as we get older, the percentage drops. It’s important to stay hydrated in order to keep your body and skin functioning as it should. Water helps to flush out body waste, allow body cells to grow, reproduce and survive and also helps to deliver oxygen around the body amongst many other things.

2. Have regular breaks from your screen
We’ve all heard this tip, but it’s a good one and it works. Whether you leave the desk to go for a quick walk or simply go to make a cup of tea, have a quick break, do a few stretches and reap the benefits.

3. Help your skin along with a great skincare routine
Just recently, I’ve been using the Jurlique Redness Rescue Restorative Serum that helps to restore the skin’s epidermal defences (read my review here). Serums are amazing for really accelerating your skincare and have proven to be potent and effective. I also like to use a face mask twice a week along with a gentle exfoliator. It’s really important to remember to wear an SPF daily too – UVB and UVA  rays can damage the skin even on a cloudy day and really do contribute to skin cancer.

4. Exercise
Exercise is fantastic for the skin, and the increase in blood flow means oxygen and nutrients are carried around the body quicker delivering nourishment to skin cells. Blood flow also carries away waste products from our bodies helping to cleanse the skin from the inside.

5. Eat well
Eating well really helps to nourish the skin from the inside and provide essential nutrition, vitamins and minerals from the inside. The best foods to eat are:

My daily work involves a lot of screen time. Regular breaks are key for both healthy skin and a healthy mind!

My daily work involves a lot of screen time. Regular breaks are key for both healthy skin and a healthy mind!

Fruits and vegetables – Eating a rainbow of colours in fruit and veg is key. Lutein is a powerful antioxidant found in papaya, spinach and other leafy greens. Betacarotene is also amazing for skin and is found in carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin.
Vitamin C – another powerful antioxidant.
Phyto-estrogens – these are natural chemicals which are found in plant foods. The different kinds can be found in soya bean products (isoflavones), and wholegrains, flax, vegetables and fruit (lignans) to name a few. They’re so great for the skin as they have a structure like the female sex hormone oestrogen which helps to keep our natural hormones in balance.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fats – these are essential fatty acids that cannot be made naturally in the body. They’re great for helping skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis thanks to their anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
Zinc – Zinc helps the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands in the skin. It also helps to keep skin soft, supple and repair skin damage too. Zinc supplements can be bought as tablets, but are also found in foods like fish, poultry, nuts and seeds.
Selenium – another powerful antioxidant
Vitamin E – protects the skin from oxidative cell damage and helps to support a healthy skin growth.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – act as a natural moisturiser for your skin which helps to keep it supple. They also contain vitamin E which helps to protect against free radical damage.

Although we can’t physically slow down the ageing process (as much as we’d like to), we can certainly help ourselves into looking and feeling younger for longer with a bit of careful TLC and a healthy lifestyle.

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2016.

Beauty. Fashion. Lifestyle.