Despite the easing of lockdown, for many of us, we will still be glued to our screens as we continue to work from home, or generally have busy schedules that demand we use phones and laptops for the majority of our day.
Here, we speak with an acclaimed clinical facialist, Kate Kerr, on how best to look after our skin - especially when it comes to extended screen time.
From working from home to doing home workouts on YouTube, and swatting up on cult classic movies in the evenings, and cruising instagram for skincare tips and recipes, it’s near unavoidable to have less screen time in the modern world.
How can screens damage your skin?
No matter what time of year it is, many of us are guilty of not applying sunscreen every day, let alone if we’re planning on spending most of our day indoors. However, facialist, Kate Kerr - who is a pioneer in the UK aesthetic market and specializes in anti-ageing, rosacea and acne treatments explains just how damaging screens can be to our skin… “you're getting a lot of damage from computer screen so whilst people are obviously working at home, they're on their computers, they're on their phones, so they're getting a lot of blue light, which they probably would be at work as well, but less so, and that causes damage within the skin and can cause pigmentation, so making sure that people are still applying their sunscreen [is important].”
Kerr also notes that “... if you've got daylight inside you've got UVA bouncing around so you can still get some damage being inside, so make sure that you're using your sunscreen from the morning, when you first get up and do your skincare regime.” She also notes that it’s important to remove sunscreen at night when you do your final skincare of the day.
Are we really missing out on Vitamin D?
It’s not just sunscreen that plays a vital role in healthy skin cells. Getting enough Vitamin D is quite hard in cooler, cloudier climates at the best of times. We all know that a glorious bit of sunshine can lift your mood as well as give a healthy glow to the skin, but do we really have to get our Vitamin D from the sun? Kerr states otherwise, “there's not really a lot that you're missing out on by not being in the sun by being outside. If you're looking for Vitamin D... I believe everyone should be taking a supplement.” Supplements are a safe way to ensure you are getting your daily dosage of essential vitamins and minerals, and Vitamin D oral sprays are a popular way to get your fill. Vitamin D after all is essential for maintaining calcium and phosphorus levels within the blood and supporting a healthy skeletal system.
The pros and cons of spending more time inside
Aside from over exposure to screens causing pigmentation and other skin issues, staying inside more and out of our regular routines can also mean we get a little lethargic when it comes to our self care routines. Practicing good skincare every day is essential - both morning and night to keep you looking and feeling fresh.
There are some plus sides of being indoors and adopting a slower pace of life. It gives us more time for self care rituals - and if you didn’t have a skincare routine before, now is as good time as any to form new, healthier habits as we look to improve our overall well being. Kerr notes the benefits of spending more time indoors when it comes to the health of your skin, “it actually can be a bit more beneficial inside because you're not getting the pollution that you would be getting outside and same with the UV damage UV rays.”
Ensuring you have a good stock of basic skincare essentials such as serums, face oils, cleanser and moisturisers can be just what you need to adopt a simple and easy to follow skincare routine that you can keep to when times get busier. “It's a really good time at the moment to be using your retinols and your more advanced skincare products during this downtime because if you're hiding at home, [it doesn’t matter that] you're getting a little bit of redness and peeling and feeling that irritation. Nobody is seeing that, so it's a perfect time to start that. So yes, using retinols is key, using more masks, [perhaps] sitting at home working with a mask on - [that] can be really good.” Explains Kerr.
The other healthy habit you can get into to get away from screens and keep entertained is to exercise. Whether this is in the garden, on a balcony/terrace or in your living room or bedroom, you can set out 15 minute “screen time breaks” to get active. Not only will this reduce screen time but it will also help you with achieving healthy looking skin. “Exercise is important for lymphatic drainage, as well as getting an increased blood supply, and nutrients and oxygen getting into the skin.” States Kerr.
This is the same for both men and women. Some men and women may find their skin is suffering as they aren’t moving around as much or might feel a little out of sorts with their usual skincare routine, so keeping to a regular schedule will help. Kerr notes that both men and women have the same skin cells, although mens skin tends to be oilier and thicker than female skin, however we all need to hydrate and use SPF to keep skin healthy. She also insists that going makeup free where possible is essential when it comes to achieving healthy skin as we don’t always make solid conscious beauty choices when purchasing cosmetics.
Key takeaways when it comes to looking after your skin in a modern climate…
- Keep to a rigid skincare routine that works for you, but practice it morning and night
- Use SPF religiously to stop harmful light from screens damaging your skin
- Protect skin indoors from UVA light rays.
- Go makeup free where possible.
- Exercise regularly to improve lymphatic drainage.
- Reduce screen time where possible.
By Hannah Shakir