At the beginning of this year, I added a new question to my client intake form - How many hours do you spend using electronics?
I receive quizzical looks, and the usual wondering why I ask such personal questions that seem to have nothing to do with skin. But you know why if you had even one session with me :)
Why do I ask you this, and why now?
In the last year, I've seen a growing number of articles discussing the effects of UV light and pollution on our skin.
This is not something new, but the threat is greater and from surprising sources we hadn't considered previously. The articles mostly discuss the aging of skin, but it goes deeper than just brown spots, wrinkles and capillary damage or redness.
UV light is emitted from electronic devices - your cell phone and computers are the culprits. Casual use may not be a big problem, but I routinely receive answers on the intake that average around 6 hours a day. When I dig a little deeper with the client, they either haven't considered exposure to UV light at work or maybe not at home. But the fact is that most people use electronic devices at home and at work. The revised answer from people is usually 8 hours, and for some an astonishing 14 hours a day!
Electronics are not the only source of UV light exposure. Fluorescent lighting and sun are also major sources.
You knew about the sun, but lighting? The safe lighting is LED or light emitting diodes. Although the Calm Beauty studio is outfitted with LED lighting, most homes and offices have not yet switched over.
This one is easy to understand and probably something you think about but are not sure how to address. Many people are opting to move to urban locations, and are exposed to greater levels of pollution - think traffic. Rural dwellers don't fare much better, as farming chemicals and soot are major contributors to pollution.
Here's an excerpt from Andrea Vierkötter's article "Airborne Particle Exposure and Extrinsic Skin Aging" printed in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology that explains this phenomena well.
"Air pollution exposure was significantly correlated to extrinsic skin aging signs, in particular to pigment spots and ...wrinkles. An increase in soot ... and particles from traffic ... was associated with 20% more pigment spots on forehead and cheeks. Background particle pollution, which was measured in low residential areas of the cities without busy traffic and therefore is not directly attributable to traffic but rather to other sources of particles, was also positively correlated to pigment spots on face."
So although the article was focused on skin aging, the real issue is the health of the entire body. Does it affect skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis? How about cancer? Increased allergic reactions? Contributes to digestive system issues or fertility problems? I think you can see the link, and all of these affect the health of your skin (among other organs).
The answers for a solution are not easy, and for many people, neither is prevention. But there are some things we can do in terms of wellness practices and skin care regimens. At your visit, we'll discuss these factors and strategize together how to integrate healthier skin care and wellness practices into your daily routine.