How to Naturally Overcome the Undesirable Effects of Digital Stress on the Skin and Well-being

Mathias Fleury, Global Category Manager - Biotech. Actives at Givaudan Active Beauty
Givaudan Active Beauty

Mr. Fleury, can you explain how the digital stress appeared in our daily life?

While the sun remains the first source of visible light, the artificial light of digital screens (characterised by a short wavelength, and a high energy, the so-called blue light) is damaging the skin daily through a prolonged exposure time. According to a recent study, Americans spend an average of 1,460 hours a year on their phone or tablet, or nearly 61 days! In France, people spend 1h42 per day in average on their smartphones. Almost 26 days[1] per year. And things are not going to get any better with the addiction caused by video games, social media or other content available 24/7 on those devices.  

What kind of consequences can it have on our skin and well-being? 

Blue light and digital stress in general bring some new challenges (decrease of skin defence mechanisms and premature ageing). One of them, and probably the most important one, is the difficulty to sleep perfectly and the disruption of sleep cycles. If some people can have FOMO symptoms, and don’t want to fall asleep, for a large majority, bad sleep quality is a consequence of digital stress over-exposure. Using digital tools is a new way of life that gives the cosmetic industry an opportunity to fill a gap, and to find viable solutions, allowing to protect the skin from artificial light and digital stress, while providing restful sleep, so that skin can regenerate itself properly. 

What is the link between digital stress and melatonin cycles?

It is now established that when exposed to digital stress, the production of melatonin in the skin is disturbed, resulting in a perturbation of sleep-related functions (difficulties falling asleep, multiple awakenings during the night, etc.). But melatonin also has amazing anti-ageing benefits thanks to its strong antioxidant properties and the cascade of biological processes that it can trigger within the skin (antioxidant response, repair mechanisms, fight against cell death, etc.). Therefore, digital stress results in a loss of protection against ageing, and a vicious circle when it comes to skin health in general with sleep deprivation.

If beauty products can give an answer to this new skincare issues, can it be based on natural ingredients?  

Nature is an infinite source of inspiration when it comes to active ingredients with incredible benefits. Givaudan Active Beauty has already shown that cherry blossom extract considerably improves the quality of the skin showing signs of ageing. As a true protector against blue light, it counteracts digital pollution, and this is what we highlighted in Eliorelys™. But as new biological discoveries are made, new generation of active ingredients are also making their entrance. This is how we crafted Synchronight™, a new botanical active offering happier nights and healthier skin to consumers.

Can you tell us more about Synchronight™?

Synchronight™ is a patent-pending stabilised extract of Gardenia fruits, able to protect the skin from the consequences of direct exposure to blue light (protection of antioxidant defences, preservation of the natural cycle of production of cutaneous melatonin), to slow down the premature ageing of the skin and improve the quality of sleep. Through clinical tests, we were able to demonstrate a significant reduction of wrinkles number (-21% compared to placebo) while drastically improving the sleep quality (-87% awakenings per night versus placebo, and significant improvement of the easiness to fall asleep). This is done through an innovative and unique double mode of action: using a botanical molecule to first filter blue light and avoid its deleterious consequences, and then converting this ingredient in situ into a melatonin-like molecule thanks to the skin microbiota, bringing additional benefits to the skin and well-being by reinforcing the ingredient activity.

Do you think the market is ready for such innovative products, closing the gap between skin and well-being?

In a world where 80% of people are not completely satisfied with their quality of sleep and where consumers are also convinced of the close link between quality of sleep and skin health (62% of women believe that sleep is the most important "internal" factor affecting the appearance of facial skin, largely before diet, stress or genetic predispositions), it has become clear that cosmetics can play a crucial role in satisfying customers. This can now be done at various levels, protecting their skin against the harm of digital stress, but also ensuring their quality of sleep and improving their well-being holistically. 

[1] https://www.lci.fr/high-tech/les-francais-passent-en-moyenne-1h42-minutes-par-jour-sur-leurs-smartphones-2112883.html

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