This Is How K-Dramas May Be Ruining Your Skin (and What to Do About It)
If you’re an avid K-drama fan, active on social media, or working or studying on a computer, you may be spending too much time in front of the screen. Who cares? Apparently, your skin does. Here’s how your techy lifestyle is damaging your best accessory.
Besides coffee, there’s one other thing that gets us through a long day and has us racing home, quickly washing up, jumping into our jammies, and plopping ourselves in front of our computers, laptops, tablets, or phones.
It’s the ultimate night cap — one or two (or more, who are we kidding?) episodes of whatever K-drama series we’re currently obsessing over.
Now we all know screen time before bedtime isn’t the best thing for us. It keeps us awake and can leave us feeling less than fully functional the next day. TBH though, these are all side effects that we’re more than willing to suffer for the chance of being swept away by the romance and thrills of a good Korean drama. After all, nothing a triple shot can’t fix tomorrow.
But there are also these annoying rumors we hear about other ways gazing into a glaring screen can be bad for us — failing eyesight, poor posture, the list goes on.
Considering we’re glued to the screen for work, school, and social media (in addition to our K-dramathons), we were curious to see just how real these claims were. So we dug deeper, and let’s just say that as skincare geeks we were particularly shocked to see just how bad tech time is for our skin.
How bad is bad? Read on to face the music on how too much K-drama can sabotage your pursuit of K-pop skin.
Ever notice a bluish glare from your device’s screen? That’s the light that leaves you tossing and turning all night, and it turns out it’s also the light you don’t want hitting your face if you care about your skin.
With our techy lifestyles, that poses a problem since blue light is emitted by computers, mobile phones, tablets, and … the sun. Pretty much everything we’re exposed to almost all day.
Blue light (also known as high energy visible light) penetrates more deeply into skin than UV rays can. Unilever Skincare Research released a study this year stating that four days bathed in your screen’s blue light is like 20 minutes bathing in the mid-afternoon sun. In other words, you can be indoors, shutters closed, in the dark of night, yet still be at risk for age spots, pigmentation, and wrinkles caused by your K-drama device.
In fact, according to a 2014 study released by the University Hospital of Nice, France, blue light causes significantly more hyperpigmentation than the UVB rays we’re more familiar with. A 2008 study reported that blue light also delays recovery of the skin’s barrier.
Some dermatologists say one way to protect against blue light is by wearing SPF. But since most sunscreens are designed to shield from UVA and UVB rays, the best way to prevent blue light damage is to stay out of it. You can configure your device’s setting to emit less blue light, or … just cut down on the screen time. Ouch.
If you’re in front of your computer or on your phone a lot, you probably have tech neck. It’s what happens when your neck is constantly bending down or straining forward, which are the default positions it usually goes into when you’re watching K-dramas (or anything else) on a tech device for a prolonged time.
In addition to the stiff shoulders and pressure on the spine, craning your neck down or outward also leads to fine lines and deep neck wrinkles. *Gasp*
Of course, wrinkles around the neck are a natural part of aging. But the unnatural stance of our neck when we’re looking at our gadgets reinforces the horizontal grooves and encourages them to form faster.
To prevent the premature aging of your neck, try bringing your screen eye level so you’re not looking down at it. You can also drop your shoulders, straighten out your back and bring your head in, keeping your head and back aligned.
While you’re engrossed in the breakup happening on-screen, your skin may be breaking out off-screen.
It’s no secret that our tech devices are a breeding ground of germs and bacteria. Our cell phones can carry more than 10 times the bacteria in most toilet seats, according to a University of Arizona study. Our computer keyboards are contaminated with bacteria, too.
The culprit is usually our own hands transferring impurities onto our screens and keyboards. Even after washing our hands, our devices are still dirty so they soil our hands again, and the cycle continues.
When we’re watching K-dramas in bed, we often fall asleep without washing our hands again. Even if we use our desktops, we need to touch the keyboard to turn it off. Then while we snooze away, we accidentally rub our faces, depositing germs and bacteria on our skin which can ultimately lead to acne.
To stop this wheel of misfortune, remember to regularly wipe down your phone, tablet, and keyboards with cleansing wipes or a damp paper towel. Also wash your hands after calling it a night!
As they say, time flies when you’re having fun. Which is why, as previously mentioned, K-dramas can lead to some late nights. (Don’t worry, no judging here.)
But catching your zzz’s is like feeding your skin with superfoods. Sleep nourishes skin and supplies it with energy and growth hormones to recover, regenerate, and remove toxins from skin through the night.
Without sufficient shut-eye, dermal moisture and pH levels dip low, causing skin to look a far cry away from #iwokeuplikethis. Dehydrated skin, dark circles, breakouts, and uneven skin tones also tell of last night’s shenanigans.
To avoid grumpy skin in the morning, try cutting off screen time 30 to 40 minutes before bed. The light from the screen can mislead your cells into thinking it’s daytime, so your body produces less melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall asleep.
Do you think K-dramas may be ruining your skin? Is your K-drama (or tech) addiction inadvertently aging you? Which of the above are you guilty of? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.