Technology can actually take quite a toll on your skin, but it doesn't have to. With the right preventative measures, you can keep your skin looking youthful and healthy for longer. Check out our tech-friendly beauty tips below.
For “Screen Spots”
Studies have found that, similar to the sun’s rays, the high-energy visible light (aka blue light) emitted from our phone and computer screens can trigger skin to overproduce melanin (skin’s pigment), resulting in brown spots on the face. And dermatologist Purvisha Patel, MD, adds, “This light has been shown to penetrate even deeper into skin than UV rays to accelerate signs of aging.”
Prevent It: Apply a sunscreen infused with vitamins C and E, like Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30 ($29, Amazon) daily. These antioxidants work together with the SPF to block skin from harmful screen emissions while helping to fade existing spots.
Reverse It: Dab on a parsley spot treatment. The herb’s apiol is a mild bleaching agent that breaks down melanin so spots disappear. To do: Mix 1 tsp. of chopped parsley, 2 Tbsp. of plain Greek yogurt (its lactic acid dissolves dead skin), and 1 tsp. of lemon juice (its citric acid lightens). Apply to spots and let sit 15 minutes, then rinse. Repeat three times a week for results in three weeks.
For “Tech Neck”
“Looking down at your phone, tablet or e-reader puts up to 30 pounds of pressure on the spine,” says bodywork expert Lauren Roxburgh, author of Taller, Slimmer, Younger. “This weakens connective tissue along the neckline, causing skin under the chin to sag.”
Prevent It: Sit up tall, align your ears with your shoulders and hold your screen at eye level. If you can, rest your elbows on a table. On a couch? Set a pillow on your lap and rest them there. As you read, gently push down into your elbows—this ensures better posture.
Reverse It: Strengthen the platysma (the muscle beneath the jaw) to firm skin. To do: Tilt your head back, open your mouth wide, fold your lower lip in and extend your jaw forward and up in a scooping motion. Do 10 times; repeat twice a day for results in 30 days.
For Squint Lines
Squinting at bright light or small text contracts muscles around the eyes, deepening crow’s-feet, says Dr. Patel.
Prevent It: Wear light-filtering readers, like Peepers Focus Eyewear Collection (Peepers.com). They magnify the screen while blocking the strong blue light to ease strain on the eyes. Also smart? Many phones have the option to switch the screen display into “night shift,” which emits warmer-toned light that’s less jarring to eyes.
Reverse It: Apply rosehip seed oil. To do: Pat a pea-sized amount of the oil (like The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil ($17.57, Amazon) onto crow’s-feet and up and around the orbital bone. The oil’s vitamin A boosts collagen production and its hydrating fatty acids plump skin, reducing lines within a month.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.